Packaging is all about branding and marketing, and, like just about anything that can be bought and sold, tea has not escaped the branding phenomenon. Some might consider all this packaging to be highly unnecessary. After all, all you really need are the tea leaves, and buying them in bulk is often cheaper and more environmentally friendly. I almost always buy my tea in bulk, so I definitely sympathise with this stance. Nevertheless, it is hard to dispute that there is some pretty interesting tea packaging out there. It’s all about design, and with some you could say that the business of tea packaging is elevated to an art. I’ve picked out a few examples of packaging that I think uniquely brand the tea and that change, define, or in some cases even supersede, the experience of consuming the tea.
Hanger Tea: These tea bags are in the shape of a shirt, and hook onto the edge of your cup on their hanger while steeping. It’s a fun play on the usual method of hanging a tea bag over the edge of a cup or mug, and the way they hang in the box as if they were actually clothes is an endearing detail. Better drink these quickly, though, since they are not stored in airtight tins!
Harrods of London: While Harrods’ use of a tin to store the tea is a fairly standard choice, this tea is all about the name. Harrods of London is synonymous with luxury and high quality goods of all kinds, and the iconic image of the Harrods building on this tin makes sure you won’t forget where your tea came from! An added bonus is that Harrods sells loose leaf as well as bagged tea in these stylish tins.
Origami Tea Bags: This design seems particularly appropriate for a Japanese tea such as Sencha or Gyokuro, as origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Seeing this delicate bird floating serenely in your cup will certainly change your tea experience! Something tells me you will want to have glass teawares for this one though…
Novel Teas: I can never resist a good pun. These teabags are for those of you literati out there, as each comes with a literary quote on the back of the tag. If you look past the fact that the tea comes in a bag, this is a fun way to enjoy your tea-with-a-book moments.
These are only a few of the countless noteworthy options for tea packaging that are out there. They demonstrate some of the ways in which packaging and branding can affect the experience of tea, even though it does nothing to alter the actual tea being sold. Whether you like tea packaging for its novelty or brand value, or whether you hate its environmental impact and avoid it all costs, you have to admit that tea packaging really can be an art!
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