Brand collaborations bring fresh energy and excitement. They’re also an amazing PR strategy for boosting visibility, credibility and creativity while opening doors to new audiences and markets.

We recently caught up with T2 Tea‘s PR Specialist, Trina Cort, who told us the tale about their latest brand collaboration with Penguin Books. So go on, sit back, relax and enjoy this exclusive interview where yes, some tea is spilt!

Hi Trina! We’re really excited to chat to you today. You’re T2’s PR and Communications Specialist – talk about a dream job. Let’s start with your journey. How did you get started in the world of PR, and what drew you to this field?   

My path into the world of PR began at Deakin University, where I completed a Bachelor of Communications. From a young age, I had a strong desire to work in a creative industry, and back then, PR seemed like a promising avenue, even though I had limited knowledge about the field. 

In 2018, I secured an internship during my university years, which marked the beginning of my career. From there, I gained valuable experience by working at some PR / Marketing agencies before landing my dream role working in-house at T2. Today, I love being immersed in the world of tea. 

Can you tell us your favourite part of the job?  

Since starting at T2, I have developed a deep appreciation for the joy that tea brings into our lives and the rich stories that accompany it. Tea has the remarkable ability to unite people and create connections. 

As someone who has always been a tea lover, the opportunity to sip on endless amounts of tea is definitely a perk. I also work with some pretty great people.

The T2 x Penguin Books collection sounds like a delightful fusion of literature and tea. What inspired this unique collaboration?  

Our amazing Product team at T2 spearheaded this collaboration, which was driven by their deep understanding of our customers and their lifestyles. Working with Penguin had always been a dream collaboration, and they knew it was the time to do it given the resurgence of the printed book industry and the renewed interest in literature among Gen Z and Millennial audiences across platforms like TikTok (hello BookTok!)

We’re loving the idea of pairing teas with literary genres. How did you go about matching the perfect teas with each genre – how do you ensure the tea complements the reading experience?  

Together with Penguin, our Product team and talented in-house designers meticulously matched each T2 with beloved, well-known Penguin classics based on their authors and plots. The creativity and dedication are evident in every detail, which we know resonates with tea lovers and bookworms alike.

Collaboration between brands is becoming increasingly popular. What challenges did you face in bringing together the worlds of tea and literature for this collection, and how did you overcome them? 

As the products needed to be so carefully curated, our Product team diligently matched T2 teas to Penguin’s stories, leaving no page unturned.

The collaboration between our internal teams and Penguin has achieved remarkable success. Both brands are rooted in shared values, a deep customer appreciation, and a mutual desire to inspire through our creations. This seamless alignment made it unnecessary to overtly explain the reasoning behind our partnership with Penguin; instead, we wholeheartedly welcomed their customers into our world of tea, and they embraced ours with equal enthusiasm.

Let’s dive into the PR side of things. Could you shed some light on the PR campaign for this collaboration? What strategies or tactics did you employ to generate buzz and engage media, creators and customers? 

The launch of this collaboration was quite unique, as we sold through our initial stock levels in an unprecedented timeframe. Consequently, we had to temporarily pause our marketing and PR efforts. 

Nevertheless, the excitement of our campaign remained at an all-time high as we garnered global buzz on TikTok and Instagram through authentic influencer partnerships within the BookTok community, all while seeing an influx of organic coverage from enthusiasts of both books and tea.

What makes this collaboration truly special is that the product itself is a standout, complemented by our exceptional in-house photography, which resulted in some great media coverage, particularly in Father’s Day gift guides.

To date, our T2 x Penguin Books Australia collaboration stands out as one of the most successful launches in our 27 years of business!

Limited edition collections tend to create a buzz. Are there plans to expand or refresh the T2 x Penguin Books collection in the future? Can you provide any hints about what we might see next? 

I can’t give too much away at this stage, but stay tuned!

What’s the last book you read? 

Happy Place by Emily Henry – I love a romance!


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