We Built A Wall

wall-of-tea-1Behold, a wall of tea!

An impenetrable fortress of tea. Twenty-one teas, in smart new boxes, aiming to stop reprobates such as coffee taking up space in the world’s drinking vessels.

This is the culmination of many months’ work, when we decided that, after seven years, our trusty Mylar packets were no longer what we wanted for our Australian operation.

There are many reasons for this. We looked around and saw other tea companies using interesting packaging. Every time we ordered the packets in bulk, they arrived marked “coffee bags” from “The Coffee Bag Company”. And the damn things kept falling over on shelves.

Of course, it was a big commitment. When we were using the bags, we could change and / or  print a label in a few minutes. Now we have to plan in advance how many we will need, and get them right.

The obvious option, that we have looked at many times, is to get a plain box printed with our logo and then stick a sticker over the front to describe the variety. And another one for ingredients.

Many people do that for all sort of products, as it’s easy and cheaper. But, no, we wanted to be different… because we are different. Our product is hand-picked teas, hand-blended. Most blending is not by hand, and is not using hand-picked teas. Most hand-picked teas end up being sold as a single origin tea. We are one of the small band who thinks that the techniques used to make poor tea acceptable can be used to make great tea sing.

pic-of-boxesWe decided to make a different box for each tea.

Twenty-one boxes, using our usual eighteen teas, plus three limited edition.

First, we based them on our labels, Doing all the graphic work in-house, we designed 21 boxes. One challenge was the amounts of tea. For example, 85g of Lord Petersham* takes up less than half the space of 60g of White Nights*.

Nevertheless, we persisted, and ended up with 21 boxes.

And then we came up with the idea that black tea should be in black boxes, green in green boxes and white in white, Genius, hey? So we re-did the boxes!

And then we decided that we have been using the same photos since 2012, and it was time to change them. So we re-did the boxes again!

Lady Devotea styled the photos as she did last time, but the difference was that this time she took the photos as well, ably assisted by Saxon, our Chief Opinion Officer.

After we’d done that, we decided that the three boxes that related to historical figures (Lord Petersham, The Duchess and Queen Adelaide) would be best served by finding paintings of those people, so… we re-did those three boxes again.

We now pack our tea in Australia in a triple-sealed polythene bag, put it in the lovely box and add a twistie-tie for you to do the bag up with afterwards.

Over the last few weeks, we have blended and packed an incredible amount of tea. We have a bunch of events coming up and the last thing we want to do is run out. We have also put all of the new packets onto our (AU) website and sold off the last of the old packets.

One final note, though, is that boxes are expensive. During the last throes of the process, we got asked to provide tea to a conference. They also asked about coffee, and as is sadly the case, they needed way more coffee than tea.

It’s a very minor secret that we also supply some coffee to outlets who sell our tea, which we have custom roasted and we blend.  And these guys wanted a lot of coffee.

It so happened that we received payment for the coffee on the same day as we paid for the boxes. And the amounts were only $1.09 different.

So we built a wall of tea… and we got coffee to pay for it.

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We have used the Australia links as the story is about Australia. For our US store, click here.

 

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Robert Godden

Certified Tea Nutter. Blender. Author of "The Infusiast" and Tea "Stories"
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