NATUR’EL TEA: A MOUNTAIN TRADITION STEEPED IN HISTORY
Natur’el Tea has been hand-blending organic teas in Banff National Park since 2005. Locally-owned and operated by Jolene Brewster and Jess McNally, our vision is to share the majestic beauty of the mountains we love through the simple, genuine experience of tea.
We are continuously curating the finest, organically-grown ingredients from around the world, including hand-picked tea leaves, fresh spices, and local herbs. We blend these in small batches in our Banff studio to create over 60 fresh, flavourful tea varieties: from everyone’s classic favourites, to health-inspired herbal blends, to the most exclusive shade-grown, hand-picked Japanese green teas.
Jolene recalls her inspiration for starting the company: "I grew up on a farm in rural Alberta and the tradition of tea is a wonderful memory from my childhood. Our home, like most households of that time, had a hutch where we stored our special china sets and crystal glassware. When family and neighbours stopped in for a visit, my mother would always put the kettle on, retrieve our beautiful china cups, and we’d gather in a room reserved purely for tea and conversation. This simple ceremony was a great pleasure of mine, and it sparked my life-long passion for tea."
For Jess, her love of tea took on a different meaning during her two years living in the Indian Himalayas: “In the remote valley where I lived, tea was almost a way of life. The morning started by making a fire and collecting water from a nearby spring to boil water for tea, which we would dip fresh bread into for breakfast. With every meal and throughout the day, tea was served again. In fact, I rarely saw anyone drink anything else. Tea was always offered to visitors, and it became impossible to walk to town without being invited in at least once or twice for tea along the way. Despite language barriers and cultural differences, we could connect, smile, and share in the joy, and sustenance, of tea.”
Jolene and Jess both have deep roots in Western Canada, and Banff in particular. Jolene’s family has played an integral role in the growth and development of Banff and Jasper since the early 1900s. What first began as a guiding company expanded into a series of successful tourism operations. Jess’ family also has a long history in Western Canada, including her grandfather, who helped establish and develop many of the mountain parks as Chief of Planning for Parks Canada. They feel a deep commitment to this place, and to the environment that surrounds it. We hope that passion comes through in every cup.