Monday, 7 March 2016

Project Love: Noble & Savage Tea Merchants

I love seeing New Zealand brands pushing the boundaries and generally just being awesome. Noble and Savage is a tea company doing just that. Graphically, I'm absolutely loving the bright cobalt blue used throughout the packaging and the lovely typographic logo. Would absolutely stand out from the crowds on any shelf! The story from the founders below...
Noble & Savage was conceived when its two founders, Rupert and Alan decided meet up at a cafe to talk business. Feeling uninspired by the stale dust­filled teabag sitting in their cups, they decided they could do better. After years of research, travel, and thousands of tea tastings, they have delivered a range of premium and accessible loose leaf tea that tastes as good as it looks.  
The first cafe Noble and Savage stocked was Coffee Supreme’s flagship store, Supreme Supreme in Christchurch. Since then, Noble & Savage has spread to a range of high­end cafes throughout New Zealand and is about to release their retail range online. The design hits the right tones with its subtle nautical feel, tipping its hat to the first tea drinking pioneers who brought the tradition to New Zealand.  
The timeless yet modern packaging helps to transform tea into an everyday experience that’s just a little bit special. For many, having that cuppa between meals is their quiet time, so making it a treat rather than a commodity can be a great way to start and end your day. 
Painstaking attention has been paid to every detail, from the custom nooks in the stickers to the classic string and button closure on the back of the retail box. Opening the box, you’ll find the blue insides contrast with the perfect shade of matte gold, and a little tasting card tucked at the back to let you know more. The brew guide is kept simple, with a few little symbols on the front of the packaging letting you know time and temperature needed to get the most out of your brew. 
The range has been designed specifically for the kiwi palate, aiming to deliver something special for tea lovers and helping people seeking a healthy option to find something exciting and new. 
The bar was set by flavour testing the range on a panel of people who weren’t tea drinkers. Rupert and Alan knew if they could convert them, the blends were perfect. Rather than the the “acquired taste” some beverages need, they wanted a range that is easy to drink and delicious. This is not just tea for tea lovers, this is tea for everyone. Tea that makes you feel good, hours after you drink it. 
Noble and Savage twists their range into something a little bit extra. Green tea? Let’s add some vanilla to that. Black tea? How about black tea with chilli flakes, rose peppers and white chocolate. However they have picked some divine teas that need no additions, such as their Black and Gold tea, from the Yunnan province, renowned for its many golden tips yielding it a sweet, smooth brew. 
Tea has been so popular for generations and has dipped in recent years ­ but it’s making a dramatic comeback in the western world. We are rediscovering tea, and realising it can be so much more than what comes in the supermarket. The difference between loose leaf tea and the teabags is freshness, grade and the size of the leaf. Fine tea loses its oils and flavour, leaving just bitterness behind. Brewed just right, loose leaf tea can have a subtle sweetness to it and a rich flavour that many don’t know tea could have. You won’t be needing milk or sugar to go with this beverage, save that for the stuff that comes in a bag. Full bodied, flavourful, aromatic and feel good, you won’t want to add a thing to overpower the delicate and wonderful taste experience of a Noble and Savage tea.
Photography by James Stanbridge.

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