T2’s journey by Darren Williams (Country Director of T2),

The T2 story began 21 years ago in 1996. T2’s founder, Maryanne Shearer had a homewares business and she brewed up a cup of tea to think about why it wasn’t working. She took a seat with a cup of tea in hand and then it came to her. Everyone else is doing coffee; why don’t I do tea? She immediately went to work and before she knew it she was putting Chinese wallpaper on the walls and painting the ceiling pink in her first store in Fitzroy, Melbourne. She decided her new company would be called Tea Too, but it was easier just to write T2.

We wanted to change people’s perception of tea, do it differently and bring adventure and fun to the classic brew. We opened our first store in Fitzroy and the tea revolution had started. Tea fuelled our conversations with all kinds of people; it was a chance to learn about them, and in turn tell them something about us. We were intrigued by those who walked through our doors; backpackers, artists, hippies, students and musicians all inspired our outlook on both tea and life.

Towards the end of 1999, we launched our second store in Chadstone, Melbourne. It was an instant success, with curious souls keen to see what we’d brewed up. By Christmas that year both T2 stores sold out of stock, with customers still thirsty for more.

By the 2000’s our fascination with tea blending and experimentation grew and the tea revolution continued. We hit our stride with our tea knowledge and expertise, and our unending desire to discover, create and share our tea knowledge made us the go-to for tea in Australia. With the launch of T2 wholesale, more and more T2 teas began popping up on some of the best menus around Australia. We expanded our behind-the-scenes team and revelled in the chance to reinvent and rethink the humble tea leaf yet again. We looked to ancient ceremonies and approaches to tea drinking, and sought ways to recreate them. We couldn’t help opening a few more stores to the tea loving masses, though, with Canberra, QLD and WA welcoming T2 to their afternoon tea tables.

In 2014, we took our unique take on tea to the world, and sought quirky spots across the pond to fuel and inspire our sense of curiosity and creativity. Places like Shoreditch (Londond), Soho and Brooklyn (NYC) make our hearts pound, intriguing us with their vibrant mix of cultures. We now have over 95 stores globally; stores across the UK, with Oxford being our latest!

We’re about reinventing and reimaging the humble tea leaf, and sharing our teas with anyone who’ll listen. We’re inspired by the people we meet, and the far-flung places we visit. We get a kick out of taking ancient tea rituals and reimagining them, bringing them to a modern tea table. Every cup we brew is a chance to make tea more enjoyable, more accessible and more experimental; it’s our opportunity to connect, understand and share with the world our love for a better cup of tea, everyday. We love tea and we can’t wait to bring ‘tea done differently’ to the tea lovers of Oxford.