Tea taking the world by storm

East Forged co-founder Tania Stacey is pictured with a selection of her unique cold brew teas.

Tea for two has taken on a whole new meaning for Australian beverage business East Forged, whose nitrogen-infused cold-brew teas are gaining international attention – and winning accolades at the same time.
The product of two tea-loving ladies, Campbells Creek’s Tania Stacey and Brisbane native Kym Cooper, East Forged flips the traditional notion of iced tea on its head.
Tania told the Express that they wanted to create a cold tea that everyone could enjoy without the sugar and calories found in traditional iced teas.
“You can make a beautiful iced tea by just infusing pure leaf tea with cold water and adding fruit, but we wanted to elevate the experience and bring something a bit special to the non-alcoholic market that the discerning tea drinker could enjoy while out and about or at special occasions and it’s been really well received,” she said.
Looking deceptively like a beer when hard-poured, East Forged cold brews are quickly becoming a fast favourite in the booming non-alcoholic adult beverage category, one that has benefited globally from lockdown measures.
Tania said movements such as Dry January and Feb Fast had attracted even more attention to the alcohol-free market, and East Forged’s low sugar content (less than 0.3g of sugar per can) combined with all the goodness of pure leaf tea, meant that it had wide appeal in the health and lifestyle categories.
“It’s a great alternative and something everyone can enjoy – even expectant mums. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a high tea instead of the traditional glass of champagne,” she said.
The founders of the brand both have extensive backgrounds in the tea industry, with Tania having previously won the World Tea Brewing Championship (Australia), and together they decided they wanted to bring a new category to tea – and it’s paying off.
The tea is sourced direct from growers that the pair have met and formed working relationships with.
“Our black tea is grown in Brisbane, our white tea is from China and our green tea from Japan,” Tania said.
The tea is shipped to be ‘forged’ onsite at an independent craft brewery in Sydney.
Tania said finding a craft brewer that would take on the product was a challenge.
“We spoke to breweries in Brisbane and Melbourne and they weren’t interested but fortunately we got onto an amazing craft brewer in Sydney who believed in us,” she said.
Covering the three biggest tea pillars – green, black and white – and launching in the unique and interesting flavour combinations of Pitaya (South America), Calamansi (Phillipines), and Yuzu (Japan), East Forged brews recently won the duo gold and silver medals at The Global Spirit Masters in the United Kingdom in the Lo/No Alcohol category, taking their total award wins to a staggering five medals in the past 12 months.
East Forged’s success is even more incredible given the founders have been forced to work in separate states for much of the last year due to the impacts of the pandemic.
The pair are a COVID success story as well as a ‘tea-riffic’ example of innovation in an age-old category.
Each of the East Forged cans features a quirky character – Mico the Monkey, Saka the Cat and Notsu the Pig – a nod to the ‘tea pets’ of the tea world traditionally found on tea pots or tea trays and an added sense of fun to the brand.
“Each character has a back-story and is linked to our motto ‘Stay Wondrous, Live Connected, Forge an Independent Life’,” Tania said.
To find out more about the unique product check out their Facebook or Instagram pages. Buyers can also utilise the QR code on the box to learn the the art of pouring the beverage like an expert – ‘Shake, pssssch, pour…’.
East Forged is available locally at Maxi IGA Castlemaine or you can snap some up online at www.eastforged.com