I'm often asked "Tea… how did you get into that?” Growing up in a tea loving family, tea has always been more than just a thirst quencher but an important ritual. Today I'm getting nostalgic, so pop the kettle on and curl up with your favourite tea as I share the vision that inspired me to start Webster’s.
Young and fresh out of uni, I had no desire to settle down, and instead, travelled through Asia, eventually landing in Canada, where, by chance, I came to work for a tea company in the Rocky Mountains. This was where I truly fell in love with tea and its possibilities.
When I returned home to New Zealand, it dawned on me that low quality tea, commonly found in tea bags, had become the standard for the majority of Kiwis. Considering we’re a tea loving nation consuming, per capita, around 325 tea bags a year somewhere along the way we had settled. I decided it was up to me to do something about it!
2016 was a year of humble beginnings. I set up a small operation in a shed on the outskirts of Tauranga - here's Dad below helping with the painting. After countless hours of tinkering around with different tea combinations, brewing, tasting, and blending on repeat, I came up with a handful of teas that in my opinion, tasted absolutely delicious. The shed wasn't exactly open to the public. In fact, I did everything to try and remain hidden! But despite my efforts, I still had customers seeking us out, popping in at all hours to cure their tea cravings. That's when I knew I had something good.
The early years selling tea through local cafés, and the Little Big Markets, helped me to tweak and shape Webster's into who we are today: a tea company that offers quality loose leaf tea that tastes even more stunning than it looks.
Fast forward to now, and our range has evolved into a colourful assortment of premium loose leaf teas. We still carry many of your favourite originals, including English Breakfast, Lime Ginger, Blood Orange, Earl Grey and Peppermint, plus a vibrant variety of adventurous and unique blends. We've mindfully grown the company at every step of the way based on our core values - sourcing the highest quality, organically grown tea leaves and herbal ingredients from New Zealand and overseas, with a focus on sustainability, and continuing education for our customers via our Journal, Facebook, and Instagram. We're also proud as punch to hand package, and ship all our tea in-house, with an emphasis on impeccable quality and care.
Since becoming a father to our son Harrison and baby Penny, my fiancé Ash and I are more convinced than ever that the act of making tea is an excellent reminder to slow down and enjoy life's pleasures. Each morning, I start the day, usually early, with a mug of English Breakfast brewed for 3 minutes precisely. It’s a beautiful thing, a feeling of solace before the day begins and the kids wake up like howling banshees. When she’s had enough beauty sleep, I'll wake Ash with a cup. Making each other tea is a nice gesture we continue to do for each other throughout the day. Drinking tea is a simple ritual, but it can be a meaningful one.
Our online store is the most popular way to treat yourself and loved ones to our tea. However, we also love meeting you face-to-face at our tea shop in Tauranga. You can also find Webster's offered in various fantastic cafes throughout New Zealand. You can check out our stockist list here.
Thank you for being part of our journey this far. We're so happy to be where we are today, but also feel like we're only just getting started!
Here’s to good tea,