David Bellisario, the founder of Canadian loose-leaf tea company Teaopia, is to venture into ecommerce with a new online tea shop called Citizen Tea.
The emphasis will be on delivering a diverse range of premium loose-leaf teas from different regions of the world, and the site aims to offer a better shopping experience than other specialist tea retailers, whether online or in bricks and mortar tea shops. Returning customers will be able to register in order to speed up repeat orders, and there will be a range of online tutorials aimed at showing the budding tea connoisseur how to make the perfect cup of tea.
Teaopia, founded in 2005, was Canada’s first premium loose-leaf tea retailer. By the time Bellisario sold the company in 2012, it had grown to a national chain, with over 50 shops across Canada. After the sale, Bellisario realised that he was still as passionate about tea as he had always been. It was this passion that motivated him to found Citizen Tea.
Bellisario says that teas take on not only “the characteristics of the soil, water and fragrance of its surroundings but also, the people who work the land.” His range of flavoured teas promises to preserve the characteristics of the original tea that forms its base, with the additional fruits, herbs and spices enhancing the flavour rather than overpowering it.
As well as the teas themselves, Citizen Tea offers a range of accessories including infusers, teapots and mugs. One specialist category is whisks and bowls for making matcha, a Japanese green tea that is made by adding the tea to the water and then whisking it in a special matcha bowl. Clearly, Citizen Tea sees tea not just as something to dunk your biscuits in, but as a way of life.