Fairs, Fitness and Father Christmas

It’s been a busy month here at Twist HQ, as our first Christmas approaches.  Our range of Christmas products has gone down a storm, while our core range continues to get more and more fans as word gets out.

Louise Condon, Jump ‘n’ Juice. Our new saviour?

Saturday saw us do our bit for the community by supporting our local Primary School’s Christmas Fair.  We donated loads of tea to the cafe,  which was selling a truly impressive range of homemade cakes, that’s for sure. We will confess to going a little overboard on the cakes ourselves – so it was lucky that the Twist stall  was right next to the lovely Louise Condon from Jump ‘n’ Juice.  She’s a personal trainer with a great online fitness/health/wellness regime that is great value at only a fiver a month and seems to get great results. We’re going to be subscribing to work off the Christmas excesses!

Goodies on display

It was lovely to meet so many customers at the fair, many we knew by name having seen their orders online but we’d not met. Hearing which teas they liked and,  why, was super – certainly makes it all worthwhile when a customer says our tea is the best they have ever tasted.  And we met loads of new customers who were not familiar with us, but after a sniff of our lovely blends and a few tasters, they’ve joined the ranks of Twist fans.  It was interesting that around half of those who bought teas were doing so for themselves, half were buying gifts for friends and family – the Selection Boxes were incredibly popular in this regard.  We’ve got another fair coming up next week, the Harpenden Collective Christmas Pop Up, so  here’s hoping to meeting more potential Twist fans there!

The highlight of the day? Without doubt,  a message on facebook from one of the elves manning (elving?) the queue to Santa’s grotto:

“Santa enjoyed two cups of Twist Teas today and they kept his spirits up out in the chilly grotto! …  I think it’s now on his Christmas list (if anyone remembers to get Santa a pressie!)”

An A-list celebrity endorsement if ever there was one. Merry Twistmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Twistmas

Here at Twist, we don’t like standing still.  So, no sooner had we launched our website back in September, preparations were underway to enhance our product range with some new products to help create Christmas with a Twist in the houses of our customers, their friends and families.

And what’s more, many of these products are a direct result of feedback from our customers, which makes them all the more special.

“Your teas look amazing, but I don’t which to choose” you said. “Leave it with us”, we said.

And lo and behold, our Tasting Menu was born: one caddy, sixteen different teabags, one heck of a great way to try out the whole range.  It’s been super-popular, both as a treat for customers and an innovative gift for their friends.

“Your teas make GREAT presents – do you do any gift sets?” you said.  “On it”, we said.

And thus were born our Selection Boxes,  in which our tea sommelier carefully curates four or six teas that work really well together.  Absolutely Minted brings together (you guessed it) four minty teas, from our black tea, rooibos and herbal ranges. The caffeine-free Digestifs Selection Box is great after dinner, the Puds Without Sin Selection Box is perfect for some self-indulgence without the guilt, and the Fruit & Herbal and Black Tea Selection Boxes do exactly what it says on the tin. (That’s quite a nice turn of phrase. Wonder if anyone’s used it before?)

“I’d love to buy a big box of all my favourite brews” you said.  “We’ve got you”, we said.

Everyone likes something made just for them, and that’s where our Pick & Mix Selection Boxes come in to their own. You choose which teas you’d like, whether you’d like loose leaf or teabags, and we create your own bespoke Selection Box with an elegant, personalised label on the caddy. These are flying off the shelves at the moment (not literally, that would make a right old mess of our stock room), as customers look for innovative, high quality, affordable gifts for friends and family, teachers, colleagues, employees and clients.

Finally, we couldn’t let Christmas pass without creating a couple of limited edition blends that are perfect for the festive season.  So, check out Brewdolph and Mulled Wine – and get them while they’re hot!

Thanks so much for all your feedback, as without it we might not have created all these lovely products. Keep it coming, and enjoy!

 

Doing good, brewing good

We were delighted to support the recent Tyler’s Wonderland Ball, a fundraising event that raises funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The event is held in memory of local boy Tyler Reader, who passed away suddenly in November 2015 after developing Sepsis following what appeared to be a normal chest infection.  Tyler suffered 6 cardiac arrests during his 8 hours in hospital care, passing away shortly before a heart-lung bypass could be performed.

Money raised on the evening contributes towards an initial fundraising total of £79,500, which will help provide Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Children’s Acute Transport Service with some of the vital equipment and training that they require in order to help treat severe cases like that of Tyler.

