Perthshire company Hettie’s Tearoom, which has become a global purveyor of loose leaf tea blended in Scotland, is branching out into coffee. Established in 2010 in Pitlochry by businesswoman Claire Pinchbeck, Hettie’s Tearoom began selling coffee direct to customers in April after investing a four-figure sum in an Italian coffee roaster. In September, it is introducing a subscription service.

“We try to innovate every year,” says Ms Pinchbeck. “Last year, we introduced Stew ‘n’ Drew ice cream to our tearoom. This year, it’s coffee.”

The Hettie’s coffee blend, which is 25% robusta and 75% arabica, is based on coffee beans sourced from Papua New Guinea, Columbia and Brazil. Hettie’s also offers a decaf blend and a low caf blend, which is 25% caffeinated.

“The low caf blend is really popular in the afternoon,” says Pinchbeck. “People have become more health-conscious and want a good night’s sleep.”

To ensure freshness, Hettie’s online sales of both tea and coffee are direct to customer only. The Italian roaster can roast 2kg at a time, and the company amalgamates orders by geography. The subscription service will draw on this direct contact to create a sense of community.

“We want people who buy a subscription service to feel like they’ve been in our tearoom,” says Ms Pinchbeck. “We want them to feel the quirky craziness and loveliness of Hettie.”

And indeed, many current online purchasers have been in the tearoom. Sixty per cent of online sales are to the US, with 10% going to the EU and the rest to the UK. US sales tend to be either to people who’ve visited the tearoom or their neighbours.

“People take tea or coffee home with them and then go online to order more,” says Ms Pinchbeck. “We then tend to get two or three other customers close to them, who have presumably tried the tea or coffee at their house.”

This ultra-organic growth is about to be supplemented by a 15-day marketing trip, which is supported by Scottish Enterprise, to the Eastern seaboard. At the same time, in Europe, Ms Pinchbeck is eyeing the German market, where, she says, it’s a question of finding the right way in.

Meanwhile, back in Pitlochry, the former hotel manager is on the lookout for retail premises ahead of a rebrand. Hettie’s Tearoom is to become Hettie’s of Scotland.

“We’ll be selling other products under that brand,” says Ms Pinchbeck.