“I like to think of myself as a ‘Tea Messenger’. On one hand,
sharing wild and ancient tea - on the other hand, sharing the love fr
om tea lovers to the makers and pickers in the mountains.”
When Buzzbar first met Rui Liu, Grass People Tree was an idea, a passion - a vision.
Born and raised in Guizhou, Southwest China, Rui grew up amid tea masters and makers, where authentic, unprocessed tea is the lifeblood of the mountains and people of the region.
Guizhou is an area with a deep rooted sense of tradition and an unshakeable commitment to ancient tea techniques and Rui felt impassioned to use her experience living and working among this work as a way of reaching out to others.
In London, Rui wanted to blend the timeless knowledge of Chinese tea masters with the rich variety of urban life. Buzzbar were brought in to help Rui turn her vision into a beautiful brand from the ground up; an incredibly enjoyable creative experience for us, as we were inspired by both the extent of Rui’s knowledge and the infectious passion she has for her work.
The first step was to create a name. When the combination of Chinese words for “grass” “people” and “tree” are put together, they transform into the word “tea” (茶). Simple, effective and meaningful. Next came a logo to represent both the product and human element of the brand, and powerful photography to bring it all to life.
Grass People Tree was born - a London-based teaware shop and drinking collective dedicated to providing an inclusive environment of storytelling, relaxation, and natural brews. “I like to think of myself as a ‘Tea Messenger,” shares Rui. “On one hand, sharing wild and ancient tea - on the other hand, sharing the love from tea lovers to the makers and pickers in the mountains.”
Rui keeps her promise to the tea makers that she knows so well. Each year she returns to the mountains of Guizhou for two months and when back in London, she reaches out every Monday to share feedback from the tea lovers that are visiting her shop.
Grass People Tree prides itself on providing so much more than tea to their customers, too. It is not just the aroma of tea that hits you as you walk through the shop door, there is a real community feel; a calming environment. Grass People Tree promotes greener living and encourages people to delve into the culture behind the tea. Tea Experiences for individuals and groups offer a 90-minute tasting journey through an ancient tea ceremony. They have even set up a fund to help encourage young people from remote villages (typically aged between 18-25) to come and learn traditional tea-making from the Tea Master for spring 2019. “We want the word “consumption” to actually mean something positively tangible,” explains Rui.
As we reflect on our work with Grass People Tree, we couldn’t be more proud of helping them to grow. Rui has created a beautiful, holistic, sustainable, changemaking brand - a brand where she can share stories of home through the gentle yet uncompromising voice of tea.
We can’t wait to see what Grass People Tree have coming next.