Two weeks ago, I was visiting Perth – My favourite city! I love Perth for its relaxed people, hot sun and great food! I was browsing around Brighton Road Food Market in Scarborough when I saw XO Tea for the first time. The gorgeous prints on the boxes grabbed my eye, and I was so intrigued to see what this beautiful tea was all about, as I had never seen it on the market before.
XO Tea was started by Perthian Arjun Kumar and Peter Tuckey, whose love for tea led them to develop this line. Kumar grew up amongst his family’s tea estates in the hills of Malaysia, developing a passion and love for high grade tea. When I asked him what the concept behind XO Tea was, this was his response;
“For me each tea is so vastly different from the next they are almost like two different personalities. I felt since the flavour, aroma and colour of the dry leaf and the liquor is so unique for a tea, that tea should be appreciated similar to wine. Looking around the Australian tea market we noticed that tea was being portrayed either very high end, overly feminine, too clinical or too traditional, none of which we felt fairly represented individuality of tea. This was the basis of XO Tea. To source high grade leaf, creative unique blends, to personify each product and represent them in a way where their individuality is featured through colour, design and story.”
XO Tea certainly has gorgeous packaging, and its marketing game is thus very strong, however this tea is not just average tea in striking boxes. Each blend of tea has been re-mixed up to twelve times to make sure the flavour is right. All of the teas contain natural Australian made extract, except the Guanabana tea, which sets XO Tea apart as most companies use synthetic flavour. So much care and love has gone into developing each of these teas, giving each blend its own identity and individuality. XO Tea doesn’t bring the name of the company glory, however gives glory to each of their blends of tea, and the amazing story behind them.
I was lucky enough to be sent three of these amazing blends; Bossa Nova, Autumn Strudel and California Current. They all have an amazing story behind them, which helps me to appreciate each tea.
Here is what XO Tea had to say about each of these teas:
Bossa Nova – The sencha green tea base is from China. Something radical and fresh to help people live in the present. The world is becoming fast paced and we are always focusing on the future rather than the present. This infusion is spicy and fruity with a green tea kick making its flavour and aroma stand out. We hope that when people drink it, for that few minutes, they will relax and just live in the moment and stop worrying about the future.
Autumn Strudel – The black tea base is from Sri Lanka. Its Inspiration came from spending a weekend during autumn in NYC. The fantastic colours of autumn coupled with the cool weather gave way to a weekend of hot tea, apple pie and the occasional glass of red wine.
California Current – Sourced from USA. The California Current is a cold water tidal current that runs down the west coast of the USA from Alaska. Peppermint tea is cooling and refreshing hot or iced and reminds us of plunging into the icy cold ocean which is the concept behind this tea.
After trying each of these teas, I definitely see that each mix is full of strong, but delicate flavours. My personal favourite is the California Current. I have always been a huge fan of the T2 peppermint tea, but there is something different about California Current. It has a crisp freshness to it, which the T2 version doesn’t have.
For people that enjoy sweet tea, the Autumn Strudel is delicious, much like a dessert tea! However, for me it was a little too sweet.
The Bossa Nova is definitely Boss! Opening the pack I was overwhelmed at how gorgeous the scent flowing out of the foil was. The Goji berries add the most incredible sweet element, however coupled with the lemon grass and ginger, it was the perfect combination to balance the sweetness out. I LOVE this tea!
XO TEA can be found in sixteen retail locations across Perth, however can be purchased online, Australia-wide.
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