Archive for the ‘Tea’ tag
Still playing catch up on the Mediapost column front. So here's a previous Online Spin article about customer experience (or the lack thereof) when it comes to Tea. And obviously the implications in terms of how you are packaging and ultimately putting a premium on your otherwise commoditized product or service.
I’m not sure what your personal experience is
like where you live on this small planet, but here in America, when you
buy tea in a restaurant or café, the most incredibly (bad)
customer service occurs.
When you order tea, you typically
receive a cup (and saucer) of boiling water and (separately) a standard
tea bag from a popular commercial brand such as Lipton. Your
mission (should you choose to accept it) is to open the tea bag
packaging and proceed to dip your teabag to your heart’s content. For
this manual labor, you are charged some kind of
ridiculous premium: typically $2.75 or more.
Even Homer J.
Simpson himself would be able to do the math to calculate cost of good
sold (COGS) of a cup of boiling water (it’s pretty much
zero) and a teabag (again, pretty much zero).
Contrast this with
a similar scenario at your local Starbucks, where an Americano (boiling
water and a few shots of espresso) sells to willing
buyers at around $4 +.
In the former example, I would contend
that restaurants should give away generic tea for free. Or if not, you
should get as many teabags (and hot water) as you like.
Yes, I get the fact some people like strong tea versus weak tea, but by
the same token, restaurants don’t slap a raw piece of meat on your plate
and say, “grill it yourself, ” do
they? Perhaps I’m a romantic, but I hold hope that my waiter or
restaurant barista is trained in the dark arts of “weak” or “strong” tea
Or of course, a
restaurant can get fancy and create a tea library that rivals its
single-malt scotch collection. Green, peppermint, Rooibos, lemon — and
the flavors continue. They could even invest in real tea
leaves, strainers and exotic flavors such as Mango Diablo (I recently
purchased these from a new specialty tea store in Westport called Davids Tea).
day and age of transparency, there’s such a thing as too much
transparence. In a time when customer experience is the new marketing,
everything that touches a customer — from website
design and UI to preparation of tea — is part of customer service.
When done right, our customers will pay a premium for great service,
storytelling, subject matter expertise and concierge
solutions. When done wrong, Twitter is just 140 characters away.
it’s true that necessity is the mother of invention, I would contend
that survival is the father of innovation.
There’s absolutely nothing stopping a restaurant from turning the
uninspiring delivery of a commodity into a unique, memorable and
And in doing so, what a unique
opportunity to turn the last underwhelming contact with a customer into a
lasting impression that surprises, delights and delivers the triple
threat of repeat business, referrals and “earned
Innovation these days is largely associated with
technology, but sometimes it is worth getting back to basics, with a
common sense, “analog” approach to better
I am helping MG Seigler by reduing his weasel wording and temporizing about Microsoft’s financials and his reading of the tea leaves.
MG Seigler via parislemon
[…] what we’re seeing in Microsoft’s numbers right now is the full-on shift of the company towards enterprise. To be clear, I think the company will remain alive and probably even thrive in that regard for a long time. I just think the time of their consumer dominance is already over. And within the next decade, it will be completely over.
I think at that point, Microsoft will be an enterprise software and services company with a strange, but successful gaming sub-division that will probably be spun off by then.
I totally agree.
Oh, and maybe Facebook will buy the Windows 8 code: they need an OS, bad. And Nokia to make the phones.
July 18th isn’t really a holiday all over the world, but perhaps it should be. It is the birthday of Nelson Mandela, and our team out of London is supporting an initiative to help this iconic South African leader get the recognition he deserves. So today, you can join people like Desmond Tutu, Eddie Izzard, and Jamie Oliver to make your own pledge for global good in the official pledge book.
Our team is also encouraging poeple worldwide to devote time (specifically 67 minutes in recognition of his 67 years of service) community service to pay tribute to the anti-aparthied icon. To help support the intiative (beyond taking the pledge), I thought I’d share an excerpt of Nelson Mandela from the Introduction of Likeonomics. When I first started to write a book about the power of likeability to inspire others, he was near the top of my list of people to write about. Once you read the story and see some of the wonderful work to support his recognition, I think you’ll agree. He wasn’t just a likeable and inspirational figure … he truly changed the world around him.
NELSON MANDELA EXCERPT: LIKEONOMICS
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
The first time I experienced the powerful influence of Nelson Mandela was from the front seat of a taxi cab riding down the streets of Jo’burg (as the locals call Johannesburg). Mandela’s picture was on billboards along the highway to the city even though he was no longer president of South Africa, and my driver was speaking about his influence and how he had inspired the nation. That story started nearly 20 years ago.
In 1993, tens of thousands of Afrikaners (white South Africans) were preparing for war. Three years earlier, a man named Nelson Mandela had been released after 27 years in prison. He was no hero to this group. They saw him as the founder of a terrorist organization who threatened their way of life and belonged in jail. They were ready to fight.
As reporter and biographer John Carlin wrote, that was the moment where Mandela began ‘‘the most unlikely exercise in political seduction ever undertaken.’’1 He invited the Afrikaners leaders over for tea and listened to their concerns. Then, he persuaded them to abandon their guns and violence. The battle never happened.
