When I am abroad I always make the point of visiting health food shops. Not just for supplies to sustain and treat me during my trip, but to see what interesting things I can find that I haven’t seen back home in Sweden.
In one such shop (The Bran Tub in Malvern) I was looking for a present for a friend. And let me admit something to you, dear Reader, Miss Best did a very naughty thing. No, I didn’t stuff my jacket with chocolates and do a runner, what I did was find a funky little gift, bought it, and then liked it so much I decided to keep it for my self!
What was this treasure that my friend would not be getting, you may ask? A tin of tea! Yes, just tea. And not even magic tea, just organic English breakfast tea. And here is the irony – I don’t even like black tea! So why did I deny my friend this gift so that I could keep it for myself if I don’t even intend on drinking the tea? Well, the tin was so eye-catching and inspiring I knew that I just had to have it in my tea cupboard (yes, Miss Best does have an entire cupboard for her tea collection.)
As you can see from the picture above, the tin is rather funky with cool little cartoons created by Mr Scruff himself and this type of art work just tickles me. The tin sits rather well beside my other favorite tea tin which cost far more than a tea tin should, but is rather handy as it contains compartments where you can rather cleverly organise your tea, so as not to confuse your guests when offering them a choice. Though, I must admit it can be overwhelming when you are presented with more than two types of tea to choose from.
The tea is selected and packaged by a small new company called The Make Us a Brew Company which was started by Mr. Scruff, a DJ, producer & cartoonist. Not only is Mr Scruff a lover of music but he is also a lover of tea. Not a tea connoisseur – as he himself points out – but just someone who loves a good brew. He started by having a little tea stall at his gigs and festivals and so many people loved these brews that he decided to make them available for everyone to buy.
All of the teas are organic and ethically sourced with environmentally responsible packaging. I have yet to try the English Breakfast tea that I have hoarded, but I will one day, and will be very happy to share this with tea loving guests. What is a big hit though is the Mint & Chili. At first you think it is just a jolly good cup of peppermint tea, then you get a cheeky little zing from the chili. Mr Scruff also offers us Forest Fruit tea for berry lovers and Big Chill tea, with rooibos, pear & cinnamon, as well as Look Lively!, which Mr S describes as “a rather perky number, with lemongrass, yerba mate & mint”. Sounds yummy to me!
OK, so he does nice tea. In funny packaging. Is that reason enough to be a present hoarder? Well, actually yes, I think so. I am so inspired by people who manage to combine their different passions and skills to create a diverse and creative life. This is something I too am striving after – to work with graphic design on one day and food and nutrition the next. It is also a reminder that our creative output can bring pleasure to people we have never met – or ever likely to meet. Something as ‘small’ as a little cartoon on the side of a tin, can spark inspiration in someone who may then go on to write a blog post about it. Every time they open the cupboard to ‘make a brew’ they will be reminded of other creative folks who have something to brighten another soul’s day!
Oh and by the way, Mr Scruff also does pretty funky mixes too – music mixes, not just tea ones! He is signed to Ninja Tune – thought I would drop that bit in and make me sound all cool, and happening and not the type of person to have a tea cupboard and hoard tea caddies and even seriously consider whether they should knit themselves a tea cosy! – and you can find him on Spotify or here >> or here >>
Ah…does this mean that Miss Best has a little crush on Mr Scruffs? No, not at all – I keep my crushes for Christoffer and cake – and to clear something else up, I bought my friend a yummy box of vegan truffles instead, which I did actually manage to stop myself from keeping for myself. Though they would have gone exceedingly well with a cup of mint and chili tea!
So, let’s put the kettle on, turn up the volume and have a think about how we too can share our passions and skills with the world!
To buy some of this yummy and fun tea, visit The Make Us a Brew Company >>
(I love the fact that they are physically located on a road called Sparkle Street!)