Image Credit: Carly Burgess

Josh and I started NUDITEA in November 2019 by registering a company name (which wasn’t, by the way, NUDITEA — that would come later). At the time, we knew that we wanted to open a cafe. Something small and intimate. The sort of place that we gravitated towards during our travels over the past few months.

I don’t remember exactly when we decided to switch our focus to only doing tea, but I remember that it felt right. We’re the sort of household that has eighteen different types of tea, and one, pre-ground bag of coffee. So focusing on tea felt authentic to who we are. So our focus shifted.

We both love tea, but tend to gravitate towards different kinds. I like teas that promise me certain benefits — like calmness, mental clarity, better sleep. Josh tends to go for the classics, and loves teas that taste like something else altogether, naturally satisfying your sugar cravings.

But we don’t know of many companies who do both well. So we decided to become that company.

Our goal was to make teas that taste great, and are also good for you. We ran that idea past some people in the industry whom we respect, and they gave us great feedback. The biggest feedback was: DO IT.

The second biggest was: NUDITEA is a great name.

Let’s go back a bit here. NUDITEA the name came about as a result of our second mission. To make tea that’s really good quality. Not just dust in a teabag. This is where the idea of Naked Leaf tea came from — how much better tea can be, outside the confines of a teabag.

Image Credit: Andrea Gilpin

You see, when tea leaves are given space to unfurl, they do great things — releasing energy, antioxidant properties, flavour, colour and smell. It’s something that a teabag just can’t beat. Especially a teabag filled with tea dust rather than tea leaf.

But that wasn’t the only kind of nakedness we wanted to embody as a business.

Josh and I both come from corporate backgrounds. We met a lot of great people there, had lots of interesting experiences, but came away with one big learning — we fundamentally disagreed with how most big business was done.

The idea of our hidden mission being “how little can we give people and how much can we squeeze out of them?” was completely antithetical to everything that we believe in.

Our goal was to change the way business is done, what business means, and the impact it has on the world around it, using the platform of our tiny company to begin with, but hopefully spreading the message wider as we go along.

So that’s NUDITEA — high-quality tea that tastes great and is also good for you. All coming out of a company with strong ethics and a focus on what we can give people, rather than what we take from them.

Fast forward to March 2020. Our business plan is ready. We’re speaking to loan providers to secure a deposit on a little shop front in Notting Hill. We’re nervous, but excited. For me, personally, something also didn’t feel quite right. But I kept that to myself.

And then the country went into lockdown.

No more shop front. And definitely no loan.

And then it clicked, the thing that had felt “off” all along. I wanted our little company to reach as many people as possible, regardless of whether they could come to us in Notting Hill. I wanted to do tea first, and cafe second.

And, luckily, Josh agreed.

So we spent the next couple of months doing everything. Figuring out how to design a website, sourcing ingredients and making tea recipes. I started deepening my knowledge of herbalism, nutrition and functional medicine. We got real deep about cardboard boxes, and had even deeper discussions about which ones to go for. We sourced everything that’s recyclable, ethical, good for the planet. We tried to support other small businesses as much as we could, buying stamps from them and second-hand office supplies.

Image Credit: Benji North

Everything took longer than expected. The post was slow and the world around us was in turmoil.

But, throughout all this, we truly believed in what we were doing, and were excited to finally share it.

And here we are, at last. Sharing it.

Our commitment is to you as customers, and in every decision that we’ve made, we’ve put ourselves in your shoes. Every single blend that we’ve created is something that Josh and I would buy, and buy again.

So that’s us, and this is our story so far.

We’re excited to start, and excited to meet all of you future Nudists. Follow us on Instagram, Contact Us, Email Us — we’d love to hear from you. And, of course, enjoy exploring Our Teas.

Until next time.