Starbucks, Amanda, and her Tea Leaves Idea

Routine has got to be one of the biggest killers of creativity. Agreed? 

As I sat at my local Starbucks at lunch today, a now routine go-to spot for my daily cubicle break, I ordered not my usual drink, but a cup of tea.  Tazo tea.  And that's normally not remarkable except that I noticed they'd gotten in a new style of tea bag. (well, new for Starbucks anyway).  It's a sachet filled with whole tea leaves. 

A barista I hadn't seen before today watched me remove the sachet then examine the soggy bag with a quizzical expression.

"Isn't it nice?"

Her question took me by surprise.  I hadn't thought about a used teabag's better qualities, but there it was, sitting there on top of my lid, just looking kind of, well...  nice, like a tiny silk pillow of colorful potpourri.  It smelled really great, too.

"They use whole tea leaves now.  I use it for an air freshener in my car."  

Then she told me she'd even written to the powers at Starbucks (my terminology, not hers) and handed them her idea - air fresheners that smell like tea.  I thought it was genius.  No harsh chemical smells, no scent-alikes that have absolutely no business trying to mimic nature.  Just tea.

"Do you mind if I write about this?," I asked.  "I have a blog about creativity and want to include your idea."

So here it is, Amanda DeRienzo's little idea, which is actually rather Big.  It's green (recycled tea bags, natural scents).  It enhances the brand because it serves as a reminder of where the customer has purchased the item, and after use to make a lovely cup of tea, is absolutely free to freshen my cubicle all afternoon.

You go, Amanda.  Starbucks, are you listening?

1 comment:

  1. I started sending information and News Letters on Teas in 2002 I believe and started a blog recently. Today I started writing the values of tea leaves. Natural aroma of teas is a great idea. May be with some flower infusions I would like it. Please read -
    I would be posting if I finish today or latest on Monday.