Imporient, brand owner of Birchall Tea, is a family owned/managed London tea company specialising in premium teas and herbal infusions. One of the largest exporters of tea from East Africa, it owns the Pfunda Tea Estate in the North of Rwanda. WW was asked to re-present its existing Imporient-branded teas, which had worked well in the trade for 5 years, into a competitively powerful consumer brand to be sold in premium retail outlets.

As part of that process WW were commissioned to redesign the packaging for Imporient’s Black Tea and Infusion ranges. Our inspiration came from the unique landscape where the brand’s tea plantation resides, within the Rift Valley and in the shadow of active volcano. Working primarily on the three black teas, WW renamed their breakfast blend to Great Rift and then created an illustrated landscape using collage to base the packaging around. Each tea had a signature colour, and taking inspiration from wine, WW created key descriptors like – Single Estate & Estate Grown.

We told the Birchall story both inside and outside the packaging: the region’s geographical characteristics, heritage, quality, the tea’s taste character, family values, local charity work, the Pfunda tea estate – are carefully communicated thus ensuring the brand’s long-term value and justifying its premium positioning.

The creative route was extended for the 7-strong Infusions range. As the ingredients were not from East Africa we focussed on the emotional quality of Infusion referencing abstract expressionism. Each box blends three colour washes together with the dominant colour, chosen to reflect each specific tea, and being used on both the lid and the base, as with the black teas. We also incorporated the historical card game of the ‘never-ending’ landscape where the consumer can sit each Infusion beside another and create a continuous landscape.The project has taken a year to complete but initial signs are very encouraging. In the UK, Birchall is gaining listings in several premium retail high street outlets including M&S, Harvey Nichols, and Carluccio’s, with UK trade and export interest strong as well.