Posted in Kafevend Blog
Like the origins of a great many well known tea and coffee companies, Lipton began as a single grocery store owned by the Scotsman Thomas Lipton, which he opened in 1871. Unlike the aforementioned companies, Mr Lipton established an incredibly large chain of stores- several hundreds- before tea became one of the main products sold in his small business empire.
At the time, whilst prices had been falling generally, tea was still a rather expensive item, certainly far out of the reach of the working class of Britain. Lipton realised that by cutting out the middle man and obtaining tea directly from plantations it would mean that he could sell it that much more cheaply. Whilst travelling around the world. he met another Scotsman named James Taylor, and with him brokered a deal to buy tea from Taylor's new plantation in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka.
Lipton's other novel idea was to change the way people bought tea. Originally, tea would be sold from chests and weighed out for the customer. An issue of this method was that buyers didn't know how fresh the tea was, and if they were receiving the correct amount. Lipton sold tea in pre-measured packages of a quarter pound, half pound, and one pound. The packaging itself was also a new idea- the vibrant yellow and red made the brand easily recognisable.