The story of Terroir is one of passion, love, inspiration, determination, and the creativity that follows when you pursue your dream.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Terroir's founder Charity first experienced tea as a child watching her mom and nana drink countless pots of Red Rose. She was curious as to how they could drink so much tea. She learned how in adolescence and shared their love of tea, but she has come a long way since the days of knitted teapot cosies.
Charity's first favourite tea was chai. She ordered it whenever she could and recognised how difficult it was to balance the spices with black tea to create a perfect blend. During her travels, Charity discovered many remarkable teas and tea ceremonies - like Teh Tarik in Malaysia and Gong Fu Cha in China - and knew she wanted to learn more about tea and share her passion with others.
Charity moved to Australia in 2011 and studied to become a Certified Tea Master and Certified Tea Blender through the Australian Tea Masters Association. During the programs, she developed her palate that helped her identify unique flavours in teas, learned more about oolong (which became her new favourite tea) and the term terroir. It means "a sense of place" and she always says that tea is like a "journey in a cup". Charity instantly knew she wanted to build a tea business around this.
After traveling to the World Tea Expo in the USA to meet growers and to Taiwan to source teas and learn more about the terroirs and processing, Terroir Tea Merchant opened in Melbourne in 2014. After participating in the Melbourne Tea Fair and Ripponlea Christmas Festival, Charity and her partner recognised how much they wanted to have a space to interact and share teas with tea lovers. They pursued many markets and commercial places around Australia, but could not find the right space. Instead, they returned to their hometown Victoria, BC Canada in 2015 and opened a tea salon that changed the way people enjoyed their tea.
Terroir Tea Salon offered a curated menu of single estate teas that could be enjoyed in a flight of three, at a food pairing event, or in a workshop about how tea and alcohol can complement each other. The salon brewed teas in the only Steampunk 4.1 with tested recipes that included settings for agitations of steam to open up the leaves and extract as many flavours as possible.
In 2018, the Terroir partnership ended and the tea salon closed. After moving back to Australia and a three year hiatus, the motto “Do what you love and love what you do” is still true for Charity. She is now managing Terroir from Victoria, Australia – the place where it all began.
Terroir is committed to sourcing teas direct from growers, always learning about tea, and sharing unique sensory experiences with fellow tea lovers.