My name is Paula Stocker and I founded Zerama Tea with my husband, Bob and with lots of help from our daughter, Violet. I have always loved tea. In my youth, I baffled waitresses in Southeast Texas by ordering tea that wasn’t iced. In fact, growing up there, it was incredibly difficult to find any tea that wasn’t iced. Certainly, quality loose leaf tea was not an option. Despite the oppressive heat of the area, I found a cup of tea cooled my mind and soul. Later I moved to California, where there were more options but it was really when I began to travel that my eyes were opened to an entirely new experience.
Tea cultures have existed throughout the world for centuries and I had finally discovered a kinship with others who had long ago recognized the restorative benefit of a cup of tea. My mother passed away and I was left with a void in my heart and soul. I decided to travel across Europe and Morocco alone. It was on my travels that I discovered a tea room a few hours outside of Prague. The menu read like a novel with detailed descriptions of all of their teas. I visited daily. Sometimes spending hours savoring a variety of loose leaf teas from around the world. Like a cleansing and meditation, I found solace and healing. I made a point to try a different tea each time. Sometimes I would stay for hours trying 2 or 3 varieties per visit. I discovered the personalities of tea. Some were great for socializing. Some were better suited for contemplation but all left me feeling content.
When I returned to the US, I met my husband, Bob, and we explored teas together. When our daughter Violet was growing, we had many tea parties. As a family, we loved sitting together over a cup of tea and talking. It was still challenging to find the quality tea that I remembered. I made it our mission, searching online and in local shops, but so much of what was available was enhanced or flavored in a way that I didn’t feel was necessary. When we couldn’t find what we were looking for, Bob and I decided to open our own online tea business.
We attended the World Tea Expo in 2018. It was there that we were able to connect with growers and importers from around the world and discover a quality of teas that had eluded us for years. 2018 was spent tasting teas from around the globe and we have put together a selection of our favorites. We hope that you enjoy the teas we have found. As new items become available we will continue to add them to the site. We welcome your feedback as to what you would like to see more of.