Written by Dyami Millarson
It was 2016 when a Chinese friend of mine coming over from London for a visit to the Netherlands gifted a tea of the Chelsea of Whittard brand to me. This is how this English tea brand was introduced to me. I tried the tea at home with my father and we were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. A lot happened these years as we were very busy undertaking all sorts of adventures for saving Frisian languages, but we always kept the container of the Chelsea of Whittard tea for many years with the intention to buy it again. Whenever I saw the container of the tea, I thought back about the time when I had met my Chinese friend in the Netherlands. It was an unusually sunny day in Amsterdam and we experienced an unforgettable day.
Drinking the tea was basically a pleasant aftertaste from that sunny experience with my friend in Amsterdam and when the container was empty, I was determined to buy it again someday. I had never visited London or the United Kingdom before even though I am a native speaker of British English and I have a British surname. Finally, the day came in 2020 when I visited my ancestors’ home country for the first time and so I seized the opportunity to buy 4 containers of the same tea my friend had gifted me 4 years prior. When I opened the containers, I could smell the pleasant smell of the tea and it brought back memories. I was eager to try it, I had been waiting for this special moment for years. The tea tasted just as good as I remembered it.
The tea brand Chelsea of Whittard produces a quality product that delivers a total experience. This is the kind of product I want. It becomes apparent from the product that Chelsea of Whittard painstakingly took all details of its product into account. They definitely want their product to be top-notch and it shows. They thought about everything from the container and the visual presentation of the tea powder to the smell and the taste of the tea itself. This tea brand makes for a good gift on a special occasions. I have so far only tried one flavour, but the marvellous quality of the one flavour I tried tells me everything I need to know about this tea brand.
When I checked the history of Chelsea of Whittard on their official website, I was delighted to know that their brand started in the late 19th century, which is one of the most interesting periods in European history. The family history behind the brand was particularly revealing and it resonated with me on account of the fact that Operation X is also an intergenerational concept: my grandfather was the charismatic visionary who sought to arrive at the essence of things and instilled my father with the distinct impression that he should seek to improve the world through his own thoughts and actions, my father consequently developed his own philosophy based on my grandfather’s vision and as the grandson of a visionary man, I felt the need to focus on the practical application of my father’s philosophy based on my grandfather’s vision and therefore I was eager to inherit Operation X from my father; while recalling the historical and spiritual roots of Operation X in my grandfather’s vision, I knew inheriting Operation X was the right thing to do to honour my grandfather’s legacy and I felt that the continuation of the work for keeping his grand vision alive would not only inspire and surround us with the warmth of his charismatic spirit, my hard work would also be dedicated to the memory of a wise man whom I had never known and whose loss and consequent absence had always been felt in my father’s and my life and yet at the same time the wisdom of his soul had always permeated my life and my father’s, so he was always there and not there simultaneously; he accompanied us spiritually through all our trials in life and he protected us through his wisdom when we needed him the most, even though he was never there to physically accompany us, his spirit has nonetheless proved strong and nothing could separate us from him as his descendants.
Furthermore, while I have never known my grandfather during his lifetime and he is yet an ancestral spirit whom I have always heard great stories about and who has had an important role in forming the destiny of my life, I believe my hard work for Opertion X which is entirely in line with my grandfather’s vision would be the only right way to get to know him as his spirit – bringing good fortune to those who are faithful to his vision – resides in all of us who work hard for doing good for the world as he wanted and thereby arrive at the essence of things, which is also reflected in my father’s philosophy of ‘oerfoarmen’, where, one might say, he visualises our patrilineal family’s shared desire to seek and find the essence of things in the world where we live as contemporaries and the essence of the world in which we could potentially live if we really want to. My friends, who have heard about my grandfather and share my grandfather’s vision, have always been eager to join my family, and share familial warmth as we work hard together; my grandfather would only be pleased as connecting with people through him is what he always intended for us to do, for he always wanted his vision to bring people together.
All this is what raced through my mind like a movie when I read that the 19th-century founder of Chelsea of Whittard had a philosophy to ‘buy only the best’ for his teas and this dedication to improving the world by creating a top-quality product was followed by his sons, who inherited the company from their father, and this struck an emotional chord with me. The transition from one generating to the next, while keeping the original philosophy intact, inspires me profoundly and that is what I will think about as I will finish the four containers of Chelsea of Whittard tea together with my father. We will continue our intergenerational mission to make contributions to society and I wish Chelsea of Whittard brand a heartfelt Godspeed as well with staying true to their founder’s philosophy and keeping the company going. Let the ancestors look upon us favourably as we work hard.