Birdman said

Favorite Label/Packaging Design?

Great tea is great, but it’s always a little better when the label or packaging design is fun and distinctive. I like it when I can look in my cupboard and there are few items that stick out between the plain paper and plastic bags in which most tea seems to arrive. Dinosara got me thinking about this today when she posted her note about Nongfu Spring Oriental Leaves Jasmine. It bears a label by the design company Pearlfisher, who is also responsible for redesigning iconic brands like Absolut & Stella Artois, and more recently the Green & Black’s chocolate company branding. Anywu, what are some of your favorites?

41 Replies
SimplyJenW said

I think some of the prettiest packaging comes from Naivetea. I also love the distinctive black tins from Harney.

Dinosara said

Yeah, probably the best packed sample set I’ve ever gotten was the one from Naivetea. There is someone at that company with an incredible attention to detail, and it shows.

SimplyJenW said

Wait til you see a full sized tin. It comes in the same gorgeous box. Perfect for gift giving. The watercolor treatment is beautiful. (I think you have a pic of it on your standard panel…)

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momo said

I love Mariage Freres tins from the shape of them to the label. The labels make me feel like it really came off the ship of a tea company way back.

Andie select said

How is that website real? I am drooling over their packaging and some of those glass teapots! Do you know if they ship to the US?

momo said

I went into their shop in Paris and got too overwhelmed by everything I had to go back outside! Their website is really the same way. They ship everywhere – it’s kind of pricey of course, but it’s well worth it I think. If you want Marco Polo, you can get it at a Williams Sonoma store for I think $22. There’s one place that sells their tea online but they sell everything in bulk rather than in the tins, so you’re best off splurging directly.

cteresa said

I think Mariage Freres pretty much sends anywhere – though you will pay for that priviledge. From my experience, though it might depend on destination, it might be worth to order a LOT from them. You pay a lot to order 100gr, you pay a little bit more to order 200 gr, but then you sort of pay the same to order 800 or 900 grams of tea than you pay for 200 gr. Bankruptcy is a problem. And usually they are very trustworthy , of the loose leaf tins everything, no matter how cheap will be interesting and good quality. They are one of the best at rooibos IMO – bad rooibos IMO is bad, but MF is pretty reliable at having great rooibos.

I absolutely adore their iced tea glass teapots. But like a lot of their special edition tins I think they are meant to begifts and priced extravagantly (though their loose leaf teas is priced OK. There is a dichotomy, they price extravangtly the stuff to give as gifts, they price acceptably the stuff you buy to drink). Though to be fair, those glass jars got more tea than normal teas, 160 gr instead of the normal 100 as it should, since you use more tea for iced tea – and their tea bags have a generous 2.5 gr of tea instead of usual 2 or 1.5, Mariage Freres gets tea. I never had the courage to buy those glass jars, though I lust over them all the time.

Oh, and a tip, the only of those I have had iced, Casablanca is awesome awesome iced (I bought a 100 gr tin which might not last very long at all. I use 10 gr for 1 liter of tea). I really want to try Summer Snow as well, though they only sell it on the gift glass jar, and 40 euros, I just have not had the courage for that quite yet.

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I love some Taiwan double-lidded metal cans and some Japanese metal cans with printed paper.
I also like the hand-made box of Kenya Ajiri tea. I bought one box and thought the box was very cute. Later I heard from somebody that each box is different! That makes me want to buy more boxes!

The hand-made boxes do sound great, especially if each one is different. And what a great way for the people in Kenya to add value to their teas!

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Hrmm… all of our teas wind up being removed from their colorful packaging and being put into cold, boring metal tins with plain white labels with plain black lettering. And the number of tins on one shelf has to be a prime number. Okay, I kid about the last part.

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Say Tea’s jars look like apothecary jars to me and have an old world feel.

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cteresa said

I like tea tins to be sort of matched but to be stackeable. Much as I love Mariage Freres usually (and their tins are easy to reuse, you can peel off the sticker with name and rewrite another tea blend), their tins are a miss for me because of that. Not stackeable.

I like Kusmi tea tins very much, though not sure that ratio (too wide) is really good to keep tea away from air. Theodor tins look like a good idea, but never tried it live, just had those in my hand. Bellocq tins look gorgeous but never even saw those live, so no idea.

Label design wise, I love AndrewsDunham though I guess some of the designs could be pretty tiresome. And TWG tins,oh drool.

My ideal might be the old Twinings tea tins. The square ones, stackeable and each tin its own color, love the cube format though yeah the font and other details look pretty dated, and not totally in a good way.

But STACKEABLE tea tins please. I need to use all 3 dimensions to store my teas.
And I particularly like it when tins got an inner plastic seal. And of course that they are sold sealed.

