TEA – After water the most popular drink in the world!!

Mouth That Roars  has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in partnership with the Geffrye Museum and The Royal Greenwich Maritime Museum, to run an exciting inter-generational, heritage film project about our relationship with a phenomenally familiar brew… tea. The TEA Project has brought over 400 people from different generations and cultures together through an exploration of a very familiar everyday, shared experience -enjoying a cup of tea. Led by young people from the local community, working alongside their elders, the project has enabled participants to learn about the incredible impact tea has had on the global economy. They have explored and shared the vast array of ‘tea making traditions and rituals’ that suggests a deeper, global cultural legacy, never more evident than in the homes and on the streets of East London. In a time of social unease and anger towards UK immigration policy, the project aims to connect people… to find common ground, after all, most problems don’t seem so insurmountable when shared over a cup of tea. Activities have  included film training and making, heritage site and exhibition visits, tea parties and film screenings.

The project has produced an educational DVD for local community groups.

See the Tea Trailer and if you’re interested in receiving a FREE educational pack please contact us by email –

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “HLF are delighted to support this creative project which will not only give young people the opportunity to learn new skills but will also bring communities together over a shared pastime- making a good cup of cuppa! Thanks to National Lottery support, Mouth That Roars will take people from different age groups and backgrounds on a journey through the history of making a brew, culminating in a heritage film to preserve the fascinating cultural legacy of our most beloved tea.”

See Press Release Tea screenings PRESS RELEASE 

Check out – The Docklands and East London Advertiser

The process – Today we explored – What do we know about Tea? What do we want to know about Tea? We also started to critique other Tea themed documentaries, exploring content and filming styles. We explored Oral History  with  Roger Kitchen  – Oral history and archiving (why/how & who) – Things to consider – Representation/Ethics/Copyright/Interview styles/Preparing questions. ‘I was really impressed with the young people I met today when I did my oral history session. I’m a passionate believer in the value and worth of collecting oral history so that so-called ‘ordinary people’ get their voices heard in this celebrity obsessed world. I hope I passed some of that passion on and those who attended the session will feel more confident about collecting people’s memories of the role that tea has played in their lives.’ Roger KitchenIMG_9223.jpg smallIMG_9222.jpg small

On our journey – We have just visited the Cutty Sark and Maritime Museum – We filmed at both locations for research film and gathered ideas for the main film. We  learnt so much about tea and the  journey its taken in British History  ‘who would think that such a simple item such as tea would play such a massive role in British History… ‘“We’ve been delighted to welcome the Mouth that Roars to Greenwich, helping the young people in their journey to uncover the history of tea in Britain. It’s fantastic to see young people volunteering their time to learn new skills whilst creating a community-wide conversation around the role of tea in multicultural Britain, both in the past and the present. We can’t wait to see their films at the end of the project aboard our famous tea clipper Cutty Sark!” Martha Burns Findlay  (RMG Youth Projects Producer)

IMG_9303 smallIMG_9241 smallIMG_9252 small IMG_9231 smallNext was a visit to the Museum of Docklands Historian Alex Werner gave an inspiring talk outlining tea history and the part the docks played. “It was great to come here, It’s inspired me to  enquire about , how do you become a Curator? Something I had never thought about before”

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Then on to the Sainsbury Archive to look at tea distribution. We  handled archive and made notes on images that they might like to use in our film “Can’t believe Sainsbury’s first opened in 1869..”

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Twinings was next on the list. We had an amazing tea master-class with lots of tea tasting.IMG_9484 small IMG_9481 small IMG_9497 smallIMG_9523IMG_9538 smallIMG_9503 small

Next the Geffrye Museum. What an amazing time we had. We were able to go behind the scenes and view some of the museums tea collection. We visited the beautiful herb garden and then had the chance to make our own herbal teas – ‘I think I might prefer herbal to normal tea now…”I’m going to make some at home… We also had a Puppet Apps workshop where we made some Tea inserts for our film. We used images  and facts had gathered about the social history of tea. We attended an amazing Tea Party at the Geffrye Museum today. We interviewed some wonderful people who shared some great tea stories with us. “It was great to hear the part tea has played in people’s lives..” “I had never been to a tea party before, it was great!!…”

IMG_9585 smallIMG_9579 small Amazing filming day at the Geffrye Museum.

