3 Life Lessons from the Tea Merchant


Santa walking backwards? Oh, oh, oh!
What else! ?

Something can go backwards, time certainly can’t. Another year is almost gone, so how do you make every minute count?

This year in Teas.com.au, we become clearer why we do what we do.

We KNOW leaf tea is better – better as in tasting better and better as in better quality tea (typically fresher as well).

However, from others looking in, our friends and many customers or potential customers, may wonder why not sell teabag tea, or chocolate, and others wonder about why we don’t have a physical shop.

These 3 “why nots” have made us think deeper into our beliefs, as well as how clear we have been telling our story. For this, I, as now carry 10 years of professionally working experience with tea, would love to share 3 life lessons I learn, and hope there is “food for thoughts” there for you, at this time of the year, when many of us look back to what we have achieved and what our goals are for the future.

1) Why not sell teabag tea

If you have read my recent article about “Why I don’t buy / sell teabag tea”, you would understand for a tea merchant, selling massively produced teabags are more profitable for me.
However, to enjoy a good cup of tea matters to me. I say this not because I sell leaf tea, but because, in this busy world, we are spending less and less time doing solely ONE THING at a time.
Watching TV while playing with our kids, facebooking while having dinner, or a cup of teabagged tea while working.
This duality causes us to become less attentive to people and things around us. Kids want to look out of the car windows less while they are being driven around, they want to play with their ipads!
We want to drink good tea while “have no time to waste” for a decent cuppa.
I want to debunk the myth of “time tasted” in making a cup of leaf tea!
I want to tell the world, teabag tea was not how tea was drunk for centuries.
I want to look forward to a cup of tea that put that warming smile back on my face, not some ultra strong stimulant to pump my heart!
I promise myself I am WORTH the 5 minute break, at least once a day to have a cup of leaf tea, because a good cup of tea does only take 5 minutes (if you really want to indulge, has another 5 minutes). I am WORTH a good cup of tea, a 5 minute break from ALL dings, bings, and rings.

2) Why not sell chocolate

Due to our stubbornness to quality, we hand blend a lot of teas. Comparing to some tea suppliers, we don’t let our tea go for a world trip before getting to Australia – that means our Chinese tea from China, Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, Oolong from Taiwan and China, so on.
This means we have a reputation for artisan blends, single origin tea. If we sell chocolate, it is a commercial suicide – it will be like you have established your career as a surgeon, and on the side you are also a dentist. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

3) Why not have a retail shop

Retail shop is the traditional way of selling goods. The world has moved on, many things can be obtained in the cyber space.
In fact, to find specialised items, you are best to hop onto the virtual freeway. Look at the malls, what shops are there?
At the same time, we know our position in the market. We wholesale and retail – by not squashing ourselves in the local retail market, it frees it up to our wholesale customers who know the locals and speak the local! A retail shop with a dedicated team giving personal “belly to belly, face to face” touch is not replaceable by an online expert. They have their local tea hero roles to play, and we have ours, supporting them, and provide tea to places in Australia that there aren’t any tea shops (that will be 70% of Australia – wild guess?)
For us, our goal is to transform Australia to a better place for tea drinkers, by providing you great leaf tea coupled with loads of tips and tea info – spreading words fast and wide is one of the best thing about the web, so that’s our modus operadi.
If one can walk into any cafe to have a decent cup of coffee made with all the tricks and efforts, why can’t tea drinkers have at least a cup of tea made with tea leaves, with half the fuss and gear?
We are here to drive the Australian tea culture, and running a retail shop is somewhat not the most impactful way to get to this goal.

spearmintThere is always a place for mass products, and now we are clearer that we are here to serve the tea drinkers who desire more in their lives, who dare to rest and break free from all, who not focus on quantity, but on quality, we know our mission.

You have helped us to flesh out our mission with your questions, your support and your curiosity. You have created our brand.

To this end, we thank you, I think we both deserve a good cup of leaf tea! Ahhhh! ^_^