Our Story

This is the culmination of a deep love and curiosity for tea and the benefits it brings.

Welcome, and thank you for visiting our store  👋

Sleeveless Tea is a company based in Vancouver, Canada that curates a small collection of tea and distributes it online and in shops across North America. Inspired by the drink itself, we seek to provide our customers with a product that is simple, healthy, and most of all delicious.

The founders of Sleeveless Tea, Zak and Cole, met at design school in August 2012. Eventual roommates, and now business partners, the two started Sleeveless Tea as a means to deliver a simplified experience for learning about and enjoying high quality loose leaf tea.


There is nothing up our sleeves.

At school, Zak and I studied various mediums of design and had the opportunity to learn about packaging design from the lovely human, Vida Jurcic.  For her class, we were required to develop an identity and package for a fictional company and product of our choosing. Together we discussed our opportunities.

Throughout the year, Zak spoke about his love for tea. He also spoke about how difficult it can be to learn about and find good loose leaf tea.  It is a drink that is steeped :P in the history of the world and even still, it can be difficult to know where to start. More often than not, tea in North America is prepared using individual tea bags. Admittedly, my knowledge of tea at the time was limited to Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe and I wasn’t sure if they were descriptors of the tea colour or fancy names of fancy people. 

As such, we felt there was an opportunity to provide a simplified experience to purchasing and enjoying high quality loose leaf tea in North America. While joking about what we'd call our company, we found ourself in pun territory (as you do). With things like Sweet-tea, Simplicit-tea, Van Cit-tea, etc, we eventually made it to Sleeveless Tea (referencing T-shirts with ripped off sleeves).

As tea has a high-class appeal, the notion of a fancy gentleman in full dress enjoying a cup of tea with his sleeves ripped off seemed all too fitting. That and it was a truly perfect representation of our vision: provide a product that is pure in quality, that doesn't need anything to mask or hide it's true flavour. 

Our Black, Green, and Oolong teas are 100% Camelia Sinensus (the tea plant). The only thing that differentiates them is how the leaves are processed. To put it frankly, you won’t find any dried fruit, hibiscus, or chocolate chips in the tea we offer. Nor will you have to read things like “Downward Dog Darjeeling” when browsing or placing an order. We believe that good tea needs no alliteration.

Sourced from the mountainous regions of Chinese provinces Fujian and Jiangxi, our Black, Green, and Oolong are not only of the highest quality, they are also of the highest altitude. ;)

Leveraging the benefits of a few other plants, our Herbal tea is caffeine-free. This makes it perfect for turning down for the night and easing your busy mind. It’s completely natural and 100% legal.

After too many restless nights from too much caffeine throughout the day, we designed this cup to help calm your mind and aid in relaxation. It combines the flavours and benefits of peppermint, valerian root, lavender, and lemon balm. You’d best google these to see all the good things they will do for you.

We started Sleeveless Tea in an effort to simplify the process of finding good tea. By keeping our offering limited, we aim to remove the guesswork tea drinkers experience when making a selection. Each of our teas is capable of providing you with a solid baseline for what good tea should taste like. We have done our homework and over the last 2 years we've sampled hundreds of different types and flavours so that you don't have to. We hope you enjoy the collection we've prepared.  




Zak Woytowich

Raised in the flats of Regina, Zak knows the Tim Hortons double-double all to well. Looking to broaden his horizons, Zak first discovered the joy and benefits of tea while visiting a tea house in Vancouver. Tea is now a part of his daily routine and is a ritual when he sits down to make music, read a new book, or watch Downton Abbey.

Cole Derochie

Born in Orillia, Cole's first loose leaf tea experience wasn't until University when he ordered a Sweet Ginger Heat at one of the newly opened David's Tea. It wasn't until learning about the benefits that come with drinking tea regularly did he begin to replace a coffee or two a day with it. Today, he enjoys a black tea when he's groggy, a green tea throughout the day, and an oolong tea when he's in need of a cognitive boost.