At Twist, we did our bit by donating a luxury tea hamper containing caddies and selection boxes worth over £150 to the raffle, and giving our micro-caddies to guests as going home gifts.  We hope that our contribution helped and wish the charity all the best for its ongoing fund-raising endeavours.

 

 

 

Website launched!

We’re excited and proud to launch the Twist website.  It’s been brewing for quite some time while we finesse the product range, but it’s now ready to go.

To celebrate the launch, we’re offering free delivery on your first order.  No minimum order, no fuss. Just free delivery, simple as that.   Just add ‘LAUNCHOFFER’ in the promotional code space on the order form and away you go.

We’d love to know what you think of our site in general, and our teas specifically. Logged-in customers can give their feedback on their favourite blends, so please do; if we know what you like, it will help us create more teas to bring a smile to your face.

Bubbling under

It’s been a busy few months here at Twist. Much has happened since we last blogged, so here’s a bit of an update.

The feedback from our focus group in February reassured us that we were along the right lines with our product range and our branding. So, the next stage was to roll it out.  Our design agency did a cracking job of designing our packaging, and the identity was rolled out across various formats, from boxes to pouches to caddies. We even had some branded mugs created, just because…

Then, the legwork began. Armed with samples, we took ourselves off to dozens of local delis and cafes..  And, we were delighted that, without fail, they all absolutely loved our teas and were confident their customers would too.  Of course, some were already in long-term deals with other brands, which is fair enough. However,  there many immediately decided we were a great fit with their customers and got us on board. How strange it was to drop in to the local bakery we’ve been visiting for years, to see it serving our tea!

Getting the teas ‘out there’ created a bit of a domino effect.  Within a matter of days, we received an email from the manager of a local gastro-pub:

“I just had a cup of your mint humbug at Simmons and would love to serve it in the Engineer. How do I go about doing so?”

Soon, we were supplying them,  and a number of other pubs too.

“Café Culture” has been a real phenomenon of late, with customers looking to recreate their experiences in cafes etc at home.  So, it was nice but not overly surprising that a number of people who’d had our teas in such establishments got in touch, asking where they could buy it.  Fortunately, some of these cafes were also delis, so they began retailing teabags in boxes for consuming at home too.

The plan has always been for Twist to be available to customers as widely as possible. Our website will be launched later in the year, and all our blends will be available direct from it. And, excitingly, we are in discussions with a number of national retailers and hope to be available on high streets across the UK soon.  Watch this space!

Testing the water

Today was an exciting day for Twist, as we gathered a group of target customers and asked them to sample our teas. And – good news! – they really liked them.

Our Tea Sommelier Angela brewed up half a dozen blends from our range; two Classics (our everyday tea TwentyFourSeven and our English breakfast tea Breakfast Boost), two Puds without Sin (Mint Humbug and Banana Shake), and two Cold Brews (Orange & Lemon and Apple & Blueberry.

Our tasters blind-tasted the Classics against some competitor products, and ours were really well received. They liked the rich colour and the strong aroma, and said that they would have been more than happy to be served these teas in cafes and restaurants.  When we mentioned the twists (in this case, the addition of ginseng and yerba mate to Breakfast Boost to help kick-start the day and a slightly smaller cut of leaf to brew TwentyFourSeven a little quicker), they were very impressed. They felt TwentyFourSeven could be a little stronger, so we’re taking that on board and are going to increase the tea content a touch so we get it spot on. Thanks for the input!

Next, the Puds without Sin, and these were a real hit.  They couldn’t believe that there was absolutely no added sugar or sweeteners, and loved the playful blend of flavours. Some of our tasters were ready to buy loads of it right there and then (but they’ll have to wait until we’ve gone in to full production. Sorry!)

We then moved on to Cold Brews, which they tested comparison to the kinds of soft drinks they might ordinarily drink themselves or serve to their children.  Again, these were a real winner, and with their mum-hats on, they were really excited to have an alternative to sugary drinks and   smoothies that their children would absolutely love.  We’re going to create another Cold Brew blend, as we think there are other flavour combinations that would work just as well, whether for adults or children.

Finally, we gave them a sneak preview of our brand name, logo and packaging.  Another hit!  They loved how unfussy and clean the packaging was, and thought the hidden T-mug in the logo was really clever and worked very well with the concept that our teas have a hidden something that makes them different from other teas on the market. Yay!

We’d like to thank all those who took part. We really valued your input… keep your eyes peeled for the finished product coming to a retailer or café near you shortly.