By Wayne Baxter
There is nothing better than the sound of a teaspoon swirling around in your favourite mug, tapping it on the rim before taking that first slurp of your choice of tea.
I’m Marie aka Mumma Tea. I love tea and I'm the owner of Tea Vintage – a full scale travelling Tearoom and Tea brand.
I’m on a mission to make tea cool! I don't like a lot of tea fuss and pomp, and still would always choose a tea bag over loose leaf. Tea gets you up in the morning, it comforts you, it’s good for you and it’s great with a biscuit or two!
The Tearoom set consists of walls, windows, kitchen, tables, chairs and waitress service - everything you would expect from a British tearoom except we are always on the move.
Tea Vintage caters for private events, weddings and we also travel to festivals. You will find us at Glastonbury, Chris Evans Carfest and the Royal Airforce Tattoo.
We also have our own brand of tea -10 varieties. All are whole leaf and quirky with a hint of Britishness. Included are Bakewell Tart rooibos, apple and elderflower green and not forgetting everyone’s favourite “ Normal Tea’ - which is our own blend of the classic English Breakfast.
Making tea cool
I’ve learnt that tea blends so well with entertainment. It’s a social drink. Aside from the standard builders brew there is a world of amazing different teas and combinations, but it tends to have a pompous image about it. Why make it seem like an exclusive club for people that only know what exactly rooibos is, or what health benefits green tea has? We want to change that. Let’s make it fun, social and easy to understand.
Britain’s relationship with tea
Travelling around the country with a fully operational tearoom is no easy task to say the least. I can’t begin to tell you what has to be tackled to be able to function properly in a field. Finding the water tap, the right amount of electric, positioning the marquee, uneven ground, keeping stock levels going and not to mention the weather.. oh the weather!
Throughout this time I’ve been observing and researching Britain’s relationship with tea, and it really does differ from one person to the next. I’ve watched and witnessed how people drink tea, what they like, what they don't like, how it makes them feel and most importantly how it’s made.
The number one factor is Tea is definitely the individual’s drink. It should never be told how to be made, only advised.
Every customer I've met has a certain way they like to make their tea. Most seem to have been introduced to tea by a family member and from a young age. The way Nanna made her tea, or a family tradition, influences the individual’s habit of making their tea. So it seems that British person inherits their way of making and drinking tea.
I love the many debates across the tearoom. Milk in first or last? Dunk the teabag or leave to stew?. Teapot? Tea leaf? Man mug? Aaaah is there a right way? YES your way is the right way.
The fundamental fact is tea is personal, it’s because its personal it becomes important and loved and that’s the core reason I think why we as a nation love everything about tea.
P.S. I like milk in last and brewed in a mug for two minutes.
Find out more at teavintage.co.uk