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Bringing better cups of tea to the streets of London: loose leaf, custom-brewed and served from a 1974 Citroen H van.
372 backers pledged £14,682 to help bring this project to life.

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G&P News: Festivals, Cold-Brews & Love under the hatch

Posted by Emilie Holmes (Creator)
12 likes

Yet again it has been too long since I last wrote – summer has come and gone in what feels like a flash so before it becomes too much of a distant memory I wanted to let you know what we have been up to. 

First and foremost 

Your names were at last put on the van! You are now forever a part of the G&P story and will travel with Watson wherever he goes. 

Cold Brew-skis

Sweltering weather in the city meaning Cold Brew soon became our bread & butter and I had to check I’d heard right when someone asked for a hot tea. Each day we had a different tea on the menu and I even had to get tips from a cocktail barman as the brew was served shaken on ice, extra cold. We also piloted our Cold Brew-skis – pure, cold-brewed tea in a bottle. It was brewed overnight every, bottled & labelled at my kitchen table the next morning and then served cold at lunch! The lucky customers at Kings Cross & Brockley who tried this limited edition seemed to love them so we will be working on these further in the hope of launching them proper next summer. 

School Sports Day

The only Kickstarter reward still outstanding was to our highest pledging backer, who, if funding was successful, had agreed to book us out for a school sports day. On the 15th June, Watson & I were therefore delighted to chug our way down to Cheam for our first day out of London since launch and had a lovely day serving tea & cake to the cold mums & dads on the sidelines, cheering on the various teams.

Festivals (& our first celebrity customer!) 

Although Watson’s heart remains in London, with all our fellow food traders travelling around the country from festival to festival, I found myself wanting to join in the fun. I was lucky enough to be offered a pitch at Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire so I quickly agreed and set about planning. I managed to recruit a team of friends all too easily with the promise that “you’ll get a free ticket plus food & booze - may need to help out in the van at some point but should be pretty relaxed”. Little did I know the next four days was to be far from relaxed. From 8am until 2am, tea and crumpets were flying out of the hatch. After a bit of a scrabble to keep up on the first day, we had to invent a new system to manage the pace and make sure these drunk/hungover/tired/cold people were getting their brews as quickly as possible! The best thing was just not to look out the front, keep our heads down and keep brewing as the queue didn’t seem to get any shorter! But we got through it. We laughed a lot, had great feedback from customers, lots of regulars over the course of the weekend and were more efficient than ever. And despite aching legs, croaky voices and chronic lack of sleep, my poor friends, having been falsely promised a weekend of music-fuelled fun, instead worked tirelessly to pull it off. Not only will I feel eternally grateful for their help, but seeing the endless line of people waiting to get their cup of G&P was also a very surreal moment and one I’m not sure I’ll ever forget. 

Team Wilderness
Team Wilderness
Crumpet factory
Crumpet factory
We did it!
We did it!

After a week or so back at the comparatively calm Kings Cross, and just as the summer felt like it was coming to an end, another festival invite came in. This time, End of the Road - a little known but much-loved gem of an event with an incredible music line-up. We couldn’t resist dragging that summer feeling out a bit longer and were very honoured to be asked so didn’t hesitate in confirming our attendance. So Watson & I and a last minute team of crumpeteers headed to deepest, darkest Dorset. We had a bit of a hairy journey struggling up hills with a very heavy load - with no shops for miles around there would be no emergency runs for milk or butter so we really were full to the brim with supplies! The festival was another great success – as crazy as Wilderness but with some Sigur Ros thrown in – and we were particularly excited to serve none other than JARVIS COCKER a Good & Proper brew. I’m tempted to put the photo on the wall of the van in the hope that it might be the start of a ‘celebrity customer’ wall but I’m not sure there’ll be many more anytime soon! 

Jarv!
Jarv!
Iced Tea Bar
Iced Tea Bar

We were also at Soho House's amazing House Festival in aid of War Child and KERB's Saturday event at Granary Square, both of which were great, sunny events. 

