Exploring the world’s best quality tea and representing it in Turkey Beta Tea aims to sell Turkish tea in global markets
Selling 800 varieties of tea in the most parts of the world, Beta Tea has a processing facility in Turkey, as well. Sabiha Uslu, manager of corporate communications, says that they want to introduce new tea culture in Turkish market and Turkish tea to the global markets. She said they had focused on central European markets and would soon be sold in retailers.
May we know about Beta Tea brand, at the beginning?
Beta is headquartered in Adana and aims to build a tea brand from Turkey, a country that consumes tea the most. There are several tea trade centers in the world where so many teas are traded, but no Turkish brand. Beta wants to grow as an international brand and all our efforts and systems are built on this.
Beta was founded in 1978 and has been in trade by the year 1993 as a tea exporter. Then, following the high inflation period in Turkey, it moved its operations to Azerbaijan and other Turkic countries to sell tea it imported from Sri Lanka to these countries.
As we know taste of tea changes depending on the level of leaves from top to bottom. What kind of teas are you offering?
We choose the best quality teas of the world. Seventeen people in our Sri Lanka office buy the best teas of the country. We are the third biggest player in tea bourse. We maintain the same quality all year long. Classification of teas is so neat. There are lots tastes in black tea category. The system runs different in Turkey. We grouped the teas as the first harvest, second cut and third cut. We process Turkish tea at our facility that we have built in 2012 in Trabzon.
What are the differences between teas produced in Turkey and the ones processed in abroad?
There is a huge difference between them. Our factory in Turkey has been constructed by the people coming from Sri Lanka. They have specific criteria for the classification of tea. Our production capacity is definitively less than the capacities of others, because we have more delicate process in the factory. When we asked them the people demanded quality, so we do not try to be cheaper than others.
How large is your domestic trade volume?
Very limited, at most, it was 5 %. We want it should be more. Russia, Kirghizstan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are our markets. We are not among the top five brands in Russian market. We are the leader in other countries. We are preparing to take part in central European markets. We are the first tea company who is covered by Turquality program, an incentive and support scheme run by the state. It is hard to be a tea producer in Turkey. We support the economic value of Turkish tea with our expertness and productions.
You are a trader in world tea markets. Where do you have your packing facility?
We have business partners and distributors in several countries in the World.
Which regions are important for you right now? To which country are you selling your products the most?
We are the market leader in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Beta brand is the major tea brand in Turkic countries for many years. We are still struggling in Russian market, a large and important market. We have dealers in Iraq and Middle East markets. Recently we are interested in central European countries.
Our product varieties are suitable for offering the right choice to the right country having specific tea cultures.
What can be said about the variety of teas?
Opa is a popular one in the world. Black teas have soft and hard types. We have three tea brands, namely Howdah, Champion and Beta Tea. There are still difference in these categories. Onl Beta has 800 varieties. British tea is black granule, rather hard and it smoothed with additional milk, and preferred in certain regions. Azerbaijani people has similar taste as Turkish people. We also keep an eye on local varieties. We observe the tea drinking habits and preferences of the people in the world.
In Turkey, we have particulate black teas and bergamot and citrus varieties though most people are not aware of.
What do you do in order to explain the importance of teas to the people?
We take part in several events and we want the people to have emotional contacts and experiences. We contact with our buyers directly to transfer our knowledge and experiences to the buyers. People see our brand on the shelves and our commercials on TV. We gift them metal tea boxes.
Third generation of coffee lovers have emerged in Turkey. Nowadays, we are witnessing some cafes that serve tea imported from Sri Lanka. Does Beta Tea consider about entering retail chains?
Yes, we do. We have plans for the opening our first retail store in Adana. People in this market drinks tea while socializing. Turkish people consumes tea more that the consume water. We are testing new varieties from time to time. Turkey is developing and people like to taste new products. However, original Turkish tea has a good reputation. We want to make it a global brand.