On Christmas Eve of 1834, after much discussion and deliberation, notification was sent from the Botanical Gardens of Kolkata board to the Governor General of India confirming that a new variety of plant grew wild in the upper reaches of the Assam valley. Camellia sinensis – the humble tea plant – would go on to incite the Indian tea trade and industry that would help sculpt the British Empire.
18ThirtyFour is a consulting, promotional, and educational company for the tea trade with emphasis on Indian tea, but foundations firmly in all things tea. Owner and operator David Lyons, formed 18ThirtyFour in April 2014 after seventeen years of tea experience – a culmination of wholesale and retail. Just short of ten years wholesaling loose leaf teas to some of Australia’s finest hotels, restaurants, cafes and corporate clients, followed by an eight year stint in high street retailing, as Regional Manager for Australian based company The Tea Centre. With this experience, passion for tea’s history and a strong connection to Indian teas, 18ThirtyFour is the natural progression for David – a platform to share his love of all things tea!
18ThirtyFour offers unique opportunities for David to share his tea knowledge with people, whether through writing, tea talks, Indian tea tours or the promotion of quality leaf tea.
Whether you are looking for consultancy for a new or existing tea business, a speaker for your tea event, training for your staff, or knowledge based information on tea – here at 18ThirtyFour, David will be only too pleased to discuss it over a hot cup of tea!
About David Lyons
Growing up in a house where both his mother and father operated their own small businesses, David Lyons absorbed his parents’ entrepreneurial spirit. From an early age he pursued his passion for cooking, which was highly encouraged by his grandmother, herself a baker by trade.
David’s first experience of the hospitality industry was working in a hotel on the banks of the River Rhine in Germany during his school summer holidays. After finishing school, David enrolled himself on a hospitality college course, mainly focusing on kitchen skills. Many of the chef lecturers had come from the highly respected British Transport Hotels, such as the Midland Hotel, Manchester and Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland. Their encouragement pushed David towards a classical training in the kitchen, influenced by the great chef Escoffier.After being employed at various hotels and catering establishments. David used the skills he had learned and the passion for small business he had instilled in him, led to opening his own establishment. The Next Door Restaurant, exemplified his flair for the industry, David later became the sole owner, renaming the restaurant JJ’s after his two sons. Never content to stay too still, David also started a corporate and function catering company during this time. Then, in 1993, he became involved in Manchester’s newest nightclub, Home: providing clubbers with innovative café style foods and funky ideas, never before seen in Manchester.
By 1996, David and his wife decided to migrate to Australia with their two sons. David quickly found his feet, and early in 1997 commenced Lyons Fine Foods – a wholesale specialist food distribution business. Immediately an agreement was made between The Tea Centre owner, Mr. Joakim Torstensson and David that his new business would become the wholesaler of The Tea Centre’s range of teas. David was soon supplying many of Australia’s finest, restaurants, fashionable cafes and five star hotels with their loose leaf tea. A new passion was awakened in David – that of tea, its history, variety, and it’s gorgeous taste.
After a successful decade running Lyons Fine Foods, David was approached and asked to sell his business. He accepted, took a short break back in the UK, and then joined The Tea Centre as Regional Manager of NSW and ACT. David continued with The Tea Centre until 2015.
Chinese Gardens Sydney
Earlier in 2014 David had started to place the foundation stones of his new business – 18ThirtyFour. This new concept allows David to share his passion for tea with far more people. Promoting and nurturing the education of tea through presentations, writing, tours, promotion, and by consulting to new and existing businesses regarding tea.
Allow David and 18ThirtyFour to ignite your love for tea, as he shares his knowledge, experience, and passion for the traditional brew.