House Festival
House Festival
Last man standing @ KERB Saturday
Last man standing @ KERB Saturday

Back to school

We’ve had a couple of events since, including Vodafone Fashion Weekend at Somerset House and the Classic Car Boot at the Southbank, but have otherwise returned to our posts at Kings Cross and Brockley Market where the cold brews have been replaced with warming hot ones and familiar faces from Central Saint Martins have returned post-break. So you can still find us there anytime you’re in town.. 

Southbank: Classic Car Boot
Southbank: Classic Car Boot

And finally… 

We’ve had a flurry of press excitement, seemingly all at once, and been lucky enough to be featured in the following since I last wrote: 

Waitrose Magazine (Aug issue): 

"Tea: the new Flat White"
"Tea: the new Flat White"

Remodellista: http://www.remodelista.com/posts/good-and-proper-tea-truck-in-london

Stylist (these aren’t my own words I hasten to add!): http://www.stylist.co.uk/stylist-network/work-life/work-life-emilie-holmes-founder-good-and-proper-tea 

Stella Magazine/Telegraph online: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG10349666/The-Style-Agenda-October-4-10.html 

Watson has also been featured in the latest Eurostar campaign airing this week! Apparently, if you come to London, you could meet the love of your life under the hatch of a certain tea van! See if you can spot him in the London film here: http://stories.eurostar.com/ 

Filming for Eurostar ad
Filming for Eurostar ad

So there is our news. Despite lots of great stuff, it is still a very long journey ahead (if I had a penny for every time someone asked me for a coffee…) but I am more excited than ever about the future of G&P and hope you are too. 

Come and see us if ever you can and in the meantime, happy brewing and keep your eyes peeled for a new member of the team: Moriartea, a stand-alone Brew Bar being built as we speak : )  

Marathons, polo & the National Trust...Holmes & Watson adventures continue!

Posted by Emilie Holmes (Creator)

Hello!

It has been a while and Watson & I have been busy busy but I wanted to let you know what we’ve been up to and what we have coming up in case you are able to come to anything… The brief moments of sun we have had were just what we needed to get people out of their offices and up to the van and momentum quickly picked up again following the endless months of cold. In fact every time the sun comes out I am inundated with requests for iced tea! After a few failed attempts to convince people that hot tea was really what they needed to cool down, I set to work at creating a refreshing tea for a hot day that didn't stray too far from the quality and simplicity of our current hot teas. I wasn't keen to serve up a sweet, syrupy cocktail of teas when the rest had been so carefully chosen and brewed. So after much experimentation and with the help of lots of guinea-pig customers, when the sun comes out, we now serve our very own Cold Brew. The tea is freshly infused with cold, filtered water over a few hours, resulting in a delicious, sweet and genuinely refreshing brew. The Darjeeling works particularly well, to which we add elderflower, raspberry & mint ice cubes to give the glass some colour! But predictably just as we had cracked the iced tea, the weather changed again – a few weeks ago, as I am sure you remember, felt like February and we were back to hot cups to warm cold hands while they wait, #tworders to avoid getting soaked in the rain and a general lack of people out on the streets again! Such a shame but fingers crossed that that thing they call summer will occur at some point and bring with it good times (and Cold Brews!) for all. So far not much sign of it - as I write I am sitting in the van on a grey day with the rain rattling on Watson’s roof! 

Here is a quick run down of what we have been up to since my last update too: 

- We took Watson to the O2 for Sundance Film Festival - spending 3 days inside the O2 arena was a bit Truman show-esque but it was an interesting event nonetheless. 

- We fed tea & crumpets to a giant gaggle of orange-clad runners at a Nike event in Victoria Park 

- We spent a sunny, albeit snoozy (!), afternoon in the gardens of the beautiful Ham House for the National Trust

- I did an elevator pitch in an actual elevator at the Heron Tower - see here for my nerve-wracking descent! 

http://techcitynews.com/2013/04/02/elevator-pitch-good-proper-tea-startup-of-the-week-in-30-seconds/

- We hosted the gang from Kickstarter NYC and their London following for tea & crumpets in Shoreditch 

- Watson had his first bath (looks no different)

- We had the chance to serve a cup of Assam to the very family that grow it!

