19 April 2023

Wagga's Corinna Sheather is brewing up the perfect blend of art and tea

| Chris Roe
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woman with art

Corinna Sheather launched RTEA as a fusion of art and tea. Photo: Chris Roe.

Corinna Sheather was inspired to launch her micro-enterprise RTEA by her mother-in-law’s paintings.

“My husband’s mother is the Wagga artist Willy Sheather, or Will Sheather, and we were looking at her older paintings and we were thinking wouldn’t it be nice if we put her art on a tea box,” she says, indicating shelves of brightly packaged teas in her Forest Hill home.

“Mum had a gallery in Wagga for years but she is retired now.

“She still does some paintings in a different style to the ones we used, but you can see the paintings go so well with all the flavours.”

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Will Sheather’s colourful oils and acrylics capture moments of whimsy in uniquely Australian settings and often involve tea and teapots.

“The paintings really take you on a journey by complementing what you’re tasting and kind of set the mood,” says Corinna.

“We love how artwork complements the spaces we live in.”


Will Sheather’s artworks have been carefully selected to reflect each blend of tea. Photo: Supplied.

RTEA launched in late 2022 with a website and a series of successful market stalls.

“We are very new and we just started with a market in Sydney and in Canberra, and then we did the Wagga River and Wren last month,” she says, explaining that people have quickly embraced the fusion of art and tea.

“Feedback has been really good. People love the packaging and I get a lot of messages on Instagram saying how they bought this one or that one and they really love it.”

RTEA promo

RTEA only opened in December but the tea is already in demand. Photo: Supplied.

With 16 different blends on offer, Corinna says they took their time to match the perfect painting with the perfect blend.

“Mum has hundreds and hundreds of paintings. I think it took us about five days to select the artwork that matched the teas,” she says with a laugh.

“I’m actually a creative person and I like to experiment with stuff like cooking and cakes and that sort of thing, so I really enjoy the tea-making, mixing the herbal teas.”

arty tea packs

Corinna blends and packages her own organic teas using her mother-in-law’s art. Photo: Chris Roe.

Corinna buys her organic teas from an Australian supplier and blends them at home before packaging them in boxes, tins and tiny sample jars and test tubes, all beautifully presented with original artwork.

“It’s hard to pick a favourite,” she says.

“The French Earl Grey, which I call Mrs Earl’s Garden, is a good one and also the jasmine green tea, which is very nice. I like the peppermint as well after dinner and the caramel chai is good.”

R Tea

RTEA offers 16 blends of premium organic tea. Photo: Supplied.

Looking ahead, Corinna is excited that RTEA is now available through the Wagga Shop in the Visitors’ Centre and they have been invited to the curated Pearce Crafters Autumn Leaves Market in the ACT.

“That was really interesting because we didn’t apply, they invited us to come, which was really nice,” she says.

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The family is also looking into the idea of a shopfront/teashop in the future and Corinna sums up the vision on her website as “Art To Consume”.

“Mum’s artworks really allow you to go on a journey, we hope it takes you to the same place it does us and fills you with the wonder of your own imagination.”

You can learn more about RTEA on their website.​

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