Tea Brand Advertising Writer in Germany

Wenzhuo Liu

Thomas Langnickel-Stiegler, a German, is a freelance advertising writer who, due to his love of drinking tea, has done a lot of advertising planning for several well-known German companies regarding tea. He advocates that brands should not create an image without ground, but should be customer-oriented, tell the brand story well, and actively engage with customers. He believes that in Europe, at least in Germany, drinking tea will become a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle in the near future, and Europeans will be willing to spend more money on drinking better tea. Thomas also hopes to put forward some personal opinions and suggestions to Chinese tea brands that want to enter the German market, and discuss with me whether Chinese tea should bravely show its characteristics and take the initiative to define itself, as well as the international status of Chinese tea culture history.

Thomas’ mother comes from East Frisia, a traditional tea drinking region in Germany. Influenced by his mother, he has been fond of drinking tea since childhood. Gradually coming into contact with Western blended tea, he switched to drinking Chinese white tea, and after learning some knowledge of brewing tea, he became interested in tea science popularization. His major in university was language and public relations, he studied Chinese for two semesters. After graduation, Thomas worked as a public relations and advertising writer in Berlin. In order to find more job opportunities, he went to the traditional Berlin old tea shop to try his luck. After a year of practical operation at the Runge&Graf OHG tea shop, Thomas consciously provided advertising and public relations services for tea related enterprises.

Since 2012, Thomas has been a founding partner of the Paper&Tea tea brand. During his three years of full-time work, he assisted the team in opening two tea shops in Berlin, participating in tasks ranging from tea selection to packaging design to employee training. It is worth noting that this new brand has emerged in recent years, rapidly expanding and opening stores in bustling commercial areas of major cities in Germany, and subsequently expanding to neighboring countries. In 2015, Thomas became a freelance ad writer for other brand projects. Most of them were involved in the German tea industry, such as the German supplier of tea imported from China and Japan, and the German household appliance brand Vorwerk, which produced the smart tea machine Temial.

Regarding the entry of Chinese tea brands into Europe, Thomas believes that brands need to know their own stories and tell the right ones. Taking Anji White Tea as an example, Thomas believes that this tea is classified as a high-end tea in the German market. Its unique leaf color is also a memory point, rich in various amino acids required by the human body, and high in content. It can be promoted as a health brand. I learned that Anji White Tea was included in the <EU-China Landmark Geographical Indications Agreement> signed by China and the European Union in 2020, which appends the geographical indication products with regional characteristics of both sides. Tea is the largest proportion of China’s first batch of products in the agreement, covering seven major tea categories, including Fuding White Tea, Anxi Tieguanyin, Huoshan Yellow Bud, Pu’er Tea and Zhengshan Xiaozhong, and other landmark tea products, helping European consumers identify high-quality Chinese tea. European importers generally wholesale tea from China through reference sample. Chinese tea companies produce products with sensory quality matching through tea samples, as there is no unified tea grade system in Europe, which also leads to significant differences in the quality of the same tea from different European tea brands, making it difficult for customers to distinguish tea quality and compare cost-effectiveness. I extend my thinking that Chinese brands entering the European market can simply introduce the Chinese sensory evaluation system through education and entertainment. Explain relevant knowledge such as standard grading to help customers answer questions and doubts.

Tea produced in various countries can be found in the European German market, and the demand for tea is quite diverse. Thomas believes that European tea drinkers now have a established understanding of tea, and each country produces its own unique tea. If we discuss which country produces the best tea, we will immediately fall into a chaotic and entangled discussion. I think that the successful application of China’s traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices to the World Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2020 is a good answer to the problem. It can not only correct the name of Chinese tea, but also let the world understand the true history. Chinese ancestors invented various tea processing methods, and other countries improved or simplified based on these methods to produce tea products with their own characteristics. This is a fact that does not need to be debated. Thomas mentioned a statement that I haven’t heard for the first time. It’s a suggestion for Chinese tea companies to be humble and not mention producing the best tea in the world. Tea making and drinking originated from China, and the name comes from Chinese. The tea processing technology in the modern world is still based on traditional Chinese processing technology. Why can’t China say it makes the best tea? I have come into contact with frontline practitioners in tea cultivation and processing in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe. They often express their admiration for Chinese tea and praise the variety, quality, and advanced scientific research of Chinese tea. They hold a humble attitude and hope to learn and exchange in China to improve their tea industry. I consider that the success of applying for the World Heritage is the first step. All kinds of Chinese tea products can take the initiative to define themselves, bravely show their own characteristics, and strengthen the international publicity and education of Chinese tea culture history.


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