16 January 2024

R TEA offers 'art to consume' at Wagga's only bespoke tea shop

| Chris Roe
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Corinna Sheather

Corinna Sheather is brewing up beverages and selling her teas directly to the public through her new tea shop. Photo: Chris Roe.

After launching her online tea business from home in 2022, Corinna Sheather now has her very own tea shop on Wagga’s Edward Street, opposite the hospital.

A sign in the window promises ‘Art to Consume’, and inside is an impressive range of teas, teapots, delicate custom-made cups and an extensive menu of freshly brewed beverages to enjoy.

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R TEA is a unique fusion of tea and art, supplying dozens of blends in spectacular packaging that features the work of Corinna’s mother-in-law, Willy Sheather.

“I have done the online shop for a year now, and it’s going well, so I think by opening the actual shop here, we will be able to attract more people and let them know about us,” Corrina explained.

“Mum’s gallery used to be in this street, just a couple of blocks away, and since I have opened a few people have told me about that so it’s a nice bit of history.”

R TEA blends unique teas with Willy Sheather's art.

R TEA blends unique teas with Willy Sheather’s art. Photo: Chris Roe.

Willy (or Will) Sheather’s whimsical style is well known in the Riverina and her work continues to be sold around the world. As well as adorning the R TEA products, an original painting hangs in the shop.

“I love that one,” said Corrina, examining the tall, brightly coloured oil painting of a man and a woman in bathers drinking from a single cup with two straws.

“That is on the peachy tea, which is really refreshing and delicious.

“The paintings complement what you’re tasting so it’s a whole experience.”

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The tea shop menu offers a range of drinks from black and green teas and warm chai to iced concoctions filled with fruit and colour.

“The Love Potion is very popular and the Purple Hayze because people want something nice and cool in summer,” Corrina said.

“I find that people will order something and then while I’m making it, they will look around the shop and they can smell all the different teas, so when it’s ready they have already found a few things.”

The new shop offers a chance to smell more than 30 blends for yourself.

The new shop offers a chance to smell more than 30 blends for yourself. Photo: Chris Roe.

After starting with a handful of unique blends, R TEA now offers more than 30 flavours and supplies individual ingredients to tea lovers who want to experiment for themselves.

“I blend all the teas myself and I source all the ingredients from a really good supplier,” explained Corrina.

“Things like the hibiscus, which I blend in the Berrylicious tea, is very popular and the best you can get is from Egypt, so some people buy that here to make their own.”

Looking ahead, Corrina hopes to build her community of loyal tea drinkers and would like to expand to offer food.

“We might look to open for breakfast and lunch sometimes and while I won’t give it away, we would have a menu that matches with the tea.

“But for now, we keep selling online and just getting to know the customers here in the shop.”

If you’d like to try R TEA for yourself, you can call into the new shop at 231b Edward Street or visit the website.

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