Bored with the lack of variety among the popular teas in early 1980s Sweden, Vernon Mauris decided to experiment with his own blends. After a particularly arduous day, he was in the back office of The Tea Centre of Stockholm, trying his luck in finding the right mix on a Sunday evening. Seemingly, however, his luck was nowhere to be found when he accidentally dropped about a kilogram of tea leaves on the floor. Upset and done for the day, he simply left the pile as is overnight.
The next morning, one of his employees asked what to do with the leaves on the floor and Vernon said to throw them away. The employee, however, thought it a waste to throw away precious teas that had travelled across the world and scooped up what had not been in direct contact with the floor to brew and drink with the rest of the colleagues.
Lo and behold, the accidental blend turned out to be quite delicious! A cup was prepared for Vernon as well who immediately took a liking to the blend and asked what it was. When he found out that it was his discarded ingredients from the previous evening, he was stunned and immediately began recreating the blend that was subsequently packaged and sold as Misstagsblandningen (The Mistake Blend).
The Star of the Show
A few months later, a local festival named The Day of Hornsgatan – the street on which the Tea Centre of Stockholm resides – was about to take place. A reporter was asking the local galleries and shops what they would be presenting or offering for the festival. Vernon, surprised and unprepared for the question, spontaneously answered “we will have a special blend on sale”. What is it called, asked the reporter?
On a whim, The Mistake Blend was not only renamed in homage to Södermalm, the area where Hornsgatan is located, but also became a local newspaper celebrity. Once the festival started, the mysterious blend quickly became one of its most popular items and sold out before the day was through.
Blazing the Trail
Today, Söderblandning is Sweden’s most popular tea blend and ships in large quantities worldwide as well. It is the first of many celebrated unique blends created by The Tea Centre of Stockholm and has sparked a high demand for specialized blends by high end Swedish institutions such as Svenskt Tenn, the Royal Court and the Alfred Nobel Foundation. Beyond the Golden Blends that have become portfolio staples and customer favourites over the years, creating new and exciting blends for clients remains one of The Centre’s most coveted services.