REAL Sparkling Fermented Tea: The Story Behind the Rebrand

 |   |  Sober Curious, The Modern Drinker 
REAL Sparkling Fermented Tea: The Story Behind the Rebrand

It may seem strange to be launching new branding in the depths of such turmoil. Our intended launch date was March 31st, but between planning and launch, the world changed dramatically. Still, after a lot of consideration, we have decided that this is something we really want to share with you. Hopefully it’ll offer something more positive to read about in these rather dark and gloomy days.

I feel as if I have been ripped apart, laid bare, emotionally drained. Reworking our brand – branding that is a representation of our own personal expressions, motivations and emotions – is completely exhausting. And when you get to the end of it, all you have is a deep, hollow fear that everyone will hate it. So, let’s see….

We wanted to express two juxtaposed views, and how they crash together in what we make, what we believe in, and how we express ourselves.

Firstly, I believe REAL is raw, open, expressive, sensual, and primal. To brew REAL, we take a single tea plant – a single variety, that has been on this earth for probably millions of years – and we ferment it using a natural fermentation, involving wild yeasts and wild bacterias that are likely to have evolved at the dawning of time. There is nothing more basic and primal than this.

To express the raw, primal nature of our origins, we took our lead from primal art. A single brush stroke, writ large and bold, like a scream in the dark. Emboldened further by a flash of bright colours that jumps out at you from the wall. This reflects cave paintings as much as it does modern primal artists like Basquiat, Penck, Ilana Gal, or street artists such as Blek le Rat or Anna Laurini – each of whom I’m personally inspired by. Each artist expresses their own bold message, straight from the heart.

But this is juxtaposed with the fine and detailed processes that we employ to control this wild and unkempt fermentation in order to release the delicate flavours in our final drinks. It takes deep scientific knowledge, great passion and enormous care and attention to lift and amplify each particular flavour. We sweat every detail with no less precision than the finest wines: the teas we ferment with, the make-up of our cultures, the conditions under which we brew. Every element is worked to the limit.

And our logo reflects this. It takes influences from Chinese Chops or Japanese Inkans as a mark of quality or authenticity. Chops have been a part of Chinese society for thousands of years, required as a signature for official documents and for bank transactions, or even for signing personal letters. But we are more interested in the artists’ chop, that seals in the authenticity of the artists’ work. Artists often carve their own intricate and ornate chops that are both a strong representation of their own personality, and very difficult to forge. And with this they sign their work. As do we…

But we didn’t stop there. We are little interested in simply selling liquid in a bottle. REAL exists for a purpose, to change the way the world drinks, to encourage us to make better choices and to inspire us all to be more conscious in our consumption. Tucked into the corners of our bold bottle imagery you’ll find another layer, this time of alternating messages, that hopefully challenge us to become a little more activist and make positive change in the world.

This comes straight from the heart. We are not interested in imitating our traditional alcoholic cousins. We believe we are as good as, if not better than, most sparkling wines. We have our own unique personality and identity that speaks to our own origins and approach to life. This is not steeped in age old wine traditions, even though we have learnt a lot from them. It is representative of the now and the future, of innovation and a new way of life, unencumbered by the constraints of these traditions. We can be whatever we want to be, and what you see is us.

So, let’s see what you think, warts and all. Take a view, let us know. Like it or hate it. Tear it apart or give it glowing praise. It is entirely up to you. If it inspires a momentary pause for thought, then we’ll know we’re on the right path.