In our eyes, no breakfast or brunch spread is complete without a refreshing cup of tea; strong, black, weak, milky, with sugar – we like ours every way imaginable. If you’ve visited the cafe recently, you’ll have seen Brew Tea Co‘s selection of delicious teas behind the counter so we thought it was about time they featured as one of our favourite suppliers. Read on to find out more about the brand and how we can all enjoy drinking better brews…
Your name gives you away BUT for anyone that doesn’t know, can you explain a bit more about what you produce at Brew Tea Co?
We make tea using 100% rolled whole leaves – so much better than the dust in a standard teabag. Everything is manufactured at Tea HQ in Manchester so that we can keep a close eye on the quality and standards of whatever leaves the door.
What was the initial inspiration the launch Brew Tea Co and how did you action your business from idea to reality?
We’re flying the flag for tea drinkers everywhere, challenging the status quo and making their experiences awesome, one by one. It all started back in 2012, armed with a few Sharpies and a stash of foil bags. Aideen bought, tasted and packed our tea whilst Phil drove around in the Nissan Cube to sell and deliver it. There was a lot of hardwork in the early days with plenty of nights and weekends. These days we’re banging the same drum albeit with few extra folks and a new Tea HQ!
You produce over 9 different types of tea, what are the most popular blends with customers?
Undoubtedly our English Breakfast – we’re all about introduce tea drinkers to better quality cups of tea. We think if it like the Americano of tea. Once you’re hooked here then a whole world of awesome tea awaits.
Tea flavours is one of the biggest food trends this year, do you have any go-to recipes using your teas?!
We love iced tea actually. You can use the same basic loose leaf or tea bag and make so many amazing drinks from it. A simple routine is to brew double your usual amount of tea in the water for 5 minutes and use this as a base. You can add fruit juices, waters, herbs and shake it all over ice for amazingly refreshing drinks.
Have you noticed any exciting emerging tea trends for 2018 that our customers should get on board with?
We have been working on our Cold Brew Lemonade for a year or so now. It’s iced tea but brewed cold. The tea brews differently in the colder temperature and so the taste is much, much smoother. You can add a twist of lemon juice or other herbs into the brew, leave it for 8-10 hours and you’re good to go.
What is the biggest challenge you face on a day-to-day basis and how do you overcome this?
Definitely apathy! Tea is getting there but there is work to do to get it to a stage where the coffee industry is. We need cafes, coffee shops and everyone serving tea to take it seriously and look to offer genuinely awesome products to their customers. The idea of serving a 2 or 3p teabag and charging £1.65 is simply a rip off – tea drinkers need to start demanding more and expecting real tea, brewed well with some care and attention.
What has been Brew Tea Co’s greatest achievement to date?
Continuing our growth year on year. Lots of tea companies get started but they don’t all become self sustaining. We’ve made a profit every year since day one and so we’ve been able to bring production in house, grow and train our team and invest in making better tea. More of the same please!
From one business to another, what advice would you give you other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own company?
Similar to the above really. It sounds obvious but you have to have a sustainable business model which can pay its own way. The current trend for crowdfunding is really positive for many businesses as it helps them get started, but also many see it as a source of funds when things haven’t gone so well. Do what works, be focused and get good at it! Oh and patience, absolutely shed loads of patience!
What does the future have in store for Brew Tea Co?
Hopefully some exciting new product development in 18/19 😉
What does a typical day at Brew Tea Co look like?
Between the tea bag machines cranking out about 40,000 bags per day, the Weights & Measures team preparing and shipping the finished goods and the sales guys signing up new stockists it’s pretty hectic. But there is also plenty of time to learn, two weeks back everyone received formal qualifications from the UK Tea Academy and then last week we all had chocolate and tea tasting! It’s tough but someone has to do it.
If we came to Brew Tea Co HQ for lunch, what would you serve us?
Ha! The fridge is always loaded here and so depending on how busy the day has been it’d be a freshly made salad by one of the team or a pile of gourmet sausage rolls from the fridge! Plus a cup of English Breakfast of course.