It does of course make no sense nor is it sensible to state that my conversation on Saturday with Storm and India, the Tea Sisters stirred memories of Jane Austen. Yet I have a feeling that neither party would mind the comparison.
“A great idea should always be left to steep like loose tea leaves in a teapot for a while to make sure that the tea will be strong enough and that the idea truly is a great one.”
― Phoebe Stone, The Romeo And Juliet Code
Storm & India – Tea Sisters
I was at my local farmers market on Saturday morning, so intend upon greeting one of my favourite stallholders and chatting to another regular market goer that I failed to spot the Retro Rocket van. In my defense it was a cloudy morning therefore, the aluminum surface of the van was reflecting traffic cones and passerby’s feet as opposed to sunshine. Even so with the side opening propped up to display a stylish interior including a tasting bar with glass jars displaying their organic teas.
Watching me eyeing the back wall shelves displaying their retail selection of tea; packaged in either black or Tiffany blue, Storm quickly apologized. Explaining they were currently changing their packaging and had let the existing stock run out. Not too panic there would a new range out shortly.
I had arrived at the van as Mum, Dooley Crighton, was taking photos of the two girls in front of the van. Dooley’s first photos had caught the reflection of the traffic cones so they were repositioning themselves as I arrived. Unlike me, I seized the moment and asked if I could take a photo. Post photo shoot we introduced ourselves. Dooley apologized that they didn’t have a brew for me to try and instructed Storm to give me a sample to take home.
On the City Farmers Market facebook page I remembered seeing a picture of the van and a brief description of their wares. However, I was curious as to why the two girls choose tea as a career option. “Tea”, explained Storm, “has always been a big part of our lives.”
Tea Sisters – Bespoke Organic Tea
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone
Gladstone sums up my father’s belief in tea. I am an avid coffee lover however, my father’s great love of tea has rubbed off, leaving my a believer in the restorative power of tea.
Before handing me my sample packs of tea, Storm quizzed me on my taste in tea i.e. green tea versus black tea, did I seek warmth as in ginger or did I look for zest to wake me up.
Storm chose the Complexion Tea – an organic Green Tea Ming Mee with cinnamon, orange pee, ginger bits, cardamom, cloves, sunflower blossoms and black pepper. Therapeutically, the “subtle notes of ginger assist in removing toxins from your body and the mineral rich black pepper is a natural antibacterial.”
I have a section of my pantry shelf fill of a selection of loose-leaf teas, upmarket teabags and another shelf with a selection of teapots; but do not class myself as an expert on teas nor a novice tea drinker – but this was the best cuppa I have had in a long time, thank you Storm.
Jane Austen & that Tea Sisters comparison…
“A novel must show how the world truly is, how characters genuinely think, how events actually occur. A novel should somehow reveal the true source of our actions.”
― Jane Austen, Becoming Jane.
Jane’s books, which strangely given her two hundred year popularity consist of only six titles, are full of tea drinking. To celebrate tea and its social history Kim Wilson wrote Tea with Jane Austen, taking the reader on a daily journey through Austen’s world starting in the morning, moving onto shopping and afternoon rituals, ending with the evening entertainment. Wilson presents Jane Austen’s era through a montage of anecdotes, quotes and engravings.
It is from Austen’s books and the many movies based on her novels or herself, such as The Jane Austen Bookclub my sense of knowing comes from. In my mind Jane is a woman with a quiet resolve, a gentle manner, good looks yet possessing no outward vanity and a deep thoughtfulness towards her product – the novel.
In the short time I spent with Storm and India during, which the conversation changed from tea to the upcoming Australia vs England World Cup Rugby match and the challenge of wearing their national gold and green colours in New Zealand I got this same sense of character.
Through their classic branding, the quality of their tea evidenced by the sheer delight I received in drinking it, I feel as though the Tea Sisters reveal themselves to be quality purveyors of their product, bespoke organic tea.
Yes, if Jane Austen where alive today she would also be celebrating Storm & India Tea Sisters tea.