At Tour de Tea, our unwavering commitment to offering genuinely premium tea demands a constant examination of our own biases, especially when it comes to the selection of stock. Over nearly fifteen years, our range has maintained stability – a testament to the initial and formative dedication to quality. The meticulous process of choosing teas involved agonising over standards, endless tastings and samples, and collaborating with reputable producers committed to excellence in their industry.

The Driving Force:

Curiosity and passion form the cornerstone of our pursuit of tea perfection. Our curiosity drives us to explore a diverse array of teas from every corner of the globe, while our passion for quality makes space for objective critique, ensuring our teas meet the highest standards. Occasionally, this commitment to quality has prompted change.

A Bold Alteration:

Years ago, we altered one of our best-sellers: English Breakfast – a blend synonymous with steadfast reliability. Recognising a decline in leaf quality, we investigated for any changes in production – there were not. We spoke to the producers around the weather conditions of the last growing year and of the harvest (this would suggest the shift was a seasonal glitch). No discernible explanation was found, so we embarked on a quest that led to the introduction of our single estate Sri Lankan English Breakfast. It has become what we proudly consider Brisbane’s premier English Breakfast tea – a rich, medium body high-grade orange pekoe, with a sweet and malty profile when complemented with milk, and nuanced notes of baked apple when brewed black.

Consistency within our range is a significant priority, but truthfully, it ranks second to our vehement commitment to quality. Quality is the catalyst capable of reshaping our range, and our recent journey to Japan is a testament to this ethos.

Our Japanese Teas:

Our modest range of Japanese teas have been a source of quiet pride. Even our Australian Alps green tea falls under this category, as the machinery, methods, and cultivar plants all hail from Japan. We have delighted in sharing our Sencha, Genmaicha, Matcha, and Hojicha with our community. The latter, a recent addition, captivated us with its delicate toasted chestnut notes.

A year ago, a setback occurred when our hojicha producers ceased production. We replaced it with a suitable alternative, acknowledging it as a temporary placeholder until a more exquisite solution could be found.

Our recent journey to Japan was not merely a quest for the elusive hojicha but an opportunity to thoroughly assess our Japanese tea range. While our existing range stood strong, our exploration led to the discovery of new varieties, cultivars, and production methods that will not replace but rather expand our Japanese tea offerings.

The Year Ahead:

We return with our findings, eagerly awaiting the arrival of our latest acquisitions. In preparing for an extensive tea-tasting year, we recognise the need to involve our subscribers.

This is where you, Brisbane’s most passionate tea drinkers, come in.

In 2024, Tour de Tea’s focus will be on Japan. We invite our subscribers to join us on this journey, offering free samples in exchange for your educated and valued opinions. If you haven’t subscribed already, visit the bottom of our webpage and add your email. Subscribers not only receive exclusive offers and discounts but are also cherished as a valuable resource by Tour de Tea – subscribers are a treasured brains-trust. We are committing to free samples of incredibly high grade teas for two reasons: to gain insight and hopefully, offer insight as we analyse each sample tea in depth with our community. In supplying free samples of prospective teas, we hope to continue to enrich, excite and educate Australia’s burgeoning tea culture.

We look forward to bringing you closer to the magic of Japanese tea throughout the coming year.