Eat & Drink

Buds & Beads

Exotic sparkling & loose-leaf teas

In 2022 there was a surge in the number of non-alc beverages coming onto the market. Beer, wine, spirits, everyone is getting on board with the healthier way to drink socially.

But what about the bubbles?! Jo Thomas and Karina Barry both asked the same question. 

buds & beads
Buds & Beads fouders - Jo Thomas and Karina Barry

Jo, coming from a lifetime in Wine Country Marketing, and Karina, who turned ‘a taste of the good life’ into an artform as owner of Bells at Killcare, are the food-wine-and-fun-loving women behind Buds & Beads loose leaf and sparkling teas,

“We’ve traded our coveted wine cellars for treasured tea chests and we’re happier and healthier for it,” Karina says.

Jo and Karina’s journey started when Tea Master Mafalda first invited them into her world of sourcing and steeping. Becoming the new custodians of her considerable knowledge and legacy of premium teas was the catalyst for a paradigm lifestyle shift that took Jo and Karina entirely by surprise, and they’ve never looked back.

Investing a great deal of care into their selection of 17 stand-out loose-leaf teas for the Buds &  Beads brand, from among the 3,000 tea varieties to choose from, world-wide.

buds & beads sparkling teas

“There was a time it was all about wine, but we’ve arrived at a place in our lives where our bodies are crying out for some ‘not boring thanks’ nurturing that we can happily embrace in our everyday lives,” Jo says.

“Sure, we’d connected over the odd cuppa from time to time, but since our eyes have been opened to the nuances of ‘tea as it should be’, it’s become a lifestyle of making choices that nourish us, body, mind and spirit.”

Can you explain how the name came about?

“The buds are the delicate, first flush of Spring growth, hand-picked for our teas at dizzying altitudes, while they’re bursting with flavour and life-giving nutrients. The beads are the delicate trails of fine bubbles that effervesce from our luscious and nourishing sparkling teas.” Karina explains. 

buds & beads sparkling teas

Both Jo and Karina appreciate the parallels between the provenance of premium teas and the way wines are characterised and have thoroughly enjoyed arriving at an ideal balance of black, green, white, oolong, and herbal teas for Buds & Beads. 

Blended, brewed and packaged in Australia, using ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients from local and overseas growers, similar to wine a quality tea can only be appreciated once the factors contributing to its unique characteristics are known - place of origin, altitude, climate and soil composition, when it is picked, the intricacies of preparation, and where it is grown. 

buds & beads sparkling teas

“What we love is the attention to detail that goes into crafting a distinctive personality and complexity for each of these teas, from cultivation to meticulously-timed hand-harvesting, the fine art of basket pressing and gentle roasting and individually hand-rolling the leaves,” Jo says. 

buds & beads sparkling teas

Take your pick between the series of three, high-end sparkling teas; the wickedly alluring Ginger Rose, the rose-vanilla scented take on Silver Needles, and the evocatively named Before Rain. Each have been created to take you from feeling underwhelmed and weighed down by sugar-laden, artificially flavoured and headache-inducing beverages, to loving being refreshed and naturally energised by re booting your routine with an alternative that’s bursting with nutrients. 

“Take it from two girls who fashioned careers around long lunches for decades. . . they’re better with a bottle of this sparkling tea,” Karina says.