So we’ve been thinking that it is high time we gave you guys a formal introduction to the story behind Teahouse Emporium!
One of the best things about Teahouse is that it started out very simply – from a genuine love and interest in all things tea.
Tim’s business career began with very different roots – making stone products, in fact! Whilst busy making everything from flagstones to roof tiles a serious amount of tea was drunk, but that was as far as his knowledge went.
When Tim met his wife Lenka in the Czech Republic it was the birth of what we now know as Teahouse Emporium. While travelling there, he began to notice how big they were on using herbs for health and how to remedy certain ailments with naturally-occuring products. This struck a chord with Tim, who became fascinated with the wealth of knowledge surrounding tea blends and the different properties that they can have.
Tim and Lenka opened their first shop in Bath in 2006, travelling all over the world selecting the finest teas to sell in their shop. Think China, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand… it doesn’t get much better than that for any tea lover!
There is a real delight in sourcing beautiful teas that come with their own stories and culture, and while no-one could deny that travelling the globe in search of tea is pretty much as near to perfection as you can get, there is also a more serious reason as to why it is so important to them to visit each plantation in person.
It’s no secret that there have been human rights issues (such as unfair wages) in many tea plantations, and this is something that Tim and Lenka were very aware of when embarking upon their Teahouse Emporium adventure. By visiting plantations, they are able to meet with the managers and pickers, finding out about farming practices, employee welfare and quality control. This means that you can be rest assured that all of the tea that you can buy from Teahouse Emporium is ethically sourced and morally sound.
At its foundation, tea is about people. It relies on the people that first discovered tea in China over 4000 years ago. It relies on the tea pickers on plantations, and finally it relies on the people all over the world that enjoy this drink on their own and with friends and family. Without having an understanding of where tea comes from and the lives of those at the forefront of production, you’re missing out on the heart of what it’s all about. One of the best things about getting to meet tea pickers and their families is the realisation that no matter where you go, the underlying emotions attached to the drinking of tea are fundamentally the same. Different cultures may have different ceremonies, but the core truth is that it is about engaging with the people around you and sharing an experience.
The ritual of tea is a beautiful thing – it can be used to celebrate, to mourn, to comfort, to inspire. It features often in our daily lives, waking us up in the mornings right through to calming us into slumber. It is all these things and more that are the essence of Teahouse Emporium – we want to share this world with you and take you into something that goes beyond the standard builder’s cuppa (as heavenly as that can be at times!).
Over time, our blog will become a mini font of knowledge for all things pertaining to tea – and not forgetting coffee too! That way we can share with you what we’ve discovered on our travels and all our favourite facts about tea, so don’t forget to keep your eye on this space.
When it comes to tea, there is so much to learn and experience. Pop into the shop and chat to us! We’d love to give you some suggestions for your next brew – or simply wax lyrical about the joys of tea!