What do we have here, then?
It’s only a bloody tea bag from a pop star. What a joy practical merch is! An item that not only lets you celebrate and support your favourite artists – which in today’s messed up music industry is more likely to give them a decent pay cheque than a million streams ever will – but also gives you something decent out of the deal too; in this case a settled stomach and the smug peace of mind that comes with refusing a instant coffee and getting yourself a nice herbal brew instead, direct from the marvellous and minty fresh mind of Jarvis Cocker. And he’s even made a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, depicting the album’s artwork, for you to grapple with you slurp on your brew. Wholesome!
So it is! What flavour of herbal tea has Jarvis bestowed upon the sipperatti?
Fresh from releasing one of the albums of the year, ‘Beyond The Pale’, with his JARV IS… project, the former Pulp frontman has dunked himself into the herbal tea market by putting out a classic with a twist. Peppermint Jungle is a blend of peppermint, ginger, lemon balm, fennel seed, spearmint and hemp seed and printed on the tag of each bag comes an affirmation – well, a lyric at the very least – from one the album’s songs.
What kind of affirmations are we talking?
With my kettle boiled and my chosen bag infused for the optimum two-to-four minutes, I glance at the wording on my tag. “It’s futile to offer resistance,” it reads, taken from the song ‘Swanky Modes’. So, even though it’s still a bit hot, I take a gulp anyway. In the not terribly edgy world of herbal beverages, this is about as dangerous as it gets.
How does it feel?
Considering the temperature of my mug, it feels pretty bold. I am drinking tea but simultaneously living on the edge. I feel alive but also… quite refreshed? Sure there’s hemp in there, a dash of ginger and a smidge of lemon balm, but the main flavour – the real tastebud tickler here – is four-to-floor, no-messing-around mint. A quintessential classic of the herbal beverage pantheon (up there on the top tier of tea with earthy green, a nice little bedtime chamomile and oh-so-delicate jasmine) you can’t go wrong with mint and this one is a welcome addition to the menthol family. Slowly, the ginger starts to offer a mellow little kick and the lemon balm a lowkey citrus hum.
So you’re saying you’d have another cup?
Definitely. As well as a stage and a dancefloor, Jarvis knows his way around a good herbal blend. Peppermint Jungle is undoubtedly the most soothing release of 2020. God knows we needed one.