Meet the Tea Master - Mark's Story
Tea has been part, actually a really big part of my life for about 35 years now. It’s difficult to say when the tea love affair first started but I remember when I was growing up in London, at around the age of 15 sipping tea in the garden during the long summer days. I become fascinated by the tea tins and brands and their origins.
At the age of 18 I went to agricultural college and it’s during that time where I landed my first tea job, working over summer for no less than Fortnum & Mason on their tea counter. When I graduated my first full time job was working for the equally high end store Harrods on their prestigious tea counter.
After just 6 months I joined Whittards and managed a Whittards concession inside a Japsar Conran store. Now I had my own ship and whilst I loved advising customers on all the fine teas I was soon sought for a corporate position and moved on up through the ranks.
7 Years on and I was sat enjoying a lovely cuppa flicking through the newspaper where a job advert caught my eye. A famous brand of tea was advertising for a trainee ‘Tea Taster’. I knew from the moment I saw the advert that this job was meant for me!
And so on a cold winter’s day back in 1993 I packed my bags and headed up to Yorkshire to train as a tea master , slurping tea day in and day out to tirelessly work on the perfect tea blends. This was an amazing experience where I learnt all things tea and honed the blending mastery skills I use today.
My mastery of and passion for tea was overflowing and I decided it was time to move on and get back to my roots of retailing tea. I wanted to people to discover the taste, enjoyment and beauty of proper loose tea.
It was also time for a change of pace and geography and so remembering the happy family holidays, the beautiful coastline and those big Anglian skies north Norfolk became my new home.
I established The Nelson & Norfolk Tea Company in 2014 and I've been blending and selling the finest teas and infusions ever since.