As the Chinese New Year approaches, Hey Tea has released new tea and related merch adorned in a carmine red. Not only is the colour celebratory and traditionally associated with the CNY holidays, but it is also directly drawn from Hey Tea’s partner – CLOT in its latest collaboration. Chinese pattern designs with a dragon totem and red silk used by CLOT have been incorporated into the packaging and merch for the release. On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Hey Tea CLOT collaboration” (#喜茶CLOT联名#) has garnered an impressive 7.09 million views since its launch on 19 January.
The co-branded collection includes two versions of Da Hong Pao oolong milk tea topped with cream cheese. One is regular and the other is a lighter version. Both can be served hot or cold. Apart from exclusive cups, sleeves and paper bags that come free with the teas, a themed insulated carrier bag is also available for purchase. However, the most eye-catching part of the collab is the separately sold embroidered patches and diamond-shaped door poster inspired by traditional doufang decorations. The teas have been available in Mainland China since 22 January and will be in Hong Kong and Macau from 27 January, building hype towards the festivities.
CLOT is a Hong Kong-based streetwear label, founded in 2003 by Canadian-born Hong Kong actor, singer and rapper Edison Chen. For the collaboration, Chen posted a Chinese New Year greeting video on Weibo. The brand has recently collaborated with Japanese street fashion brand Fragment and heritage German toymaker Steiff to launch a Christmassy teddy bear. The latest holiday-themed tea collab is also not the first time the street fashion label has collaborated with Hey Tea. Last year, for the label’s 20th anniversary, the two brands partnered and released “CLOTEA” (凍凝茶), an iced lemon tea.
Like the world of street fashion, collaborations have become a regular form of marketing in the tea and coffee sector. Due to the everyday nature of food and beverages as well as the lower price point of tea and coffee brands, their collaborations occur more frequently, are accessible and have become the better-known and more memorable type of collaboration. With the seasonal and gift-friendly merch and gifts, the partnering of streetwear and milk tea is likely to be successful because campaigns with practical and creative goods often do, according to a recent survey.