The Ashmolean Museum has confirmed a new partnership with local Oxfordshire tea company, Team Tea.
Founded by qualified tea sommelier, Valerie Diderichs, Team Tea has been working with the Ashmolean for several months, exploring and drawing inspiration from the collections and using that experience to create a new tea blended exclusively for the Museum.
“The opportunity to create a bespoke blend is a privilege and the aim was to capture the essence of the Museum with tea,” Valerie commented. “For this reason, it was important to choose teas with heritage and teas that could convey human stories inspired by the Museum collection.
“One such story is that of Guy Fawkes’ lantern and the infamous Gunpowder Plot, which we allude to by incorporating a very special Black Gunpowder tea in the blend, combined with only the finest single estate teas from Assam and Darjeeling. The resulting blend is refined, elegant and ideally suited to a moment of quiet contemplation.”
In addition, Hook Norton brewery – which is just over 20 miles north of the Museum – has also looked to the collection to inspire the first Ashmolean Ale. The company also explored the importance of community, storytelling and shared values rooted in a deep sense of history.
“Working with the Ashmolean Museum to produce their first ale has been a real honour and celebrates our joint passion for history and heritage,” commented James Clarke, head brewer and md at Hook Norton. “We have poured all of our 173 years of beer and brewing knowledge into creating Ashmolean Ale which we hope will help refresh and inspire minds in equal measures.”
Both Team Tea and Hook Norton join the Ashmolean’s existing partner The Oxford Artisan Distillery to bolster the Ashmolean’s presence in the food and drink category.
These are just two recent partnerships brokered by Start Licensing, with the Ashmolean working with a broad range of licensees such as Flame Tree Publishing, Woodmansterne Publications, Surface View, Welbeck Publishing, Conway Stewart (The Great British Pen Company), Graphenstone UK and Park Agencies.
Ian Downes, md of Start Licensing, added: “We have been delighted with the response we have received from licensees to the opportunity to work with the Ashmolean. They seem to appreciate the fact that the Ashmolean has such a unique and high quality collection from which they are finding a lot of inspiration. Licensees also like the fact that the Ashmolean team is very supportive and take a proactive approach to licensing.”