BRUU is an online gourmet tea club, which will deliver a box of teas every month through subscriber's letterboxes. 

I've been asking Anneka James, a Director at BRUU, about the business and its plans for future growth. 

In one sentence, what is your product/service?

We are BRUU, the UK's first gourmet tea club delivering super tasty ethically sourced tea through your letterbox every month.

What problem(s) does it solve?

The problem is tea bags. 

If you drink coffee you know that fresh ground beans taste a lot better than off-the-shelf instant coffee. It's the reason why Costa and Starbucks have grown so fast. 

To us, teabags are like instant coffee. Convenient, cheap, readily available but very average tasting.

We wanted to introduce tea drinkers to a better BRUU and make it both easier and more affordable for them to try out lots of new tasty teas each month. We pride ourselves on selling the best tea - you will be hard pressed to find a better tasting tea in the UK.

What are your immediate goals?

We would like to introduce as many people as possible to a better tasting brew. For them to ditch the dreaded tea bag and to taste tea at its very finest. 

How will the company make money?

Customers sign up to our tea club and pay a monthly subscription to receive different teas each month. The tea we sell is very expensive, but our model means we can offer customers the tea at a more affordable price.

We could have sold lower grade tea leaves like a lot of other companies do, but we wanted to sell the best which ended up costing twice as much. 

What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?

The biggest challenge is how we are limited by our platform. We are using Shopify for its stability and speed but as the business grows we will need greater functionality and customer personalisation so at this point we will look to build our own system, or potentially consider using Magento.

Who is in your team?

There are five people in our team who all absolutely love tea. We expect to see this number double before the end of the year. 

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

In one year I would like BRUU to be recognised as selling the best tasting tea in the UK online.

Looking further ahead we would like to expand this internationally and open a chain of retail premises to spread the word offline. 

Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?

I really love the app Pocket. It connects with your phone and web browser and lets you save interesting articles to read later.

You read them in Pocket and it standardises fonts and images to make it easier to read and faster to load. It is awesome.

I also really love Rapportive for Gmail which shows your additional information on your contact inside your inbox, so you can connect with them socially with one click.

Graham Charlton

Published 12 September, 2014 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (3)

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Joe

Why would you pay for tea that other people choose for you?

about 3 years ago

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Lawrence Everard

Given the dramatically falling tea sale figures in the UK, I'm very interested to see which way this goes.

I like the premise and given that buying everyday tea is a very dull shopping experience I wish them well.

about 3 years ago

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Anneka

Thanks for the comments Joe and Lawrence.

I totally agree that tea sales are down but this is only in the traditional breakfast tea sector dominated by brands like PG Tips.

More customers are switching to green teas and infusions - this market has grown enormously and one only has to look at the space supermarkets dedicate to this category now as a sign of its growth.

We really want to encourage people to experience different teas which otherwise they may not have tried so our model lends itself to this more.

But it is not for everyone and perhaps over time we will shape the model to accommodate for individuals that have more specific tastes.

PS:
And thank you Lawrence for your kind words.

about 3 years ago

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