Published in WH Times 20 September 2017
Brad Barritt is well-known as the captain of Saracens rugby club, having lead the team to back-to-back Champion’s Cup victories. You might not know that he also has a passion for good coffee, and has recently started a new coffee business, Tiki Tonga, based in Welwyn Garden City.
The name Tiki Tonga comes from the New Zealand team song which is sung by rugby players all over the world. We met the TT team at the Meraki Festival in Redbourn this summer, where they were holding a pop-up coffee shop, and were keen to find out the story behind this new local company.
Brad set up the business with partner Justin Stockwell, who has a background in the coffee industry. They met at various Saracens matches, bonding over coffee rather than beer; a healthier option!
Brad explained: “I have always had a love for coffee. It has played a huge part in my career and remained a constant trigger for my happiness and enjoyment both on and off the pitch. It helps improve mental wellbeing, enhance performance and most importantly, it is a way to bring people together. It’s natural and can be consumed with a healthy conscience.” Brad recently completed his Masters in Business Management, and they are keen to sell the coffee into sports clubs around the country, local cafes and restaurants and to appear at local events.
There are four blends, 2, 8, 9 and 12 and the tasting notes and strengths play on rugby terms, so their Number 8 is “strong, yet smooth, with a powerful liquorice kick, throwing in a cocoa finish”. Number 12 is a milder blend, made with 100% Arabica beans, yet “puts in a powerful hit”. The coffee was very popular at the Meraki festival, keeping energy levels high!
You can buy the coffee online at tikitonga.co.uk and it is available as beans and as ground filter coffee; they are working on a pod coffee at the moment. As they tend to sell to businesses, you can’t buy just single bags but you can buy a taster pack (227g) of each blend, along with a t-shirt and tasting notes for 38.00, which would make a great present for a Saracens fan!