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Click pic to view comments Confirmed sighting: Tetley 'T' of Life ice tea
Posted: 12:54 Wed 28-05-2003. Price: Free. Location: Primrose Hill, North London. Sub-flavours: Lemon and Lime, Raspberry and Cranberry. Nutritional unusualness: "Energising ICE TEA with GINSENG + GUARANA".
Snackspot reports: In the wake of the relative non-excitement over Liptonice Mango, Tetley's representatives have been handing this out all over London - though, disappointingly, not dressed as the Tetley Tea Folk. The fruit flavours (what you could taste of them) seem slightly more artificial than the Liptonice ones, and no particular "energising" effect from the ginseng and guarana has been observed - so far. Tetley's 'T' of Life website is the usual Flash-animated nonsense, though it does offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic serving suggestions for both flavours, and - if you're absolutely determined to try it out for nothing - a guide to whereabouts in London Docklands you can catch the "T Spot" sampling teams over the next few days.


Posted: 13:20 Wed 28-05-2003 by Snackspot
Comment: Sorry, more up to date link on what the Tetley tea folk are up to now: https://www.tetley.co.uk/shop/content/TeaFolk.asp

- I'm always fascinated by the idea that it's someone's job to come up with back-stories for fictional food-related characters. Tetley's attempts aren't bad, but they fail to scale the surreal heights of this dramatic scene-setting used for Kinder Egg's mid-1990s promotion of "Funny Pingos":

"The Funny Pingos are a merry gang of young penguins always game for some fun. To make the most of the long Polar night, they are throwing a big party on the iceberg. With Robby Rock spinning the records, Jack Snack and Charlie Ice organising the food and drink, it really can't go wrong! Moreover, Johnny Bob is setting up some skiing, ice hockey and bob-sleighing competitions with the most desirable of prizes... a kiss from Nina Amorina, the best looking bird in the North Pole; Jeremy Video can't help filming her all the time! Poor Feddy Cold was so dazzled by her stunning looks that he drove his sledge into the icy water and, instead of a kiss, the only thing he got was a huge cold!"

- what interested me at the time is that Kinder had once again - seemingly intuitively - settled upon the basic archetypes of human society (the provider, the entertainer, the lover...) yet sought to conceal these truths within the thin veil of disgusing them all as "Funny Pingos". Any Kinder connoisseur will swiftly recognise the similarities between the Pingo hierarchies and those subsequently witnessed in the "Sharkybaba" community (and the "Crazy Crocos" that, in their turn, preceded them).

Furthermore, note how some of the Pingo's surnames designate their roles (Robby Rock, Jack Snack) while others are purely decorative (Nina Amorina), just as in human societies! Though here there is a puzzle: - is Feddy Cold called that because he has a cold, because he is prone to them, or is this just a beautifully ironic coincidence? Do the labels we give to objects and individuals shape their destiny, or vice-versa?

Posted: 13:32 Wed 28-05-2003 by "Danny"
Comment: Re: Funny Pingos. My assumption was that this was a rigidly stratified society (typical of small communities operating in subsistence conditions) where roles are predetermined by birthright: hence the co-incidence of surnames. Recent western concepts of free will and character means nothing here: even alpha male Johnny Bob and the fertility goddess Nina are a victim of circumstance. Perhaps the only Pingos with only recognisable correspondence to the choices present in our own society are the medicine man Robby Rock (who, shamanlike, spins the records), and Feddy Cold, the FBI-trained head of Bob's secret police. I'd hate to think that we have anything to learn from these primitive ur-tribes.
Posted: 13:36 Wed 28-05-2003 by "Si"
Comment: It's the voyeuristic tendencies of "Jeremy Video" that worries me
Posted: 13:39 Wed 28-05-2003 by "Neil"
Comment: Since when has Canada Water been in the Canary Wharf "area"? Maybe the Tea Folk should plough some of their ill-gotten gains into a London A to Z.
Posted: 13:44 Wed 28-05-2003 by "Neil"
Comment: Not to mention London Bridge being in "The City"...?
Posted: 02:36 Thu 05-06-2003 by "Dave"
Comment: Re: Funny Pingos again. Whoever wrote that copy obviously didn't do their research - surely everyone knows that penguins live at the South Pole? Shoddy if you ask me.
Posted: 12:27 Thu 05-06-2003 by "Lee Maguire"
Comment: I believe London Bridge (the bridge) is part of "The City" (the griffins are on the south end, at least) so I don't think it's too much of a stetch to include London Bridge station in the "City area".
Posted: 15:28 Fri 06-06-2003 by "newbie"
Comment: just to continue in the spirit of this particular item and add another comment that has nothing to do with T of Life - pity about the rain today isn't it?
Posted: 19:14 Mon 23-06-2003 by "Steve" # permalink comment
Comment: Tetleys are handing crates of this stuff out all over London at the moment. I was given a bottle of the lemon variant which gave off a rich chemical bouquet with undertones of bubbling tarmac. Any lemon flavour had been totally masked beneath thick, sugary syrup, turning into an awful pebbly/gravel aftertaste. Made me feel physically sick, not a good thing as it's being marketed as a health drink.
Posted: 13:01 Thu 26-06-2003 by "Neil" # permalink comment
Comment: In a shock counterattack, there are people handing out samples of Lipton Ice Tea (plus 20p off vouchers) in Canary Wharf today. One can only imagine the running battles that would ensue if the Tetley Krew and the Lipton Posse were to accidentally pitch up on the same turf... 34063 2 3
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