2019. What a year. It began with a few false starts, as I dealt with some unexpected health issues, but inevitably for this travel lover, it all led to our first trip of the year- Japan. A place that I've been a few times, but will always be beyond worth revisiting. We delved deeper into the wonderful tea culture of Japan, visiting a tea farm in Uji, and attending specialty tea tastings and tea ceremonies that deepened our appreciation for tea as a ritual- a reminder that tea is something worth slowing down for, an experience to savour and indulge in- things that are very much a part of the Tea Nomad ethos. Timing our visit to the Mt Fuji area to the peak of their cherry blossom season was also just magic.
I also spent time experiencing the explosion of matcha in New York, but the other highlight of our travel year was a trip to Perth. A timely reminder of how amazing this country we call home is, and if you have been following along on our instastories, you will know that local tourism will certainly be a theme for me in 2020- perhaps not always as far as Perth, although any excuse you have to head west, DO IT. Words are woefully insufficient, so I will just leave a few snaps of the incredible coastline- with that warm and unbelievably turquoise- emerald Indian Ocean waters, relaxed atmosphere, wonderful produce and don’t even get us started on the wineries. Margaret River and its surrounds definitely demands a week on its own, and if Rottnest Island isn’t on your bucket list, add it now.
We also introduced two new blends in 2019. Feeling the need to be revitalised by the tranquility of Bali, we created our own organic ginger tea blend. Warming, caffeine- free and all things blissful, who doesn't want to be transported to the zen of the balinese massages that inspired our Bali
was also launched as part of our new Christmas collection. Drawn by the magic of those grand European Christmas markets and the ubiquitous mulled wine, we created a limited- edition blend that shines cold brewed but is delicious warm too. Noël
was introduced as we launched our Christmas Market season along with the little upgrade we gave to our ever popular giftsets
, and our gorgeous new giftboxes
2019 also saw us grow our stockist
community all over Australia, from Tasmania to Perth, and even internationally, to Hong Kong. Proudly, we are also currently stocked at the Art Gallery of NSW as part of their (amazing) Japan Supernatural
exhibition. We love connecting with businesses that appreciate our story and show our teas some love; we know the retail game is certainly not easy so to you, our dear stockists big or small, we say a big thank you. A number of you were impacted by the recent bushfire devastation and we are committed in 2020, to supporting them however and wherever we can.
Market life also evolved this year. The chance to meet new faces to tell our story, but also catch up with familiar faces at local favourites such as the Mosman Twilight Markets and the annual Avalon Markets are always fun, and we also made our debut at The Rocks this year, particularly enjoying their Lunar and Christmas Markets, which are always such a fun time down by the harbour. Of course, Sydney Tea Festival
is always a highlight of our year - this was where Bali was launched as we shook things up with a display that really told the story and inspirations behind each of our tea blends. We will never get over how incredibly encouraging and heart-warming it is for us to see the tea community come together and just celebrate all things tea- we are so thankful to be a part, and deeply grateful for the kind words and love with which we are always received by all of you.
We saw ventured interstate. We went to Melbourne as part of Life Instyle
, and ventured to Canberra for the incredible Handmade Canberra
markets around Christmas. The opportunity to tell our story and talk travel and tea with more and more people is not something we take for granted. To then have our teas and travel tales so warmly received means the world to us and we were incredibly honoured to have been awarded Best In Show
at the Handmade Canberra markets- if you haven’t been, these markets are truly special with the variety of stallholders that they attract and curate. We are hoping to keep expanding our market footprint this year so if you haven’t met us yet, keep an eye out for announcements on our social media, and as always, let us know if there’s somewhere you think we should be. and we are always keen to hear about any where else you would like to see us
Speaking of awards, we were also awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the 2019 Golden Leaf Awards
, Australia’s leading tea award event. Knowing our Sahara, Maldives and Bali blends were recognised by professional tea cuppers, blew my mind. Especially since I did my initial tea blending training with Australian Tea Masters, who run this event as part of the Australian Tea Expo. I don't blend with awards in mind, travel is truly what inspires and drives us, but that does not mean I was not a little proud!
So there it is. A tough year for me personally, but there is so much to celebrate. None of the above would happen without any of you reading this, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Whether you are family or friends, someone who has been sipping with us for a little while or just discovered us, a new or existing stockist, one of the many amazing fellow small businesses we meet at the markets, or just a curious someone who is watching us from afar - the kind words and lovely chats, the emails and messages we receive, they all mean the world to us and we feel so lucky to be able to share our passion with you all. To think that our story, our desire to share a love for travel and passion for tea, resonates with so many people out there- well that is something that keeps us going every day as we get stuck into 2020.
Founder, The Tea Nomad