When I started working as a writer for a PR Company, one of the things I remember most about my first days was the advice one of my bosses gave during one of our creative team weekly meetings. First is to not to limit ourselves to our job descriptions, to learn from the other facets of the work, and another is to learn from our clients.
I took this advice with a grain of salt, but added it to the growing list of reasons for why I was really starting to like my new environment. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is what I would like to call a serious “learning” environment, comprised of individuals who value developing themselves in various ways, as much as they value doing well in their work.
But I digress.
The other day, I experienced what it meant to “learn from your client,” after a brand immersion with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. As I have been already a fan of the brand because of its brightly lit yet cozy interiors, quality cafe fare, and my all-time favorite Chai tea latte, I was sincerely excited about having the opportunity to write about it. I already knew that there was much more to the brand than premium coffee and tea, but I didn’t expect to leave the meeting feeling as inspired as I did when I left the cafe.
The closest I ever got to studying business or marketing was through a minor I took in college for Development Management. I knew then that if I was ever to start a business then it would be either: one that would help the underprivileged or one that promotes an advocacy. Having started Coral Swimwear earlier this year with my business partner Margaux, it is a dream come true that we are on the way to fulfilling the latter, but what I didn’t know was that one could start a business possibly without having either of these in mind, and yet eventually be able to fulfill both objectives.
Case in point: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It started out in the sixties with a couple who traveled to Europe and discovered outstanding coffee shops, saw the potential of bringing the concept to the US, and did it.
Several decades and an international expansion later, the brand has grown into a means of livelihood for coffee farmers across continents, partnered with non-government organisations to provide housing and education for communities worldwide (The Caring Cup), and launched programs for its customers such as the “Brew Your Best Year” program, which I am proud to share was created by my theology classmate back in college, Nella Lomotan. This program, my current favorite, seeks to create a community that encourages individuals to be their best selves, through workshops and their social media platforms. I would also hate to leave out the “Giving Journal,” the brand’s yearly commitment to help customers live flavorful, authentic, and intentional lives.
Isn’t that an inspiring mouthful? Or rather, cupful?
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a brand with a depth that takes the quintessential cafe experience to levels that change lives on several scales.
Inside and out. Food for the body and the soul.
It is a brand layered with meaning, from the detailed dedication to providing quality products to the ambitious yet authentic efforts to change lives through the community it has grown throughout the world.
And so the next time I make a visit to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, I will thoroughly and thoughtfully enjoy my Chai knowing that, thanks to the brand behind it, the flavors of someone else’s life are changing for the better.