- And most recently (and excitingly) we had our first ever mega queue at Hurlingham Polo in the Park  - it turns out lots of women in dresses & slightly nippy weather = great tea conditions! It was madness but great fun, we learned a lot and we got the tea out to those in need so all in all an amazing few days!

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be heading to Cheam School Sports Day, doing tea time for a few private events, the World Rowing Championships at Eton Dorney (!) and even recreating the G&P brew bar on a riverboat! 

In between these varied events I will be brewing up at Kings Cross every week as usual so if any of you who haven’t yet been to visit get the chance, I would love to serve you your first cup of G&P. Until then, I hope you are all well - keep spreading the G&P word and remember to encourage friends and family to visit the website for their tea! It all helps keep this mission moving – it’s going to be a long road ahead! 

Few pics below..

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THE WEBSITE IS LIVE!

Posted by Emilie Holmes (Creator)
0 Comments

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

2 weeks in...

Posted by Emilie Holmes (Creator)

Hello!

After 2 weeks at Kerb Kings Cross I thought it was time to let you all know how it is going.

As all of you (at least all of you Brits) will know, it has been a painfully cold couple of weeks and, along with getting used to 5am starts, it has been a tough start to life on the road with Watson! Every day I added an extra layer in the hope that it would do the trick, until I reached a peak of 7 tops, 2 pairs of trousers, 3 pairs of socks and some sheepskin-lined boots. Even then I still started to feel the cold towards the end of the afternoon! But physical challenges aside, it has been SO exciting to be up and running proper. I have a great spot just by Central Saint Martins Art school and along with other big offices in the area, footfall is great. A very encouraging number of those that have stopped and tried the tea have already become regulars, so the challenge is simply getting people to come and try. Watson alone is of course quite a draw (he has his picture taken at least 10 times a day) and on top of that my trusty helpers and I play around endlessly with the chalkboards, seeing what effect different things we write has on passers by. Needless to say 'Hot toasted crumpet with lots of butter & homemade rhubarb jam' one Friday morning seemed to be very effective! 

I have also just started a Saturday pitch at Brockley Market, a lovely fine food market in South East London (see here http://www.brockleymarket.com/) where I am surrounded by amazing fresh, British produce and dangerously good hot food traders. Feedback on the tea was great and we had lots of happy customers so I am very much looking forward to this as a regular pitch, particularly as the weather gets warmer... Well worth a sunny Saturday visit. 

Finally, just to reassure you that I have not forgotten about names on website and names on the van - Nikki (the endlessly talented friend who has done all the beautiful branding) has done something very fun with it so I can't wait to show you as soon as it is ready to go. And the website too (from which you will be able to order tea & replenish supplies) is hopefully going to be live very very soon. You will of course be the first to know, but in the meantime I am taking orders via Facebook & Kickstarter so if in need, let me know. 

More soon - in the meantime here are some snaps from our first couple of weeks...

Emilie

PS 

For any of you hoping to come and visit, here are details of where we are:

Tuesday - Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm Kings Boulevard (come out of Kings Cross station via Regents Canal exit and walk up the Boulevard. We are opposite Caravan (cafe) and Central Saint Martins. 

Saturdays 10am - 2pm Brockley Market - http://www.brockleymarket.com/

Pic 1: Watson posing @Kings Cross

Pic 2: Mmmm....crumpets w/rhubarb jam

Pic 3: Great snap from a customer...

Pic 4: 'News While it Brews' - leave the van that little bit wiser... 

Pic 5: Bearded Crumpet Man on Tuesdays & Thursdays

Pic 6: Less bearded Crumpetress on a Wednesday

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Link to Telegraph

Posted by Emilie Holmes (Creator)

A few of you have asked, so here is the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-companies/9839540/Kickstarter-entrepreneurs-doing-big-business-in-the-UK.html

Big first day at King's Cross tomorrow which is very exciting. If you are able to come along at any point we will be on King's Boulevard, where it hits York Way, from 7:30 - 5:30 ish. But tomorrow morning only we will be opening late, at around 10:30am, as I have to do first-day-of-school stuff...

Hope to see some of you soon...

E