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Punjana Limited
Belfast, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
FounderMcArthur and Willis
HeadquartersBelfast, Northern Ireland
Key people
Robert Samuel Thompson
Thompson's Punjana

Punjana is a brand of tea produced by the Belfast based tea company Thompson's Tea. Thompson's Tea was founded in 1896 when Robert S Thompson was made partner of McArthur and Willis. Thompson's Punjana has since become the best-selling tea in Northern Ireland and one of the most popular brands in Scotland. The Thompson's source the leaves for their award-winning teas from prestigious gardens in Assam, North India and from the slopes of Mount Kenya.


In the late 19th century, Robert S Thompson trained in the art of tea tasting and soon became known for his uncompromising devotion to quality. Soon after joining the tea industry in 1887, he was made a partner in McArthus and Willis in 1896. Robert S Thompson subsequently led the company for 51 years, and the association of the company with the Thompson family was only strengthened when in the post-war years James and Tony Thompson also became partners. Today, Thompson’s Teas, who make Northern Ireland’s best-selling tea, Punjana, have been blending and packing their award-winning range in Belfast for over 120 years.

It was the introduction of the second generation of the Thompson family to the tea industry that brought with it the birth of the Punjana brand in the early 50s. The now household name, Punjana, certainly wasn’t the result of endless market research or a think-tank – far from it! It was in fact a name dreamed up by second generation James Thompson and his wife, Lillias. Their inspiration came from an inscription etched on the famous Gillespie statue in Comber, and after a bit of imagination, Punjana, and a piece of NI heritage was born.

Now led by the third generation of Thompsons, Ross and David, the family continues to retain the local, family run ethos of previous generations as well as keeping the quality assurance levels as strong as they ever were. Together, Ross and David carry on the traditional skill of tea tasting and blending in much the same way as has been done since the day the company was founded.


  • The name "Punjana" was taken from an inscription relating to the "Punjab" on the Gillespie statue in Comber Square, Comber, Northern Ireland.
  • 60,000 cups of Punjana tea are drunk every hour of the day, 365 days a year.[1]


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