Come in, I’ll pop the kettle on. It’s funny how the humble teapot can represent comfort, happiness and joy; the company of friends, sharing stories of grief, anger and sadness. But drinking tea is also a symbol of solitude, silence, reflection and a sensory experience. In fact, drinking tea has become an art form. And Tasmanian business The Art of Tea has taken it to a whole new level.
The Art of Tea: Samantha Brown
by Jen Holdsworth
Back in 2000, The Art of Tea was established as a family-run, home based business with 12 tea blends. They started building a reputation at Salamanca Market, creating stunning blends, packaged to represent Tasmania: natural, raw, earthy and of course stylish. Since then, the business has grown in strength and become a firm favourite with tourists and local Tasmanians who visit Salamanca to purchase their tea.
Samantha Brown was originally one of those locals who loved a good cuppa, and The Art of Tea brand was her favourite. As luck would have it Samantha was on maternity leave from her job as an environmental scientist, when she noticed the business was for sale. It was one of those “ahhhhh” moments! Samantha knew immediately that this was going to become her passion.
Now, some 12 years since the business was first started, The Art of Tea has over 100 blends, all still packaged with stunning simplicity and very representative of the beauty of Tasmania. Moving from a home-base to a shop front at Mertonvale Circuit in Kingston and employing two staff members has allowed substantial growth in the business. Samantha and the passionate team at The Art of Tea, have spent hours creating and mixing blends, as well as creating some wonderful titles for their tea.
Just to name a few…
- Friendship Tea
- Heavenly Rose
- Chocolate Intensi-Tea
- Salamanca Blend
- Hanky Panky
Tasmanian Blends Showcase the State
The Art of Tea naturally has a number of Tasmanian blends that represent the state and some iconic places, animals and ingredients. In fact, The Art Of Tea has just launched a truly indulgent tea blend for MONA, the Nudi Tea. Such a wonderfully appropriate name! It’s a black flavoured tea with dark chocolate nuggets, cocoa beans and dark chocolate shavings. The magnificent chocolate is supplied from another wonderful Tasmanian business: Anvers chocolate in Latrobe. This version is a truly sensational experience to be enjoyed.
The Tasmanian Lavender Tea is blended with lavender from Bridestowe Lavender Estate at Nabowla, and the Tasmanian Green Tea is made from blends grown at Allens Rivulet, the only commercial green tea plantation in Tasmania. Another popular blend is the Tassie Devil Tea, with 50c (per 50g box) going to Save The Tasmanian Devil Project. The Salamanca Blend is perfect for the original retail outlet at Salamanca Market.
The Art of Tea is distributed all over Tasmania. Many gift shops, providores, cafes, health spas and gyms stock the brand. They are building on their network of regular clients every day and new buyers are hearing about The Art of Tea through their website. Of course, as always, the best form of advertising will remain word-of-mouth. “I love hearing stories of people getting joy from our tea. It’s such a pleasure and joy to be able to provide a positive tea-drinking experience” says Samantha.
Samantha Brown: Loving Her Work
With such passion for her work, Samantha Brown finds getting up each morning and heading to the shop “a total joy”. To be able to look out the window and see Mount Wellington, to take in fresh air, to have wilderness on her doorstep as well as a choice of cafes is magic. The ability to end up on a deserted beach for quiet time at the end of a busy day is a bonus. And of course being able to provide over 100 blends of tea that support many other Tasmanian businesses and put smiles of people’s faces… “that’s what I love about living in Tasmania”.
The Art of Tea also has another wonderful service. They can customise labels on their tea, which makes a great idea for corporate gifts, weddings, birthdays and of course other business owners. The team at The Art of Tea offer beautiful packaging and can help to create a custom label for you. They also provide wholesale pricing and packaging, with their teas coming in a variety of sizes.
Remaining true to their origins, The Art of Tea still has a stall at Salamanca, with Samantha there each Saturday to talk all things tea to her customers. And she does that with such enthusiasm and knowledge! The stall can be found in two places over the year…
- Oct to April ~ site 224 (outside Maldini Restaurant)
- May to September ~ site 248 (opposite Salamanca Arts Centre)
The shop front at 6/3 Mertonvale Circuit, Kingston is open Monday to Thursday 9:00am -5:00pm and Friday 10:00am-4:00pm, and you are guaranteed to be greeted with a smile and quality service, to help provide the right tea experience for you.
As a lover of The Art of Tea, I often find myself savouring one of their teas, with a flavour for every occasion. With each sip comes the knowledge that the tea has been blended, created, packaged and named with heartfelt love and respect for both the tea and the customer.
Samantha Brown continues to listen to customers as the business evolves, all the while showing support for many other Tasmanians, and helping to share the local brand. She is a very positive lady who sees such a bright future for The Art of Tea. After all, it’s written in the leaves!