We may not be about to see a third wave tea movement here in Brisbane, Australia just yet. But something happened in 2018 that has allowed us to imagine the real possibility that we will see true tea find a larger footing in this market in the near future. In just over 3 years since we started our tea business we have seen a huge shift and growing interest in tea.
When I talk about tea, it is the true tea or real tea, the buds and leaves that come from the Tea Plant (Family ~ Theaceae; Genus ~ Camelia L). And whilst this often results in people assuming I am a tea snob, I honestly don't think until we all have a common understanding and can identify what tea is can we start to fully appreciate it and its origins. So this year I have decided to be unapologetic about these definitions and instead just continue doing what I can as a brand advocate for the real 'tea'.
So where did we notice the snippets of positive for true tea in 2018 in our local market?
- growing support for our weekly Tea on Sunday tea service we operate out of Wandering Cooks. We have been blown away by the support during November and December, some of the hottest months of the year here in Brisbane, of the loyalty and genuine interest for specialty tea. Easily the biggest months we have had since setting up our little tea service over 14 months ago.
- genuine interest and maximum attendance at unique tea experiences we have hosted e.g., our tea & food pairing workshops
- media interest in specialty tea, tea & cheese experiences and our tea collaboration project for Old Barrel Tea Co.
- growing demand for high quality tea education going beyond the basic introduction to tea and into really practical topics such as evaluation and analysis of tea, terroirs and processing methods as well as preparation and brewing.
- on-boarding a host of new and wonderful wholesale partners from specialty coffee shops, cafes and fine-dining restaurants.
- expanding interest in knowledge sharing with coffee professionals, restaurant managers, wine sommeliers and hospitality consultants.
- commencement of our consultancy services to fine dining restaurants that has been driven by demand.
For us these are all indicators of the growth for true tea and it also opens up a world of possibilities for new and engaged customers. These opportunities also carry great responsibilities as a tea specialist so despite the growth we will continue to stay true to the core values of The Steepery Tea Co. So let's see 2019 if you will be the catalyst to great things for tea.
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