Inspiration strikes when least expected, sometimes in the most ordinary things. Being born and raised in the paradise we call Goa, Denzil Gomes has been a resident of a quiet little village called Siolim, in North Goa, ever since he was born.
He took his first steps into his family home, a 500-year-old Portuguese house. To this day, the vintage house has old, quaint windows and a high roof, not forgetting the fact that it is situated by the water… making it Goa personified!
Although years have gone by, Denzil turns nostalgic as he recalls the good old days when his family would sit in the balcão (balcony) of his house sipping tea on a warm sunny day, or a cold rainy day, and enjoy the simple brew with loads of storytelling and laughter by the water.
As destiny had it, Denzil met his like-minded soulmate, Leanza. And just like that, the picturesque window frames of his house, that he had spent his childhood running across, suddenly became the inspiration for the logo of their brainchild, ‘Balcão Brew’, their first business venture together and a gourmet tea company in Goa.
When asked, ‘Why tea?’ she smiled and told us, “One of the things that we, as a couple, bonded over was our love for tea”. They picked the name ‘Balcão Brew’, which is the literal translation of ‘Balcony Brew’ in Portuguese, perfectly fitting the inspiration behind the brand.
“After losing our jobs during the pandemic, we realized that tea had the potential of becoming the next big thing, not forgetting that we were done being corporate slaves! Considering our love for tea, it only made perfect sense for us to venture into the gourmet tea business and become co-owners of a household brand in Goa, so here we are!” Leanza added.
Operation Balcão Brew commenced on June 13, 2021, which is the feast day of St Anthony, the patron saint of Denzil’s village, Siolim. Since then, the aromatic blessings haven’t stopped pouring in.
“A lot of experience goes into being connoisseurs of tea. We are still learning and mastering the art of preparing tea ourselves. Our teas are handpicked from tea gardens from all across India and the blending and packaging are done in-house. Simply put, our teas are a true testament to farm-to-table,” said Denzil.
Receiving a heart-warming response from family and friends set the pace. Today, they cater to majority of the cafes and restaurants across Goa and other metro cities in India and have customers throughout India and abroad!
Initially, all the sales were happening through WhatsApp and Instagram, but they have now launched an e-commerce website to reach out to all the tea aficionados out there.
“At Balcão Brew, we can proudly say that we are the first and only Goan brand that's owned by Goans who are born and bred in Goa, so being part of a business venture like this in Goa brings us great joy and a sense of pride,” he added.
One fun fact is that Leanza also happens to be a bartender and is always excited to share new recipes for people to try out! The couple was happy to share the wide range of tea blends available at Balcão Brew.
The range includes Green tea, Black tea, Tisane/Herbal tea, Japanese Matcha and Botanicals. “In the Green tea range, one can find Crimson Hibiscus Tea which is packed with antioxidants; and Matcha is an alternative to coffee and is highly recommend in lattes, cocktails or even baking!” they said.
The Herbal tea range includes Chamomile Sunrise which helps with sleep and relaxation and is recommended by doctors as well and Butterfly Blue Pea and Hibiscus Botanicals are very popularly used to make cocktails and mocktails.
Apart from just tea, they also sell tea accessories, tea hampers, tea-based chocolates, and personalized gift hampers in addition to tea packs. Although their portfolio is a rather small one for now, plans of expanding the product range in the next couple of months is something that they are currently working on.
“Our hampers can be personalized to the clients' liking. We take corporate orders and party orders, and even make bridesmaid, best man, or entourage proposal hampers, with the hero of course being Balcão Brew tea!” they laughed.
Aside from ordering online, Balcão Brew is available for purchase in select offline stores across Goa – AJ Supermarket (Siolim), Rare Republic (Siolim), Lioloco The Bistro (Mapusa), Delfinos Hypermart (Porvorim/Taleigao), Black Vanilla (Panjim), and Trimart (Margao).
Somewhere along the way, drinking tea became a way of life. Be it an excuse for aimlessly hanging out with friends over countless cups of tandoori chai, or simply honouring tradition the way Denzil and Leanza wholeheartedly are.
BESTSELLERS: Butterfly Blue Pea, Citrus Earl Grey, OG Matcha, Ruby Rose, and Crimson Hibiscus.
Denzil’s favourite: Lemongrass Zest & Leanza’s favourite: Moroccan Mint.
PRICE RANGE: ₹229 - ₹749
BUY IT FROM: Balcão Brew, Siolim
CONTACT: +91 9021185227 (WhatsApp) | Website: www.balcaobrew.in