TRCH Priscilla

Bird and Blend Tea Co. Are Smashing The Tea Game

18 November 19 interview: Eve Smallman

Bird & Blend Tea Co. is an independent, award-winning tea company on a mission to reimagine tea. Started by Krisi Smith and her mate Mike, the business began in the bedroom of a house in Nuthall, and their range of over 200 teas now sit pretty in their eight physical UK stores...

What makes Bird & Blend different from other tea brands?  
We’re a young, caring and exciting Tea Mixology company that mix up the most creative and flavourful tea blends. We have a huge range, and we’re proud to say we have the largest selection of matcha in the world. There’s a tea for everyone – even for the people who say they don’t like tea. Nothing brings people together like sharing a pot of tea. 

How have things changed at Bird & Blend in the past year?
Our biggest change would have to be our change in name and branding, going from Bluebird Tea Co to Bird & Blend Tea Co. We were challenged by a big company who use part of our name in one of their restaurants and they own the trademark across a range of classes, including the one covering dry packs of tea!

We don’t want you to think we gave up without a fight though. We spent a big chunk of time and resources trying to fight to keep our name. We tried a lot of options – including offering to become their tea supplier. However, we saw this a great opportunity to get creative. We have worked with our customers and our team to really bring together what is special to us, keeping some of the old but bringing in a bit of new. Since last April we’ve opened four more stores and have been continuing to build on our local customer fan base. 

What's been Bird & Blend's biggest achievement so far?
I’m really proud to have gone from packing tea in our back bedroom and building Bird & Blend from scratch to now having eight stores, especially in today’s climate. Our reputation for great customer service is another big achievement – it proves that we not only have a good product, but also provide a great experience. 

How do you come up with new flavours?
I always carry a notebook with me as I’m constantly inspired by things I see day to day. For instance, when I nip to the supermarket and spark an idea down the cereal aisle, or I’m at a cocktail bar and trying delicious flavour combinations. I also get ideas from our customers who often come up with great names or concepts.

What have you got coming up for the festive season?
We’ve got lots of new festive products coming out which we’re all super excited about, especially our advent calendar. For the time we're hosting build your own advent calendar events in our stores. 

We’re also supporting Time to Talk Befriending for our ChariTEA this quarter, which is all about helping those aged 65+ combat loneliness. Vicky’s Sponge Cake is their chosen tea, so 100% of the profits will be donated to them. Also, we’ll be running a CommuniTEA Knit In events on Thursday 21 November – everyone’s welcome to bring their own yarn and create a granny square pouch to give to the ChariTEA, and bag a free cup of tea on arrival.   

5 Victoria Street, NG1 2EW

Bird and Blend Tea Co. website