Since their launch a couple of years ago, Storm and India Tea Sisters have brought the glamour back to the tea scene. They caught everyone’s attention with the Tea Van, serving specialty brews from a cool polished chrome sixties van at events and markets around Auckland. More recently they have collaborated with Little Bird Organics to educate the detox and health benefits of their handcrafted organic tea. While there has been a cheeky twist, they have always taken tea very seriously and they’ve pleased everyone from the ordinary drinkers, to the connoisseurs. I’m a huge tea lover; it is a ritual for me, and reading India’s answers to my questions for NZ Month, has brought me to a new level of appreciation.
Hi India, could you tell me how the Storm & India Tea Sisters story began?
Storm and I grew up on our organic farm just outside Launceston Tasmania. Our mum and dad were the founders of Bellamy’s Organic baby food so we were very lucky to grow up in a family having a holistic country lifestyle. Our great grandmother, aunties and our mum were huge tea drinkers from way back. Our love affair with tea and the beautiful daily ritual we remember as young girls. Our mum has introduced us to green teas, chai tea and fruit teas that she bought for us when she traveled. There was more tea in mum’s suitcase than clothes…
You’ve mentioned that tea has always been a part of your life. Do you mind sharing your earliest tea memories with us?
On our farm we had a huge vegetable garden so we grew up having fresh chamomile and and peppermint tea in our bottles as babies. I remember mum making fresh herbal infuions for my brothers, Storm and myself.
Storm has recently moved on to a new and exciting chapter in her life in France. Do you think that when the timing is right, Tea Sisters might become available in France and further afield (namely Sweden!!!)?
We had huge changes in our family this year. Mum and I miss Storm so much and we cried for the first month that she moved to France. Our focus for new markets will be Australia and USA. We would love to have our brand in Sweden and France once we secure our organic supply chain ingredients.
Lately I’ve been enjoying the benefits of teas from your detox collection. When did you first discover the holistic side to tea?
We’ve always been aware of holistic health and the importance of organic food. This year I have suffered with bad anxiety and try to drink more herbal infusions. I especially love our Evening Detox, Chamomile, Sienna Spice and Red Velvet. Our Red tea’s (Sienna spice and red velvet ) and Evening Detox help to stop the production of cortisol which is our stress hormone.
Do you mind settling a little dispute that I’m having with my British friend. Milk or tea first?
Traditionally, milk was poured into the cup before the tea to protect the delicate china. We suggest tea then milk.
What do you think most people would be surprised to know about Tea?
For centuries, tea was used only as medicine. It took almost 3000 years for it to become an everyday drink.
Of course I had to ask… what’s your all time favourite tea?
Sienna Spice with homemade almond milk and manuka honey.
What exciting things should we expect from Storm & India in the next year?
We have a few new products in development, handmade muslin teabags, organic matcha and tumeric tea.
Thank you India, I will certainly miss your beautiful teas in Sweden!
If you’re stuck with what to drink, Storm & India make it so easy for you with their Tea Selector. Pop over to their site to learn more about the wonderful world of tea.
In case you missed it, as I make my way to my new life in Sweden, the month of September is my homage to this beautiful country that I called home for over five years. It’s a dedication to its people and talent. Look out for my next New Zealand month feature this coming Thursday.
All images courtesy of Storm & India Tea Sisters