A year later, he was sworn in as president of South Africa and vowed to make reconciling the racial tension between whites and blacks his number-one priority. Somehow he had to overcome decades of hate and convince people ready to die for their causes to see one another as brothers. In one of his first acts as president,Mandela invited Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South Africa national rugby team (Springboks), to have tea with him. That afternoon he struck an alliance, asking Pienaar to help him turn rugby into a force for uniting all South Africans.
During the Rugby World Cup in 1995, Pienaars led the mostly white players of the Springbok team in singing an old song of black resistance, which was now the new national anthem, ‘‘Nkosi Sikelele Afrika’’ (‘‘God Bless Africa’’). It was a powerful demonstration that the players believed in having a united South Africa. Inspired, the team fought the odds and made it to the finals against Australia.
On June 24, 1995, minutes before the final match would start, Mandela went on the field in the middle of the stadium wearing his Springbok green shirt to wish Pienaar and the team good luck. The crowd, made up of mostly white South Africans, was stunned. For many years, that green shirt had been seen as a symbol of only white South Africa. For a black man to wear it was unheard of.
The crowd erupted in cheers of ‘‘Nel-son, Nel-son’’ and everyone across South Africa celebrated. Mandela would go on to lead the racial reconciliation both during his presidency, and then after as an ambassador to the world for South Africa. In 2004, the country was awarded the world’s largest stage to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is now seen as a likely future Olympic destination, as well.
This story of South Africa’s triumph was chronicled by Carlin in his book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation. It was so powerful, it inspired the Academy Award–winning film Invictus by director Clint Eastwood.
Why People Believe in Likeability (and Why They Don’t)
The fate of South Africa is linked to the story of one man’s personal charm and likeability. This may seem like an extreme example. After all, not many people have the gift that Mandela has. Yet, his experience does explain the very fundamental role that likeability can take in inspiring belief and changing our world around us. People didn’t follow Mandela because of the ideas; they followed because of him. When he invited you over for tea and listened to your concerns, and then spoke, you couldn’t help trusting his vision.
Support the pledge here - http://www.mandeladaypledge.org/
Jacqueline and I had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with the world’s foremost authority on all things tea, James Norwood Pratt, and his lovely wife, Valerie Turner, in San Francisco. We were invited in for tea, for conversation, and camaraderie. It was really one of the best afternoons I’ve had in ages, and we have the video to prove it. His specialty, as I said, is tea, but served with a side order of history, spirituality, sensualism, and a lot more.
I should note that I put a few clips of this video into some silly video show that doesn’t exist, but what I have below is the full interview, and worth so much more.
Can’t see the video? Click HERE
Mister Pratt (some people call him “Norwood,” but I’m not sure I’m on that familiar a term) has published two very important volumes on tea. The first is fairly hardcore, It’s James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary (amazon affiliate link) and you’ll note that it’s quite a hefty volume in many ways. The thing is, if you’re getting serious about tea, this is the book on the subject.
If you’re just getting your feet (or leaves) wet, I can strongly recommend the New Tea Lover’s Treasury, which has some wonderful stories and anecdotes on tea, and though it’s a great gift, it’s also a fun way to learn a bit about what matters beyond the leaves in the cup.
Meeting people like James Norwood Pratt is one of the true treasures in life. The hospitality Jacq and I received from him and Valerie was wonderful. We’re grateful for our time, for our cup of tea, and for learning more about wonderful people.
Check out these two books, if you want to learn more:
In the kitchen you generally have a spoon for stirring, a set of spoons for measuring small amounts, and a separate cup for measuring liquids. Portion attempts to take the place of all three by integrating a measuring cup into its handle and a spoon with layers to help you measure tea and tablespoons. More »
Readers offer their best tips for making iced tea, sharpening scissors, and checking Gmail for sending errors. More »
We’ve shown you how you can freeze herbs in ice for infused cold drinks during a heat wave, but if you want another option for your latest herb harvest, try infusing them in simple syrups to give everything from iced tea and lemonade to cocktails and mocktails a tasty, flavorful twist. More »
A young man who calls himself MaxSGB built a calculator in Minecraft. But this is not just any mechanical calculator: it’s entirely “mechanical” and, if it were real, would be 5 million cubic meters in size.
The calculator supports “6 digit addition and subtraction, 3 digit multiplication, division and trigonometric/scientific functions.” He reduced the number of multiplication and division digits because it took too long to perform the calculations using pixelated blocks.
The video, above, is pretty freaking long, but it’s important to note that not all kids out there are listening to the rockity rap and smoking tea. Some are making calculators in imaginary worlds.
Instructables user stickmop shares a trick to tell basic barometric pressure using a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa; when you pour the coffee into the cup watch the bubbles. If they move to the edge of the cup quickly you can expect clear skies for the next 12 hours, if they hang out in the center expect rain in the next 12 hours, and if the bubbles move slowly to the edge you may get a bit of weather, but it will clear soon. More »