NAAFI Break tea, the only thing keeping the British Army’s front line troops fighting fit (a thinly veiled reference to the controversy surrounding their sub-standard kit), is to be sold to civvies. That’s right, civilians or regular non-serving members of the British public, can now get their laughing gear around it. It’s the first time in their history that the NAAFI has released one of its own brands to the general public.
The reason I decided that this news blog-worthy was twofold. Firstly, and most importantly, it will raise funds for Help for Heroes, the charity which helps injured service personnel and secondly, I grew up on the stuff. You can learn more about Help for Heroes by visiting their site and you can make a donation now by clicking on the h4h image.
NAAFI, the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, supplies British military personnel throughout the world, with a ‘taste of home’. From a tent within spitting distance of the front line to the plush supermarkets and leisure facilities found on British military garrisons, NAAFI offer all the usual comforts of home such as British bread, biscuits and newspapers, British fish & chips and a traditional British pint. These days the British squaddie can even buy tax-free cars!
NAAFI Break tea has been served to British Forces since 1921 and is said to differ from the average cuppa due to its “premium quality blend that gives a rich, strong taste and a real military flavour”. Now I can’t tell you what that ‘real military flavour’ is precisely, because it has been a while since my last cup but I certainly remember it being full-bodied and not for the faint-hearted. I remember being gently woken by Sgt. Owen and the NCO’s serving us morning tea with a generous measure of Navy Rum to the sound of the regimental band playing Reveille on the square; a festive traditional treat to Parachute Regiment recruits, if my memory serves correct and in stark contrast to the usual screaming and bed tipping which passed for a wake up call on any other day. I would seriously like to reacquaint myself with it if only for nostalgia’s sake – the tea, not the wake-up calls.
NAAFI Break is being sold in branches of the Spar supermarket chain in the UK and 50p from each sale goes to Help for Heroes.