Lipton's Tea by ajisaac

Lipton's Tea

A nice rusting metal Lipton's Tea sign outside on the streets of Newport.

Here is Lipton's story.

'From humble beginnings in a tenement building in Glasgow, Sir Thomas Lipton would rise to become a world-renowned entrepreneur, yachtsman and of course, tea merchant extraordinaire.

At the tender age of just 16, Lipton signed up as a cabin boy and ventured to the USA where he held a series of jobs before returning to Scotland to help his parents run their grocery store.

Lipton took to the grocery business like a duck to water and one store soon became a chain of stores across Glasgow. One of the products he would sell to his customers was tea and it wasn’t long before he spotted a huge potential in this refreshing brew and bought his first tea farm in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He then reorganized it and introduced an innovative cable car system to make transporting leaves more efficient.

Always a man of firsts, Lipton took self-promotion to a whole new level, using spectacular publicity stunts at every opportunity. When the first Lipton grocery store opened in Glasgow 1871, he celebrated by importing the world’s largest cheese and issuing ‘Lipton Currency Notes’. This man knew how to entertain, and it paid off - soon creating a nation of Lipton’s lovers.

But what set Lipton apart was that, in an age when tea was a rare and expensive luxury, he believed that anyone, of any class, should be able to enjoy tea at its best.

He established the Thomas J Lipton Co. tea packaging company in Hoboken, New Jersey and began to look for ways to make packaging and shipping less expensive. Instead of arriving in crates, loose tea was packed in multiple weight options. He also cut out the middleman and was the first to sell loose tea direct to the masses. At last, you didn’t have to be an aristocrat to enjoy a great cup of tea.

Soon after, tea bags were accidentally discovered by American merchant, Thomas Sullivan (he sent tea samples to customers in silk bags which they then presumed should be placed in water). Lipton saw the future, and was the first to start selling tea bags. He was also the first to print brewing instructions on tea bag tags.'

Information taken from 'The History of Lipton Tea' on the official website.

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