Does anyone remember the taste of “January XXVI”?
This was one of our very first tea blends.
At the time,the Indian Cricket team were touring Australia. On Australia Day, there is always a one-day match in my home town of Adelaide, and every year the local paper bangs on about it being “extra incentive for the Australian team to win on Australia Day”. Our ‘National Day’ and all that.
Except what these insular prawn semi-journalists usually fail to notice is that for Indians, January 26th is Republic Day – it’s also THEIR national day. Presumably also extra incentive to win.
So, in the midst of this, I created a blend of Australian and Indian teas, and dubbed it January XXVI. The Roman numerals added just the right touch of literary class, don’t you think?
From the above, you can see that it was all my idea. Lady Devotea had no responsibility for this tea, which was a commercial non-event. If she had, it might have least have had a name people understood.
The initial batch was small. Sales were smaller. Eventually, it disappeared from view.
These days, we have 23 blends, and some of them are reaching levels of success that thrill us. Some are travelling okay, and some…
…well, there are one or two that could be performing better.
In my other career – Human Resources – I’d be counselling these teas. Advising them to lift their performance. And eventually, perhaps letting them go.
It’s obvious to us that our range could use a little streamlining. We have 9 breakfast- or afternoon- style black tea blends, for starters.
So one of our jobs is to assess our teas in the next few weeks, and see which of them might no longer enjoy our full confidence.
It’s a task I am personally going to hate. I’m very sentimental*. Many of our blends bring back memories of why we created them in the first place. They are all special.
But it has to be done.
You can imagine us, can’t you, at our desks? Pressing the intercom button.
“Miss Jones**, send in Liquorice White Tea.”
* Proudly sentimental!
** There is no Miss Jones. It is a literary device.