Q&A with Teapigs’ co-founder, Louise Cheadle
What was the highlight of 2017 for you?
There have been lots of highlights! We had a big focus on new products in 2017. Our ‘feel good’ range launched (yummy tea with health benefits) and our Matcha sachets were such an instant hit they are now available in turmeric, chai, cocoa and mint. We also won the ‘best tea brand’ (Fine Food Digest), which was a lovely end to a busy year.
With all the talk about the health benefits of tea, what’s the ONE biggest benefit of drinking tea that you like would like more people to be aware of?
It brings people together! Everyone knows that tea is good for us, with different teas for different reasons, but surely the social aspect of tea has to be the biggest benefit – making tea and drinking tea with family, friends and colleagues is a time to chat – at least that’s what happens in the Teapigs kitchen.
What do you think will be the tea hero for 2018?
More and more consumers are looking for drinks that give them specific health benefits and demand for healthy green and herbal teas is growing. All our teas are healthy but we’ve noticed that more and more people are asking specifically about the benefits. That’s why we’ve launched our new range of ‘feel-good teas’ with three more coming this year. They all have ingredients that will give consumers specific benefits. And we’ve made sure they taste amazing too. Matcha green tea is also becoming really popular with people switching one of their morning coffees with a Matcha Latte to benefit from its nutritional value and the calm, focused energy it’s famous for. We have just introduced our new Matcha Latte sachets, which are available in chai, turmeric or chai flavour. They’re made from pure, premium, organic matcha and real, all-natural ingredients – no sweeteners or milk powders – you just add hot milk.
Biggest challenge for tea companies in the next 12-18 months:
PLASTIC. Many tea companies are working to eliminate plastic from their products and prove their environmental credentials, however Teapigs is ahead of the game and has been addressing this for some time. Teapigs’ range of tea temples and all the packaging they come in are plastic free. We invested in the soilon bags (made from corn starch) for our tea temples to hold the tea, natureflex bags to keep the tea fresh inside the pack (it’s made from wood pulp but looks like plastic) and the pack cartons are made from FSC certified paperboard and vegetable ink is used for printing.
Who or what inspires you (tea-related)?
Tea drinkers in China. They have the beautiful serenity of the Chinese tea ceremony with delicate teas, complex teas and flavoured / herbal infusions. Alongside that they have brash indulgent sweet, over the top modern takes on tea. What the young Chinese tea drinkers are doing with tea is such a contrast to the traditional tea drinkers - it's exciting to see.
What’s your favourite cup of tea and why?
Teapigs Tung Ting Oolong – tasting oolong in the hills of Taiwan is a special experience and the tea to go with it is delicious. Between green and black tea, this tea has both strength and flavour (no milk!).
- Teapigs will be exhibiting at European Coffee Expo on May 22-23 at London’s Olympia on Stand B11. For more information visit www.EuropeanCoffeeExpo.com