Today we would like to introduce you to Cathy Horan-Anderson. She is a staunch tea lover and the founder of Seven Seas Tea. She sources the tastiest teas from around the globe and blends them by hand in Cowaramup, with the roar of the Indian Ocean in her ear. She recently opened a new retail tea and spice shop in Cowaramup. Pop in and say hi if you're heading that way, and make sure you let her know that we sent you!
We take 5 with Cathy to learn a bit more about the new shop, and her thoughts about being a tea drinker in coffee-obsessed Aussie cafes.
When did the new shop launch and how has the local reaction been?
We opened up 1st August this year and are getting lots of local support. Cowaramup is a tiny little town in the heart of the Margaret River region well known for its cows. Visitors like to stop and take happy snaps of our cow statues but now there is another good reason to stop. Our tea & spice shop!
Did you always have plans for for your own retail outlet alongside the online store and wholesale distribution channels?
The retail shop was a concept that I had in the back of my mind when we started up three years ago but the idea needed time to brew (pun intended ;). Customers started asking where they could see more, and a place to taste the teas. It was time to give our tea company a “personality” and so when the the opportunity for a shop space came up, right in the middle of town, in an iconic Cowaramup building, it was time to jump in.
We love the story on your website about the old tea tin that your mother gave you in Africa. Can you tell our subscribers the story and whether the tin features in the decor at the new shop?
Well, my mum gave me an old tea tin showing a little girl and her grandmother enjoying a cup of tea. It is very old fashioned and quaint. My mum said that the little girl reminded her of me as I loved tea, even way back then. I still have this tea tin but funnily enough it has not made it to the shop, even though it probably should? I have it at home with my “specials” but I now feel inspired to dust it off and put it out on show. Thanks for the reminder :)
Our parents are both tea drinkers exclusively and they always feel a bit marginalised at cafes. Do you think tea is starting to get a better profile at Australian cafes, or is it still considered the "poor cousin" by baristas?
I think that it is now starting to get a bit more recognition in our caffeine-obsessed world and customers are expecting better quality and variety. I am hoping that the days of accepting a tea bag dunked in hot water are well behind us. People are becoming more adventurous and discovering different tea varieties and studies are now revealing the plethora of health benefits of drinking tea and herbal blends. Tea has such a long history in so many cultures and it is time for us to embrace and enjoy all that tea drinking has to offer.
We love your herbal blends and the fact that they are so versatile hot or cold. Anything new planned for summer?
Yes, now that we have the shop we can play around with some tasty new herbal blends and have introduced a few more speciality teas like Darjeeling and Oolong. Having conversations with tea lovers in the shop opens up a world of tea blending inspiration and insight into what people would like to add to their tea collections.
We have also brought out a range of organic spices which are available in store only and we are hoping to grow our exotic spice blend range.
You can find Cathy's teas in our gift boxes or visit her at the new digs in Cowaramup!
Love Kate and Sarah xx