Saturday, 9 January 2010

It's tea time.

I ordered a green tea at The Breakfast Club over the weekend, and was brought a cup of Brewhaha tea. The tea bag label got my attention - I loved the fresh packaging design and company name. After a bit of research, I found out that Brewhaha tea was launched four years ago in Glasgow by Joanne MacLeod. Since then, Brewhaha has made it from her kitchen table to the shelves of Harvey Nichols, Harrods and cafes UK-wide. The independent Scottish tea company even won a 'food Oscar' in the form of a Gold Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Food.

I'm curious to see how the brand will develop (they should definitely take professional photography of the different types of Brewhaha tea, I was surprised to come up more or less empty when doing an online search). Their website was redesigned, and looks more like a blog, which is fine, but lacks proper imagery and the story of how Brewhaha came to be, besides a brief introduction on the homepage that states: Brewhaha was launched in 2004. Tired of seeing tea marketed in dowdy grey and brown boxes, founder Joanne McLeod decided to create a fun loving brand (there is however a general history of tea in Britain).

Despite the 165m cups consumed in the UK every day, according to McLeod, “All the boxes were grey and brown, with a token elephant or a leaf. Surely I could do something better than that?”

The origins of the design and brand name is interesting: one of her neighbours came up with the name after a red wine-fuelled kitchen table brainstorming session. The face of the brand was borrowed from a 1950s Maidenform bra advert. McLeod’s husband, a graphic designer, added a cup and a hand, and a deliberately wonky star. The cartons would, McLeod decided, use a 1950s palette of strong pastels and funky stripes. “That really gave it va va voom,” she says. The background and character of the brand is colorful and unique, and could definitely be used to develop the brand in its communications (see more on McLeod's here).Brewhaha has a Facebook profile and their Tea Shop in Glasgow has a Twitter feed (which has not been updated since October). It's a shame, because given the taste of the tea and sweet brand ethos, it has a lot of potential...

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