The story behind our iconic tea walls

Walk into any Tea Centre store and it will be the first thing you see—an arresting display of gold that, upon closer inspection, reveals itself to be rows upon rows of tea encased in neat tins lined up from wall-to-wall. 

Where did The Tea Centre’s iconic tea walls come from? Why the display? What does it all mean?

Today, we’ve decided to break the fourth wall and let you in on the story behind our humble tea walls!

It all began in the little tea shops of Stockholm…

Did you know that one of our original founders was Swedish? Before he moved to Australia and co-established The Tea Centre, one of our first business owners spent his childhood roaming the cobblestone pavements of Stockholm.

Unlike Australia, Scandinavia and surrounding countries have quaint tea shops dotting every street in town. Visitors to places like Sweden and Denmark may have already noticed and love how cluttered the traditional tea shops can be! It’s not unusual for European tearooms to pile teapots high and fill every square inch with colourful tins of tea. No space is left untouched.


Image courtesy of Call It A Portrait.

Going from a million tea shops to none.

Having grown up surrounded by a plethora of gorgeous tea shops, imagine our original owner’s surprise when he moved to Australia and the only thing on everyone’s mind was coffee!

Specialised tea retailers were virtually non-existent in Australia at the time. Come 1993, this inspired our first founders to finally bring the magic of the quintessential European tearoom into the southern hemisphere… although perhaps a little less cluttered! 


The first iteration of our iconic tea wall in 1993!

The result is The Tea Centre tea walls you know and love today. Striking the perfect balance between functionality and fun, The Tea Centre’s gorgeous tea walls originally paid homage to the classical European tearoom. 

However, our fancy walls of gold tea tins have taken on a life of their own and now symbolise all the things our company is known for; premium teas, quality service, and superior advice from tea-loving experts!

To find out more, you can read all about us here.

Why tins?


The Tea Centre tea wall circa 2018.

Many tea shops stock their loose leaf in everything from glass canisters to wooden crates. However, we chose to go with tea tins for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is because we love the uniformity of the tins where they are all lined up together. 

Unlike glass, tins can also protect loose leaves from exposure to heat and sunlight, which further extends the shelf life of the tea inside. Furthermore, it’s probably not the best practice to store tea in crates—some teas (especially aromatic blends) may take on the flavour compounds that are in organic materials like wood! You can read all about how to properly store tea using tins in our other blog here.

Until next tea time!

Ready to make your own miniature tea wall at home? Let us get you started with our bestselling gift tins.

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