We filmed tea inserts in the period rooms. ‘I felt really nervous that I would touch the real pieces of time’ ‘It was amazing filming in the rooms, the museum is great!!filmed period tea inserts covering the 1700;s/1800’s/1930 up to today!!It was fantastic to film in the period rooms in costume…’

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High Tea at the Cafe Royal Filming and having Afternoon Tea ‘It was amazing, lots of different cakes, sandwiches and of course, great tea…’IMG_9650.jpg smallIMG_9644.jpg small

Amazing filming day today!! Was great fun dressing up as Sailors in the 18th Century and Rambo type characters on the rampage to steal tea..

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More filming ‘tea making inserts’. We filmed two different types of tea being made “going to look great in the film…” “I learnt how to make Eritrean tea…It’s really nice!” IMG_9701 small

More filming, inserts on the Cutty Sark with Yellow Earth Theatre and a Tea Party by Sadia Tea Party at Age UK. Great interviews and tea stories… IMG_9743.jpg small IMG_9736.jpg small

Today we hosted a tea party at Hackney Volunteering & Befriending Service. We managed to talk for hours all about tea, some great stories….’great interviews for our film..’ ‘Really enjoyed hosting the party, the tea quiz’s were a great way of getting people talking’IMG_9781.jpg small

Afternoon Tea at Betty Blythe ‘It was great to experience  a traditional Victorian afternoon tea…’

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It’s time to edit the films now for the screenings….

Film screenings:

Over 70 people came to both our screenings at the Geffrye Museum and the Cutty Sark – We received great responses to the film and the event – ‘Watching the films brought back memories’ ‘It was really good, I enjoyed it and had a laugh”We felt really welcome. Lovely atmosphere and lovely food’ ‘People around the world drink tea in different ways’ ‘It’s surreal and unbelievable that it was part of British Culture’ ‘It made me think about all the cultures the UK has taken from..’ ‘It makes me realise that tea is apart of a lot of cultures history’ ‘I learnt many things I didn’t know about tea and making tea..”The film exposed this aspect of UK history – Revealed way more than I imagined”It reminded me of my visit to the Museum of London, Docklands, fond memories’ ‘I learnt how much history we actually have with other countries”I was spoiled and met some fantastic people”Another fantastic screening. Here’s what some of the guests said –  ‘Tea is not as British as people think..’  ‘Great to see Lottery funding being used well with young people – Doing something special!!”Thank you so much for this event – It is very important to me”Well done everyone! It was informative, entertaining and just brilliant!”I hope the young people involved go on with life and get good careers, they deserve it!!’Website 1


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Community Workshops:

We are now touring the films and running workshops with community groups. We have ran five workshops so far – One with the  Youth advisory panel at the Geffrye Museum. We got some great feedback – ‘ everyone was friendly and the activities involved communicating with each other’ ‘I enjoyed interacting and hearing other people’s ideas’ ‘ The films were so good…’. We have been to the New Horizon Youth Centre. It was great, the young people watched the tea films and designed their own tea cups with Art Director, Kris Turnbull. The other  was with the Asian women’s project @ the Geffrye Museum ‘Great films and I learnt more about tea…’ ‘I have some great memories involving drinking tea…’ The most recent was at the Nuffield lodge ‘ Was really interesting, good togetherness..”It was informative”Seeing it made you think about tea a lot more’ We had a workshop @ MTR and discussed what young people thought might make another good film like this..’Technology..from younger older perspective”How London has changed..”Music, identity and sub-cultures..’ Our latest workshop was at Hill Homes. Generally people were astounded how many tea drinkers there are in the UK,  ‘Really interesting how so many people drink in the UK today’IMG_1631

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