Wholesome, hand blended and Australian-grown loose leaf organic teas will be available across south-west Victoria following an exclusive partnership announced this week.

Piccolo Coffee Roasters in Warrnambool has become the distributor for Hamilton’s Tea Cake Co. The partnership will see the locally blended teas available in cafés near and far.

Piccolo Coffee Roasters owner Jon Darcy said Tea Cake Co. was at the forefront of the growing tea trend at the moment and the partnership was a match made in heaven.

He said Tea Cake Co. founder and chief tea blender Natalie Chiko had developed a unique, local artisan brand that had lots of parallels with his coffee roasting business.

“There’s a lot of similarities in the way we talk about our products and the importance of buying ethically and developing strong local brands based on quality,” he said.

“In the past 10 years, coffee culture has exploded and we’re excited to be working with Tea Cake Co. at a time when the same thing is happening in the world of tea.

“As a wholesaler of our locally roasted coffee blends, we are looking forward to taking Natalie’s teas to our partner cafes and helping more people enjoy real, local tea.”

Natalie said the partnership was born at a recent Fresh Market in Warrnambool where she met Jon and struck up a conversation about their passion for tea and coffee.

“Straight away, due to his experience in coffee, Jon was great at picking the tasting notes and not long after he called me about making a barista-ready honey chai mix for his Warrnambool café,” she said.

“Once we started supplying some there was immediate demand, which was good. So, we began talking about not only supplying loose leaf tea as another part of their retail business, but also supplying their wholesale customers as well.

“Their communication with their cafes and the knowledge of what a café needs is fantastic, so this partnership is great for me and will help our teas reach more people.”

Natalie said the tea culture was already quite strong in metropolitan areas and the trend was slowly filtering through to regional communities.

“It’s a really exciting time for us. We source green tea directly from Australian farmers, rather than overseas where most tea comes from,” she said.

“Our selling point is the quality of our tea and that it’s organically, or biologically, grown.

“All these things contribute to our teas having greater health benefits than many others and when you’re talking about tea the main thing is its antioxidant value.”

Natalie said the blends that Piccolo Coffee Roasters would supply included Sencha Green Tea, Spearmint, Chamomile, Peppermint, English Breakfast, Earl Grey and the Honey Chai.

More information about Tea Cake Co can be found at www.teacakeco.com.au