Kym Cooper‘s love for tea began in her childhood, where she vividly remembers making tea for her parents. Her family’s tea ritual evokes warm and happy memories for Kym and she wishes to share these same feelings with the community.

Kym launched The Steepery Tea Co. in Brisbane in 2015 and runs classes, tastings and her online store, filled with all things dedicated to tea. She has curated a selection of pure leaf teas from the best producers around the world. The Brisbane tea purveyor entered a selection of her single origin leaf teas into the Royal Hobart Fine Foods Awards and it was her Jin Jun Mei Honey tea that won the judges over, beating entries from across Australia. Judges were spoilt for choice as they sipped on the nation’s best teas, which were included as a separate category of the renowned awards for the first time. Kym said she was thrilled to win the Champion tea title with her Jin Jun Mei Honey tea, a bud only black tea, cultivated for its honey like aroma and rich full-body.

“It’s a very humbling experience, considering the caliber of competition from across Australia and I was thrilled to see other Queenslanders receiving medals for their tea,” Kym said. “Tea hasn’t had its own category in Australian food and beverage competitions before, so it’s wonderful tea is now shining on its own. Tea is often unrecognised as a complex beverage, but it’s an agricultural product affected by terroir and the skill of the tea makers to create a fine tea.”

Kym’s passion for tea is inspiring, and her store boasts a vast range of premium teas from across Asia and Australia. All of Kym’s products are sourced thoughtfully as she ensures the tea gardens have positive environmental and ecological methods and that workers are treated fairly.

Readers also enjoyed our story Beverage Creator.