Friday, January 13, 2006

The Republic of Tea

Joel Martinsen of (a fantastic website about media, advertising, and urban life in China) has emailed me this canister label from The Republic of Tea, a beverage company based in Novato, California. This is just another example of mistakes made by American companies while trying to cashing in on the trend of "Asian cool".

of 普洱 is missing the lower half partial.

The Republic of Tea is selling 3-oz of Pu-Erh tea for $30 plus shipping. For that price, the least thing they can do is to make sure the labels are printed correctly.


  1. As a frequent reader of both HanziSmatter and Danwei, I must say that I am not surprised that you talk with them.

    I AM mildly surprised however that they would contact you requesting confirmation of a character. I was under the impression that danwei was a chinese site. And, as such, I would expect them to know the characters pretty well.

    Or, were they simply providing the image to show that even chinese people can make typos in the chinese language?

    I'm not bashing anyone. I'm truly curious about the relationship between the various china/chinese sites that I read.

    (To be totally honest... This site, Danwei, and Amritas, among other sites/people/reasons are why I am in China right now. 2 months, 1 day, and will stop counting after one year.)

  2. Joel sent me the photo as another example of American company making mistakes while trying to cashing in on the "Asian cool".

    The Republic of Tea is an American company based in Novato, California.

  3. I love this site. I always enjoy laughing at people who get tattoos/shirts/whatever that appropriate languages they don't speak or read. Your website confirms my suspicion that they'd be disappointed if they did understand. Thank you!

  4. ahh. I didn't realize that Republic of Tea was a US company.

    My bad.

  5. What adds insult to injury on this one is that the price is outrageous!
    3 oz for $30???
    I have picked up WONDERFUL Pu-Erh tea in our local Asian market...about 12oz. for around $5
    Some of our Chinese friends, who are tea enthusiasts, have agreed that the particular brand we purchased was very good and excellent considering the price.
    Anyone who pays for Pu-Erh tea from an American company and pays that much for it is, basically, foolish and only trying to be cool and impress their friends

  6. There are teas of different quality of course. 12 oz for $5 is pretty cheap even in here. Well I am not saying the quality of the Republic of Tea is good judging by the fact that it can't even make the name right.

  7. What the hell is an "Imperial Republic" anyway?

    Can you say "oxymoron"?