Likkle Tea's Literary Tea Collection

Likkle Tea's Literary Tea Collection

Thursday, July 09, 2020

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Likkle Tea CEO Patrique Goodall copped the Best Food Product at the 2019 staging of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards and is still basking in appreciation for the awareness garnered as a result of the win. “The award cemented for me that I must be doing something right, at a time when I began to craft the direction for the business,” she recently shared with Thursday Food .

“Likkle Tea is not just a business for me, but it represents a passion that has brought me immense joy. As such, having the stamp of approval from my country first, before anywhere else, meant the absolute world for me,” she added. “Customers seeing that award mounted at my special events, or that badge on my website, now know that they will be experiencing one of the best that Jamaica has to offer.

The arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19) caused Goodall, like many, a momentary pause. The pause was further compounded by the Black Lives Matter movement. “It was a lot to take in,” she said. Indeed, feelings of frustration, sadness, hurt, anger, all moved her to do one thing, the thing she's always done when life gets too hard — unplug and turn to tea. It proved a good thing, an awakening of sorts. “As I turned to my Caribbean bookstagrammers for inspiration on what books I could pair with my blends, the thought of a new collection came to me.

“So in the middle of a pandemic, I decided to do something that had never been done — a tea collection dedicated solely to classic Caribbean literature and a personal homage to authors who had inspired me and changed my outlook on the world.

“Across the world, tea companies have paid tribute to noted literary icons like Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemmingway, the Bront sisters, Shakespeare, and the likes. There weren't to my knowledge any for black authors. I decided it was time I used my small tea company to start conversations around our authors who spoke up about our experiences. No book written by a European or American author has shaped my life more than an Olive Senior or Jamaica Kincaid and many others, and it was time that we gave Caribbean authors the credit due to them.”

Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid is the classic coming-of-age book that made Caribbean girls feel seen. To complement this I created a blend of South African red rooibos, whole rosebuds and petals and spearmint — with floral and earthy notes.

For Summer Lightning by Olive Senior, a deep dive into real grassroots life in Jamaica (these experiences are our own), I wanted a cup reminiscent of childhood innocence. This blend is a Chinese sencha, roasted coconut and calendula petals — grassy and sweet.

Old Story Time and Smile Orange by Trevor Rhone explore colour and class relationships that have been heightened over the last few weeks. I found it important to be a silent advocate for us to have these hard conversations, and what better way than to talk than over tea. This blend is a Black Assam tea with cacao nibs and orange peel — bold, malty and sweet.

“As the Likkle Tea brand evolves, not just as a Jamaican but as a Caribbean tea company,” Goodall continued, “it's important for the brand to be representative of our culture. The 'Jamaican niceness' that each blend includes, not only from this collection, is a deliberate attempt to fuse the traditional tea plant with parts of us.

“The literary collection is one of three other collections I plan to launch this year and what these collections allow me to do is to have a bit of fun bringing new and exciting flavours to old customers and to start new relationships with tea lovers everywhere.”

Experience Likkle Tea in Kingston at Island Coffees Cafe and The Commissary, Devon House; The Life Store in the new SuperValu Plaza on Constant Spring Road; Toyota Jamaica Coffee House, Cannonball Cafe, Rainforest Seafood Market in Montego Bay and at Wine With Me in Negril


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