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Here at Twist HQ – like so many others across the UK and beyond – we were delighted to welcome the arrival of Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Harry and Meghan’s little boy. 
 
And, with the Royal Family back in the spotlight, we thought it would be a good opportunity to launch our delicious Royal Tea’ blend, created at the personal request of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, and share how it came about.
 
It’s a long story, but it starts with us sending some samples of our tea to a number of publishers and broadcasters in London, in the hope that they’d like them and mention them to their readers.  Luckily, they pretty much all did.
 
The editor of one magazine we approached was SO impressed that he went on a bit of a crusade on our behalf. He just happened to be an acquaintance of Princess Michael of Kent – it’s fairly standard to have members of the royal family on speed dial, right? – and said:

“Ooh, I’ll tell you what, that Princess Michael of Kent loves her tea. Can’t get enough of it. How’s about I take her some to try, see if she likes it?”


(Or words to that effect. He’s a top journo so writes much better than this, obvs.)

He does.. and she does.  Next thing we know, we’ve been summonsed to Kensington Palace to give her a proper tea tasting.  We put on our finery, get our hair done, practice our curtsying and bowing and there we are, in a beautiful drawing room, talking through some of our collection.  We were absolutely delighted that she really loved what she tasted – so much so that she decided to serve them at a garden party last summer.
 
During our discussion, we asked her what scents and flavours she liked, and it turns out she’s a big fan of rose and cinnamon.  She asked if we could create a blend that combined the too, and we duly did.  What else could we call it but Royal Tea?
 
Initially, we only created a small batch, and have been sending samples to members of our Tea Club or to a handful of the hotels, cafes and restaurants we supply.  But, feedback has been so good so we’ve ramped up production and added it to our range. It’s a caffeine-free fruity and floral blend that includes pear and apple, orange peel and hibiscus as in addition to the Princess’s favourites, rose and cinnamon. Why not try some and see if you like it; you’ll be moving in lofty circles if you do!
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News


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 know 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 into 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!  

 
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News


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!
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News
tray of taste cups

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

Our Tea Sommelier Angela brewed up half a dozen blends from our range:


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 taste 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 the taste of 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!

female tester
Next, the Puds without Sin, and the taste of these was a real hit.  The tasters 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 into 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, the taste of these a real winner, and with their mum-hats on, the tasters 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.

twist mug caddy
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.
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