Shayne House

Tea Appreciation Society

In 2008 I co-founded the Tea Appreciation Society; essentially as a social media experiment. As a blogger and an early adopter of social media, I was exploring how a brand could engage people online. I was responsible for developing and nurturing an online audience that grew organically to half a million. I did this by creating & curating relevant content on my blog and on social media.

I developed a range of merchandise, which included organic cotton t-shirts that were made with the aid of wind & solar energy, and printed with tea related slogans using water based inks.

I also worked with a tea merchant and developed a range of tea that was soil association organic certified. I also ensured that the Tea Appreciation Society was the only tea brand in the UK to be signed up to Patagonia’s 1% for the planet initiative.

The success of the T.A.S enabled me to develop & monetise co-marketing opportunities with brands such as Cravendale, Yorkshire Tea & Tetley, all of whom commissioned me to help grow their Facebook communities. This was prior to Facebook launching their own advertising model.

I was also contracted by KEO Films and the BBC, as a consultant to Victoria Wood’s two-part programme; A Nice Cup of Tea (2013).

Below is a short film I produced. The music is by the composer Matthew Slater. The pianist is John-Paul Gandy. 

I wrote a Manifesto for Tea Drinkers, inspired by, and a response to the Italian Futurist Manifesto of 1909.   

The original manifesto with real tea stains, 2008, and the ‘supermarket friendly’ edit, 2008. 

The manifesto was championed by ︎︎︎ Howies, and published in their much loved and highly sought after journal... 

I was invited to give a Wee Do Lecture at the Howies Bristol shop. I talked about the symbiotic relationship between Tea & Creativity.

Photos courtesy of Nick Hand. 

We donated the Tea Appreciation Society t-shirt design to Howies for a limited period, and 20% of the proceeds of the sale of that design was donated by Howies to The Do Lectures that year.

The ‘I Love Tea’ logo was also hand painted on the wall of the Howies store in Carnaby Street.

To quote David Hieatt, I Love Tea... the howies t-shirt of the week sold over 430 t-shirts. That has raised over £1,000 for the do lectures. Thanks to everyone at the tea appreciation society. What can we say, but love to have a cuppa with you and say a thanks in real life.”

"The word ‘influencer’ comes to mind when I think of Shayne House. He has an incredible ability to get ideas to really connect to online audiences. As such I have worked with him over the years on various projects and hope to continue to into the future. Oh... and on top of all that he is a top bloke." ~ Jonathan Chiu, Brand Manager, Make Mine a Builders Tea.