PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Tea Caddy
Anyone who knows me knows there are two things that keep me going: great design and an excellent cup of tea. Imagine my delight then when I received this colorful assortment of teas from the English Tea Shop. Delight quickly gave way to awe, however, when I discovered that this packaging holds not just one secret, but two!
First a little backstory. Though English Tea Shop is indeed based in London, each tea that it sells is blended in Sri Lanka under a fair trade arrangement with the local farmers and producers there. Appropriately enough, the vibrant colors of its packaging – beautifully designed by Echo Brand Design – are reminiscent of Sri Lankan art.
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Secret 1: Unexpectedly Sustainable Packaging During its recent rebrand, the company challenged itself to make its 80g Premium Whole Leaf Tea caddy as sustainable as possible. As a result, it’s English Tea Shop’s first fully home compostable packaging thanks to the use of biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials.
This was no easy undertaking, they tell us. It took a huge investment in time and effort to not only do all the necessary research and experimentation with different materials, but also to find suppliers in Sri Lanka with the necessary materials as there is no significant demand locally for such products. In the end they had to go with three separate suppliers.
Secret 2: An Origami-Like Design Once you break the seal and remove the lid, the entire carton opens like a budding flower, revealing a differently colored interior decorated with mandalas that celebrate the ingredients and contents within, as well as a transparent pouch (made of GMO-free cellulose fiber) containing the tea itself. Also inside: a reusable scoop made from bamboo – another nice sustainable touch.
The carton, offset printed on 350 gm (130 lb.) Ivory box board by Intermart Printing in Sri Lanka, features a soft-touch coating. And for that extra tactile quality the company logo and teapot on the front of the box were embossed. Inside we find taste notes written by the tea blenders themselves.
The box can also be folded up and closed over and over again thanks to a handy interlocking tab closure at the top. (For a different take on this, be sure to check out our video about the packaging for Lonohana Estate Chocolate)
Between the impressively sustainable materials and well-thought-out design of the packaging, as well as the robust flavors of the product itself, you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Oh yes, this is definitely my cup of tea!
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.