SimplyJenW said

Upton sells a black plug top like the Twinings tins. IMO, they don’t stack well. My best tins for stacking are the ones from Harney. I have a few tins from David’s from orders long ago, and they stack fine, it is just that a stack of three is too tall for my cupboard. And I feel the square tins use up the footprint space the best.

Twinings website still sells loose leaf tins, and while not the perfectly square ones, judging by the indentation on the lid, they’re still stackable.

cteresa said

Yeah, i got some recent Twinings tea tins and they stack up fine – though I like the cube format of the old ones best. And LOL; I am a snob I like export rest-of-the-world Twinings tea tins (different colors) better than the UK-Ireland black tins. But the old ones, oh they are my thing. And I got to confess to being on a hunt for the export Irish breakfast Twinings tin, just because of the color and because it would look so good with the rest of the pile, even if I am not into breakfast mixes usually.

I got a couple harney tins, and yes they are pile-up which is a plus. And I like the lighter, fancier tins they use for teabags, though my problem with those is that they are for teabags!

cteresa said

And just for kicks, one of my favorite local shopwindows

from a gourmet store, where they usually have a window full of teas. Mostly Mariage Freres, though a few others at the edge. drool

SimplyJenW said

I still end up using the teabag tins for loose leaf later….. ;) Every once in a while, it is even the same tea but in loose leaf form.

Yes, the MF tea tins are drool-worthy! I am always uncertain what to order from them since the two teas I tried were not favorites. (Marco Polo..I know it is a favorite of the masses, but it was not for me, and The Rouge Bourbon was just average.) Besides, their teas are not as easily obtainable for those in the US. Yes, I am jealous for the teas that you are able to easily get in Europe!

cteresa said

Rouge Bourbon IMO is plain rooibos – it is very subtle vanilla, you got to really love rooibos to love it, the vanilla just adds oomph. I do like Marco polo very much, though it was not love at first sight! and I do love the rooibos marco, Marco Polo Rouge. Otherwise my favorites might be Thé sur le Nil (awesome iced as well) or Thé à l´Ópera. dunno. But they are trustworthy!

And it goes both ways, I can not get easily a lot of the teas highly praised mentioned here!

Excelsior said

The 100g lacquered canisters/tins from Mariage comes in a variety of colors. As they are perfectly flat, top and bottom, you can stack them. i have a set of 8 along with 4 200g canisters.

Try the straight unflavored FF Darjeelings from Mariage. Not the inexpensive ones, but their premium FF Darjeelings like Castleton or Margaret’s Hope. There is a world of difference between when you go up from the Princeton blend to the FF Castleton, FF Margaret’s Hope, etc. Only problem is, they are really expensive.

Wow, those Mariage Freres tins are quite cool looking, actually. Particularly the strange colored ones.

cteresa said

Thank you Excelsior! I mean the regular, standard black normal tins.

The colored ones are beautiful indeed, glad to know some are stackeable but pricey, either on their own (12, 15, 22 euros) or even pricier with tea blends. That is money i could spend on tea :)

I am not a Darjeeling person, maybe I never had the right one yet, i will keep that advice in mind, one of these days I will risk a better Darjeeling to see if that finally works for me.

Excelsior said

I figure buying a tin is not a continuous purchase. In fact, I still use the standard Mariage tins i have had for 23 years. Back then, the standard tins in Maraige Japan only added USD3 to the price of the tea. It is now priced at 12 Euros.

I figured it was time to change so I purchased the lacquered tins, one by one, on my quarterly trips to Japan. So the question I asked myself was, are these tins attractive? Yes. Will these tins last 20+ years? Most likely. Keeping that in mind, I don’t regret paying steep prices for the Mariage Freres Tins.

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OK, if we’re talking labels we can’t overlook Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Teas. I LOVE their labels … with most tins, I simply wash and allow to thoroughly dry so that I can reuse them. The tins from Damn Fine Teas are the ONLY tins that I have that I will not do this to, I am keeping the labels as protected as possible because they’re works of art… kitschy works of art, perhaps, but, they’re fun and I love them.

Blake said

I’m absurdly excite for the five tins of of A&D I’ve got ordered. A.) I’ve really been wanting try their teas themselves but B.) I’m incredibly stoked to have those tins in my cupboard. Even when empty, those will remain at the front as the first thing visible. I’ve yet to see photos of tea packaging that I felt compared.

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Will said

I have a soft spot for paper-packaged tea.

Me too! I once tried to use American traditional wooden tea boxes as molds to make Chinese traditional paper pack :-)

mbanu said

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Check this out you guys, a lot of these packages are for tea-bags and are from design students (so not on the market), but there is some seriously ingenious stuff!

Ninavampi said

Wow… Some of it seems too far fetched to be practical, but amazing ideas! Loved it! : )

Azzrian said

I swear I have seen one very similar to this before somewhere – not sure when or where but I know I had one like it while traveling!
Never mind can’t get the link to work.

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chadao said

Give me a silk wrapping for my tea, and I will be happy.

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