December 15, 2015

FCAT Students Steeped in Success With Help From Local Company, TEALEAVES

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By Mack Stannard

It takes time and practice to create the perfect steep – something local company TEALEAVES knows all too well given they have become the luxury tea blender of choice for luxury hotels and restaurants worldwide. Thanks to the brand's generosity and commitment to fostering and mentoring local talent, TEALEAVES is also providing unique opportunities for FCAT students to add their own flavours to the blend.

Founded in 1994, and with clients including the Four Seasons, St. Regis and Ritz Carlton Hotels, TEALEAVES first became involved with SFU by attending Touchpoint, a design and technology conference for the creative community hosted by the School of Interactive Art and Technology (SIAT).  It was their first exposure to the exceptional talent and innovation embedded in SIAT students, and the benefits of meshing communication, art and technology to stay competitive in the business world.  

Through working with the SIAT Co-op program, TEALEAVES went on to hire students to work with their in-house film and design team, under the Brand and Film department leads, to execute stunning and original broadcast content. In this short informational film, student Larissa Albuquerque says the co-op terms were essential to elevating her professional ambitions.  Larissa was one of 13 SIAT students and alumni responsible for creating content for TEALEAVES’ collaboration with Pantone Color Institute. The campaign, titled #paletteforyourpalate, displays the tea-infused creations of 34 world-renowned culinary, pastry and mixology artists. It includes an online exhibit of the creations, 23 recipes films and a documentary on color and design process called COLOR IN SIGHT.

TEALEAVES’ Director of Strategy Garret Chan says that “SIAT students and graduates have been esential to the execution of our campaigns, from visual design, user experience, user interface, filming, and photography”. In addition, Chan joined the Dean’s Advisory Board in November 2015 so that the company can, “contribute to and interact with the bright lights at SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology”.

To further strengthen the relationship with SFU and its students, the company has also made a generous donation in 2015 to establish the TEALEAVES Award for Screenwriting. A $1,000 award will be granted annually to an undergrad student majoring in film that demonstrates an exceptional flair and passion for screenwriting. By creating a multitude of opportunities for FCAT students the company is a true leader in building outstanding industry-academic relations, which surely has to be everybody’s cup of tea.