It is typically considered that fan-art and fan-fictions are some of the most accessible and widely used creative forms of expressing a passion for a part of popular culture, be it a singular show like Hannibal, an entire pantheon of TV shows, novels, comics or movies. Being a geek or a nerd (whichever title you prefer) means that it is practically a given that you are part of a fandom and that you have brushed across the art, fic, gif-sets, headcanon explorations, roleplays and more. After all, these creative elements are in essence how a fan can express their passion and adoration for their favourite pop culture. Exactly how these passions are expressed doesn’t always come in the most typical of forms…
…In fact, some people take it a few hundred paces further.
Beastly Beverages is a tiny single-man business based in a small flat in Hove, just a half-hour walk down the coast from Brighton. BB is a completely new and innovative way of developing the creative side of fandom expression. Beastly Beverages is dedicated to bringing those TV shows, novels, comics, movies, and those ‘ships’ that you love directly into your home and kitchen. It is as simple as that!
Well, actually it isn’t; Mags – the creative genius behind Beastly Beverages and self-confessed nerd – goes to incredible lengths to create unique blends of tea from scratch. Each individual blend of leaves, spices, and dreams are made with a character as inspiration, and with three simple, but key aims in mind:
1. Make fun, interesting and delicious tea and coffee blends which can be enjoyed by fans of the various fandoms.
2. Encourage a healthy and beneficial trade between Beastly Beverages, suppliers, the employed artists and, of course, bringing this all to the customers of Beastly Beverages in a fun, affordable, unique and delicious way.
3. Be environmentally friendly by using only fair-trade high-quality ingredients and recycled and/or sustainably sourced packaging.
This tiny business has big plans that range from occupying stalls at related events (MCM Comic Con anyone? Beastly Beverages was there!), to creating new blends inspired by movies such as Rise of the Guardians and Pacific Rim. BB is coffees, teas and best of all: merchandise!
The reason I am so excited about Beastly Beverages is that the teas are divine. They are a little slice of fair-trade luxury and an item of fandom expression that is unique. BB products can be brought and shared with likeminded individuals as well as with our friends and family. The work from Beastly Beverages becomes a literal bonding experience that sets the tastebuds alight and warms the soul, all for a ridiculously affordable price.
A particular favourite of mine is ‘Feels Recovery‘. “A soothing breakfast tea for all your character deaths, cliff hangers and cruel plot twists”, ‘Feels’ is a strong blend of tea that just needs a dash of milk, one sugar and then all the badness melts away at the first sip.
The blends are so exquisite and so well priced for all the work and low environmental impact that I haven’t touched a commercial teabag in months.
As a huge fan with an entire armada of ships (literal pairing ships here), as well as fandoms, having teas which have such a range of ingredients, flavours and quirks (one blend actually turns blood red, while another has sugar balls which fill the black tea with flakes of silver), my passion for, and patronage to Beastly Beverages is strong.
There is however, one little catch: Beastly Beverages is struggling to stay afloat and needs a helping hand. Through no fault of Mags’ the business has fallen into a position where it is struggling to develop in the ways that he wants. The new blends are expensive to trail, artists must be paid the very best prices for labels, and printers must be commissioned for mugs, t-shirts and keychains.
This tiny little business and this passionate and proud creator has made a campaign on Indiegogo; The Beastly Beverages Campaign and would so appreciate your support!
Support can be given through either the Etsy storefront, or the campaign itself, which has some amazing perks which include original artwork used to make the labels for the teas, keychains, adorable little monster arts (originals which have been kindly donated by one of Mags’ artists for the campaign only), and personalised Thank-You letters from Mags himself.
There really is no downside except seeing Beastly Beverages disappear, which is a very real concern. To lose these teas, and the experiences and pleasures they offer would be criminal and such a great loss for so many fandoms, which is why Mags is asking for a helping hand. Anything and everything is so appreciated, from a ‘Share’ of the shop/campaign to any form of donation.
Luxury tea, affordable prices, exciting expansion plans and some amazing perks; the time is now so get your Beast on!
Ren Summers is a writer interested in costume design (particularly her quirky hobby known as ‘cosplay’), performance art, pop-culture deconstructions, and literary evaluations. She also takes on unusual topics such as bucket lists, as well as comics, games, and movie reviews. She has major interests in LGBT issues and equality movements, Feminist/Woman’s Writing, and nerddom on a huge scale. Find her on Twitter or follow her blog.