I’m super excited to have Mikhaila from Tea Garden Co here on my blog tonight to talk a bit about books, Christmas, and – natch – tea.
I’ve been a Tea Garden Co. fangirl for quite some time now (as my tea collection will attest!). For people who might not have come across your beautiful teas before, could you please tell us a bit about Tea Garden Co, and what inspired you to start it?
Well Tea Garden Co was my out from a job that wouldn’t give me a promotion, ha! – Sounds crazy but I wanted to do more and there just wasn’t any room for growth. So I said well, I’m going to start my own tea company and I did. That was almost 5 years ago now. What I wanted and still want today is to create a brand and product I am proud of. We’ve actually just come out of a huge rebrand that has taken more than 2 years to reach. Feeling proud and excited to be sharing our new story of slow moving, conscious buying tea drinking. We hand make everything in our new little studio at Dirty Janes in Canberra. Come and see us there or at our new online home.
Do you like to read Christmassy books and/or do you have a favourite Christmas story?
I do but it’s the worst answer because I can’t remember what it’s called. I used to read it as a child and loved it. It was a family of mice sending Christmas cards to each other during the holiday season. It had all of these little letters inside the book you would pull out and read. I’m trying so hard to remember the name, I’ve even googled ‘christmas book kids mouse with cards’ – I got nothing… except cute memories.
Is there a particular book that you’d like to find under the Christmas tree this year?
YES! I want to see Jane Harper’s new book The Survivors. I love her other novels and can’t wait to have some down time to read this one.
Do you have a favourite book you like to recommend or give as a gift?
This year my friend read me her favourite book which was The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse I loved it so much I started buying it for everyone and stocking it in our retail space.
Can you share a favourite Christmas recipe?
Cracker candy! – I found it a few years ago and I’ve been making it ever since. Just Google it and you’ll find a bunch of recipes to try.
I’m a big believer in a few quiet minutes with a cup of tea and a book for a bit of self-care, especially when things get hectic like they can do in December. What’s your favourite book and tea combo for when you need a bit of downtime?
I love this question. It’s Good Morning London (our call to English Breakfast) with milk and some Brene Brown for deep thinking.
I know you have a gorgeous range of festive teas (with the best, punny names!). Can you tell us a bit about your Christmas range, and do you have any new/favourite teas this year? (My favourite is Vermont Chai, which isn’t strictly a Christmas tea but just tastes like all the best Christmas baking to me!)
I think you can absolutely count the chai, it’s got all those festive vibes. We have 3 different Christmas blends, Gingerbread Man, Sleigh My Name and If Rudolph Was A Tea. I’m always excited by iced tea, which is why I love our Rudolph blend. It’s such a great base for cocktails as well, which is always so fun at this time of the year. We’re about to start a blog section on our website and I’m looking forward to getting some delicious summer iced tea and cocktail recipes up on there.
I think more than ever people are looking to shop small and/or local, which I love. As a co-founder of POP Canberra you’re kind of a queen of shopping local in Canberra! Do you have a favourite Canberra/local business you’re shopping with this year that you want to give a shout out to?
OMG, YES, LOCAL. Thank you for unofficially dubbing me the local queen. That’s so great. It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one, or even a few. The longer POP Canberra goes on, the more local makers, artists and designers we discover. It continually blows my mind how many amazing people are making amazing things in our City. All I have to say is take the time to discover it and invest in the person next to you. Everytime you buy from a small business I promise you there is a real human on the other end cheering.
I’ve loved following along on Instagram and seeing the new space you’ve been setting up at Dirty Janes here in Canberra. Can you tell us a bit about it, and where else we can find you?
Our studio at Dirty Janes has been a bit of a rollercoaster… We moved into the space in the New Year ready for a relaunch in March. When Covid hit, it basically put everything on hold overnight including all of our plans and income. We’ve slowly been making a comeback, redesigning the space and our brand. We’ve only just arrived in our new chapter ( did you like that one *wink) in the last few weeks. Our space today is a retail and production studio. It’s where we are building dreams as a company and filling orders daily. We’ll be there and online right up unto Christmas. You can also find our whole range at POP Canberra of course. There is a full list of stockists online too. For all of those supporting us and sharing our brand, thank you so very much. It’s hard to put into words just how much it really does mean to us as a business and to me as a person.
I’d like to send the biggest thanks to Mikhaila for taking the time to chat with me! I can definitely recommend Tea Garden Co teas – I also think everyone should pop over to their website to check out the new packaging as it is SO BEAUTIFUL! If you’re stuck on what to gift someone, or are looking for something gorgeous to add to a hamper, I think some tea would be perfect! You can keep up with all the latest on @tea.garden.co on Instagram.