SINGAPORE – There's always time for a nice cup of tea, and now you can order it online.
As we continue to live with the vagaries of Coronavirus still impacting our lives in many ways, it's nice to be able to comfort ourselves with something soothing, warming and with the feel of family love. But, yes, there's nothing a nice cup of tea can't solve.
When the first rounds of lockdown happened, and we all rushed out to stock up on toilet paper, rice and pasta sauce, some of us were also desperately hoping that our favourite teas were still available.
For tea connoisseurs, a basic Earl Grey, however, was not what they wished for. Rather, their thoughts turned to dreams of haute couture teas like Alexandria Tea, Darjeeling Nouveau (2021) tea, Jade Dragon tea, or Grand Lung Ching tea.
Luckily, one of Singapore's most popular purveyors of fine teas, Twg Tea, was able to keep the connoisseurs happy with the expansion of its digital offerings available internationally.
"As a luxury brand, we are conscious that our brick-and-mortar locations are unlikely to be on every street corner around the globe," explains Maranda Barnes, Director of Corporate Communications and Co-Founder of Twg Tea.
"Growing our online retail business makes it possible for us to deliver the Twg Tea experience to a wider group of customers around the world. Given that many of our customers cannot shop at our brick-and-mortar locations in person right now, the pandemic has presented us with the chance to identify and better serve markets beyond the major capital cities we are already available in."
Like most businesses, Twg Tea was initially greatly impacted by the arrival of the Coronavirus: "Our immediate priority was to ensure that our teams around the world kept their jobs while our Tea Salons and Boutiques were temporarily closed due to pandemic guidelines," explains Ms Barnes.
"Beyond this, our biggest challenge was to anticipate how our customers' needs would evolve. We are thankful that we had, prior to the pandemic, already expanded online into markets where we do not have physical stores. So it was natural for us to then focus on growing our footprint online – especially to serve customers in places beyond the major capital cities."
According to Barnes, Twg Tea has "doubled the size of [its] e-commerce team to support [its] growing online business and operations". The company also invested in a dedicated warehouse and fulfilment centre in Singapore, creating ergonomic workstations since most Twg Tea's products are hand-packaged.
Most popular teas & accessories
While we endured lockdowns and Circuit Breakers, more of us searched for interesting activities to fill in our unexpected free time. Learning more about tea and its presentation was a popular hobby choice in Singapore and the region.
"As customers pay more attention to creating tea experiences in their homes, our handmade teacups and teapots sell well," says Barnes, also highlighting Twg Tea's reusable cotton tea filters and handcrafted tea tins and tea scoops as popular online purchases.
"Topping the list is the Boston Teapot. It has a convenient knob created to fix the teabag when preparing and pouring your tea. Our Design Orchid Teapots, which are available in nine colours and two sizes, are also popular as the pieces can be mixed and matched with our tea warmers," Barnes shares.
"They give our customers the flexibility to choose pieces that suit their mood, style and needs. To complete the tea drinking experience at home, [people] are also purchasing our hand-poured tea scented candles, house-made tea-infused shortbread cookies and tea jellies."
Another popular thing to do with tea is to gift it to someone you miss.
"Our gifting category is one of the most significant areas of growth for us online," says Ms Barnes. Items like 100% cotton tea bags, the specially packaged Haute Couture tea collection, and the Caviar Tin Tea Collection of 12 different teas to try are the most popular tea gifts to send, according to Ms Barnes.
Although daily life is mostly back to normal, it's still a lovely idea to send your family and friends something that's as warm and comforting as tea. So here's to having a lovely cuppa!
To shop Twg Tea online, go to twgtea.com
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