But First, There Was Tea

By Co-founder, Rebecca Domorev

Tielka co-founder Rebecca Domorev at Wesoła Kawka in Kielce, PolandI fell in love with tea in the northern winter of 2002 when visiting a friend’s café in Kielce, Poland. Everything about her café was stunning, so carefully and lovingly put together – she was an artist with impeccable style and she captured the vintage feel with finesse and ease. Amongst all the gorgeous trinkets, old pictures and good coffee was an extensive tea list of well thought out descriptions of flavours and origins. It was love at first sight – and taste – and I’m sure I got through a good portion of her tea while I was there.

In 2008 I was inspired to create my own tea company. As I asked around, the response echoed everywhere. Frustrated tea lovers had been forgotten behind a barrage of espresso shots and latte art and they were craving something special. They wanted a tea that stood out from the rest. The joy of fresh, beautiful organic tea, ethically sourced, lovingly handcrafted, blended and brewed to perfection was not yet reality.

On hearing the hearts of these countless tea lovers, my mission became set in stone. I wanted to capture this undiscovered beauty in a teacup and deliver joy. I wanted tea-lovers to know their worth and this was no small task! After months of searching, I finally discovered two Fairtrade organic tea gardens in the high-mountain tea growing regions of China. These communities had tea crafting skills that went back thousands of years and the tea was divine: fresh, hand-harvested, crafted, beautiful with complexities and depth of flavour that were nothing less than intriguing. Every other tea faded into insignificance alongside them.

There was no turning back—teas were selected and recipes created and perfected. In 2009, Tielka released Australia’s first certified Fairtrade organic loose leaf tea collection.

Over the years Tielka has grown far beyond the original Fairtrade organic loose leaf tea collection, but the heart of Tielka has remained unchanged.

In 2017, Tielka released the loose leaf tea collection packaged plant-based pyramid tea bags. In 2018, Tielka won eight awards at Australia's Golden Leaf Awards and in 2019 Tielka won an additional nine awards, establishing Tielka as Australia's most awarded organic tea brand. In 2021, Tielka won another 12 awards in the same competition and was named Best Boutique Organic Tea Company by APAC Insider in the Australian Enterprise Awards. In 2022, after considerable consultation with Tielka's most dedicated customers and recognising that ethical business practice goes far beyond ingredient sourcing, Tielka made the decision to retire certification with Fairtrade, while committing to continue trade with the same Fairtrade producers that helped birth Tielka in 2009.

Tielka is now Australia's most awarded organic tea brand.

After many years of growing and sharing Tielka, I have discovered there is incredible power in a beautiful cup of tea. It creates a captivating space to invest in yourself. You have the strength to love, to give, to find joy, even through the most difficult seasons of life.

At Tielka, we design beautiful organic tea for you to Indulge in Life.

Rebecca Domorev