How Sexy can a Tea brand get?
A tea brand can get so sexy that no less than 30,000 people can queue for it one day. This is the strange story of SexyTea, a chinese tea brand that is turning quite a number of heads. SexyTea began serving milk tea in the city of Changsha, Hunan province in 2013. If you are probably wondering how amazing the tea would taste, you would be disappointed when you actually have it because the tea they serve is reportedly known for its colour more than its taste.
Tea is said to have originated in China. Though it is something they own, it was not savoured alike throughout history. If we go back a few decades to the late 80s, the economic conditions of the country were not so great and so only tea powder was the main ingredient in their tea. Later, tea turned into a street food/beverage that would contain cheap ingredients such as milk powder and fruit flavour. According to cultural analysts, it is only recently that milk was made a main ingredient along with real fruits. Advanced extraction techniques also made tea the most desired beverage in China in the twenty-first century.
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The advent of the modern era and the better living standards of the country prompted several local brands to flourish. With SexyTea attracting more genZ customers, it is believed that the younger generation is wanting more sophistication and better quality compared to the earlier generations that were content with what they could get. The phenomenon of flavoured milk tea and the success of local brands such as SexyTea are manifestations of aspirations that stayed latent until recently.
Though SexyTea was caught up in controversies and backlash for sexist adverts, the brand is doing well. This is one strange brand that does not offer takeaways, serves only fresh milk tea and even allows customers to ask for another cup of tea if they did not like the taste or flavour. In the early days, SexyTea spent a fortune on taking copyrights of famous Chinese paintings to print them on their tea cups. The brand communicates in the local dialect, exploits social media like anything and directly operates all stores to keep up the quality. It is now customary for tourists and visitors to post their pictures enjoying SexyTea. This tea seller is so absorbed into the daily life of the city that there’s even a popular joke that says the distance between any two stores of SexyTea in Changsha is just three meters.
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SexyTea is a classic case as to how a local brand can set standards and dismiss the myth of global standards and globalization. Maybe, being local is sexy now, dialect is sexy and nativity sexy.
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