A Special Brew
RAF Benson personnel have been enjoying a special brew thanks to the generosity of the Rare Tea Company.
A special “Royal Air Force” blend of tea leaves has been created by the Rare Tea Company in honour of the Battle of Britain, originally as a bespoke blend for Flt Lt Terry Clark who fought during the Battle of Britain and throughout World War II. Personnel from RAF Benson were given the honour of sampling the tea for free thanks to the generosity of the company.
With the kind agreement of Waitrose in Wallingford, the Rare Tea Company offered RAF Benson 100 free samples of the tea to be shared amongst the personnel on the Station. Henrietta Lovell, the founder of the Rare Tea Company and creator of the blend, explained, “I first created this tea for a wonderful man called Terry Clark, a veteran of the Battle of Britain. It was a great honour and pleasure to meet him when I made this short film about tea and the RAF. It was an even greater honour to make tea for him. Terry thought it was rather good. I’ve been make it for him ever since. And then I got a call from the RAF. We thought you might like it too.”
The special tin, emblazoned with the Royal Air Force roundel and depicting a Spitfire and teapot pattern, was distributed to 1,000s of RAF personnel around the country through a partnership arrangement with local supermarkets such as Waitrose.
Retailing at around £4.99, the tea can be seen on shelves around the country and now also sits proudly in tea bars and break rooms across RAF Benson. In addition, 10% of every tin sold goes to the RAF Association Wings Appeal and to support the RAF Museum.
Flt Lt Lorraine Lancaster, a personnel support officer at RAF Benson, collected the tea on behalf of the Station personnel. She said, “This is a very generous offer from the Rare Tea Company and it is greatly appreciated. I was unaware that there was a tea specifically created for the Royal Air Force and it’s fantastic to see the Royal Air Force roundel displayed so prominently on the shelves in our local supermarket.”
RAF tea is a very traditional British tea that comes from two independent tea gardens: the Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, India and the Satemwa Estate on the Thyolo Mountain in Malawi.