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August 18 Coffees & Teas

Looking Beyond the Cup: The World of T2

By: birdie

Voiced by Amazon Polly

There’s something about bringing the old and the new together.

Our world as it is today exists because of history. Within this history are cultures and traditions that are responsible for many culinary flavors and experiences, which have traveled thousands of years to meet with the present day.

Tea is one of these traditions. Tea is more than just a beverage to have with your breakfast. It’s a powerful, ancient commodity that’s been intrinsically involved in many different ethnic cuisines.

T2 is all about this. Their mission as an independent tea company is to look beyond the cup and into the lives of the people behind the tea. Let’s begin at the beginning.

The year is 1996, and the place is Melbourne. T2’s first store has just opened in Fitzroy, and tongues are wagging. T2’s goal is to bridge the gap between anyone and everyone who walks through the door – drinking tea together is a chance to connect and learn about each other in a refreshingly unique way.

Those first few who took a chance on T2 by stepping over the welcome mat inspired this tea company to grow and develop. By 1999 T2 had opened their second store in Melbourne and were delighting their customers with interactive in-house experiences, all centered around tea.

T2 hits their stride when it comes to tea in 2003, continuing to change the way Australians thought about tea. 2013 saw T2 look back into the past at how tea was utilized through ancient customs and traditions.

They worked hard to preserve these traditions, while at the same time recreating them. It was all about marrying the old with the new – trailblazing into the future of tea with the solid foundation of the past.

T2 never wants to stop experimenting with tea. While they currently have over 200 unique blends, they’ll continue to tap into the monumental world that tea has to offer.

It may be tempting to see a tea company like T2 and all the success they’ve had over the past twenty years and question how they run their business. Like all mid-sized businesses that are independent, the issue of sourcing can be more of an obstacle than a job position.

T2 sources their teas from all over the world. Equipped with the passion they have for tea as their arsenal, they reach out globally to find the best sources for their different tea flavors.

So, is this ethical? Often, smaller businesses can be dwarfed by larger ones in the endless pursuit of profit. Every independent company which is outside of this industry monopoly struggles to find their place on the map when it comes to sourcing.

T2 have managed to keep it ethical, despite the limitations. They value the relationships they develop when they source their tea globally. This manifests in the form of a contract to officiate the relationship. This contract includes an ethical conduct clause.

Ethics are a big focus with T2. As well as establishing a contractual agreement with a source, the product team will visit this new supplier to ensure that the product is high quality and produced ethically.

T2 is a tea company that wants to focus on the relationship as much as the product. This is why they put their efforts into building long-term relationships with a small, select number of suppliers, rather than accumulating as many suppliers as they can.

No successful business remains stagnant for too long. As T2 grows and becomes a reputable source for high-quality tea in Australia, so do their code of ethics and how they conduct their integrity.

The extensive T2 range includes teas in many different categories. If you love an invigorating green tea, there is a seemingly endless array of green tea flavors.

Let’s look at some of these flavors:

Green Rose Loose Leaf tea combines a bit of romance with an injection of the tropics. This is a vibrant green tea that’s blended with tropical fruits and rose petals. The result is a bold flavor that never gets old in the morning. If you associate tropical with refreshing, you’re not wrong – you can even cool this tea down and have it iced in the afternoon.

You may be a big fan of English tradition and never go without your Earl Grey to begin the day. T2 has taken Early Grey and given it a fruity French twist. French Earl Grey Loose Leaf blends conventional black tea with fruits and flower petals. You’ll taste bergamot with this refined infusion.

Another category T2 have ticked off the list is wellness. There are some beautiful blends out there that give a thought to your overall health, too. T2’s Tummy Tea Loose Leaf blend is a combination of marigold petals, fennel, licorice root and peppermint. T2 suggests that you enjoy a cup of Tummy Tea after dinner to settle any indigestion.

Often, when a company does well, the product becomes the focus. Any relationships that were there at the beginning or developed along the way could be jeopardized by the relentless pursuit of profit and success.

T2 built themselves up through the relationships they made – and they aren’t about to let anyone forget it. They appreciate the doors that their tea has opened – and they only want people to be on the other side.

Whether it’s those who were first to step into a T2 store, or the people on the other side of that contractual handshake, or the customer’s themselves – T2 simply wants to share the world of tea with the world of people, and bridge a gap in the process.

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