Thursday, November 7, 2019

Interview: Tatjana and Tom of Teapro UK

Tatjana and Tom, photo courtesy of Teapro UK

Instagram is by far my favorite way to connect with tea people, I love looking at all the creative tea photos! One account that always entertains and amuses is Teapro UK. Founders Tatjana and Tom are incredibly whimsical and artistic. They do a great job of illustrating the joys of tea. Teapro UK is a virtual tea shop where you can browse tea and teaware, or order tea subscription boxes. Our interview below gives you a peek into the life of two tea-entrepreneurs, and how they keep the creative juices flowing.

There are many tea subscriptions out there, why did you decide to start one?
Tea is both simple and complex. Tea subscriptions are getting increasingly popular and yet finding a product you want to have every month is not as easy as you’d think. We wanted to create an experience that is designed to increase your enjoyment and knowledge of tea and inspire you on your tea adventure, not just to deliver tea We wanted to be loose leaf only, healthy, educational, environmental, personal and enjoyable.

What sets Teapro UK apart from the other tea subscriptions?
Little details, like our insert cards, hand paper packing of glasses, sticker albums and stickers bring a sense of completeness to your tea experience.
Medium details, like our loose leaf only mantra and exquisite tea-ware.
Bigger details, like our relentless quest to discover the finest organic, authentic premium loose leaf teas from around the world and our plastic free ethics down to every detail.

How did you both get into tea?
We were stumbling together through North London and had a loose leaf Dragon Well green tea from a now closed tea shop and the moment we had our loose leaf tea-piphany.

Photo courtesy of Teapro UK

How do you decide the teas to add to each box?

We started by structuring the tea-verse. We mapped out 12 themed boxes to match the seasons and tea experiences we feel people must try including: Black and Yellow, White Gold and Herbalism boxes. These tea boxes were then filled by our ongoing relentless refining, discovery and sampling of the best teas emulate the experience of the box in particular focusing on the traditional growing areas. Our Dragon Well for example comes from near to THE Dragon Well (Long Jing in Chinese) where a village water well has high mineral water content. They call it Dragon Well because when it rains, the mineral water creates the appearance of Dragons dancing inside the Well.

How do you source your teas?
Sourcing is probably harder than sampling. We have to get our feelers out across through word of mouth and hard graft research to ensure we unearth the treasures we are looking for. We ensure we have drunk all of our teas (with re-steeps) before we would agree to sell it and unlike other subscription companies work with different farms for our different teas and source from around the world, often from China but including China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Rwanda and even Thailand.

Do either of you have any personal tea rituals?
Tom likes to listen to Alan Watts and have a herbal tea such as Greek High Mountain tea in the evening before going to bed. Tatjana is always trying to take an elegant shot for our instagram before tucking in to her brew.

I love all of your fun photos. How do you come up with the ideas?
Coming up with ideas is easy sometimes, other times we seem to need lots of help and research. Luckily photography is a bit of a side hobby for Tatjana, so she just loves experimenting and trying out different ideas.  Sometimes, we get inspired by other content creators. There is so much creativity and talent on Instagram - it’s a great place to get inspiration. Other times, we think of a theme and than try to figure out how we can tie tea into it.

We are trying to better get our message across about the pleasures of loose leaf tea and quite often the tea is so interesting we can let it be the star of the photo.

What has inspired you lately?
We are inspired by TrashTagging as well as our growing network of friends and influencers. Also our customers' photos and reviews, especially when out of nowhere - you wake up to beautiful blogs and articles. It’s incredibly heart warming and it inspires us to keep going :)

What is in the future for teapro UK?
We would like to further our environmental, homelessness and community work (we have big plans!), while trying to establish teapro as the best luxury loose leaf tea company in the Universe.

Thank you Tatjana and Tom! To learn more about Teapro you can visit their website, check out their creative Instagram feed, or visit their YouTube channel

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