From a Luzzu to Ilallu

With Te fit Tazza soon ripping off day 365 from their calendar, the boys behind it are excited to be launching some new prints to celebrate Summer in Malta, which will no doubt soon find its way into our lives and homes. A year on from when the adventure began we now see the tip of an iceberg, to use an old cliché, and all though all it takes for us is the use of a swanky frame and a trusty wall nail, Andrew and Craig’s work took 18 months to surface… But the adventure has had a pleasing impact in Malta’s creative and artistic scene.

​“Reassuring” was the word he gave me

At last, after days chatting and meeting I managed to catch the quick and witty Andrew off guard. “Reassuring” was the word he gave me when I asked to sum up a year of Te fit-Tazza, though he later admitted he asked Craig for inspiration.

​“Wieħed għall-Belt plijs”

The effectiveness of the message Te fit-Tazza brings, is an important element altogether. Andrew & Craig really want to tap into our souls by releasing images which to us Maltese mean the world, but also look beautiful for an outsider looking in. An image of an old bus ticket might not mean much to a person born post-noughties, but for us, the slightly wiser generation, the chance to hold an old ticket is hard to pass. Most of us would jump at the opportunity to say “Wieħed għall-Belt plijs” and be handed a dirty coloured ticket and a frown, with our noses now infused by the cocktail of whiffs in an old Maltese bus, having Our Lady smiling down on her sweaty, morbidly obese driver. By giving us consumers the ability to frame this exact memory in our living room really helps build a calming space around us, while we look at the Maltese islands in a warmer, more charming manner, despite all the usual changes of development and advancement. In that sense, while we relax in our individual spaces, we do feel reassured just as our designers feel as they track back to their fantastic and revealing year in Te fit-Tazza.

​The collection Elements of Malta is not just there to provide us with a hint of nostalgia, but it also highlights a transition in the way we are viewing local lifestyle. We now tend to celebrate being Maltese and rather than mock or perhaps over criticise it. Today we, at last, have a trend where people are comfortable with their identity here and are not afraid of showing off our uniqueness and sometimes strange localness. Looking at some of the prints, Te fit-Tazza also has room to showcase Pink Sausages 🙊, Benna milk, Pastizzi and all the incredibly (and probably unhealthy) items that make our diet.

​The originality of the prints reflects well in the consumer’s lifestyle. This style of art might not be everyone’s cup of tea (sorry, I had to), but one will find it difficult not to react when gazing at the beauty of an old green Maltese bus.

​The growth of the audience and the celebration of all things Maltese has gone hand in hand, and with that, the company has grown to become a household name, and in this case, the name really rolls off the tongue.

“The constant ringing sound of the tea spoon”

Te fit-Tazza, after all, is more than just Builders’ Tea. It is an aroma. It is one guy in his vest in front of a huge boiler, pouring 5 cups of Lion tea after each other. It is the constant ringing sound of the tea spoon as he stirs the cups. It is the “ahhh” feeling of having a warm tea in a glass on a rainy day. It is Malta. It is Gozo. It is local.

A Series which further celebrates Maltese life taps into a different audience, but one who walks side by side with the previous consumers was also rolled out during the launch. Both series, hand in hand, tugging at our heart stings made this new and exciting brand hard to ignore. The cliché is that Malta is what is around us. It is what we eat, drink, and feel every day, but it is also what we see, be it a smaller island on the south coast, or the traditionally build Maltese Balcony adjacent to a street light. Series 1 celebrates Maltese Identity and Andrew and Craig loved making these as they felt a sense of belonging and tactility to the range. We react daily to Malta and interact with her at any moment. Take away those wooden doors, bastions, Luzzi and unique architecture and what will we be left with? A bland island like any other, but due to Malta’s rich history, patterned past and sudden rapid growth we get this blend of what looks chaotic from the outside, but really can be broken down into little charms, hidden away in our village core or everyday routine.

The Club series celebrates life in a different way. A very underrated but fast growing music scene which has experienced the Genesis and amazing highs of the 80s and 90s, to the noughties dip and through the Renaissance of today.​ We’ve all had our youth-driven thrills and spills, where many sought solace and sanctuary within the world of nightclubs. It is this philosophy and mindset which heralded Te fit-Tazza’s next series, an odyssey across three iconic Maltese nightclubs traversing different eras. Each one has its own tale to tell, its own aesthetics, sub-culture and subliminal message.

Celebrating the music scene was crucial to Andrew & Craig, who pay tribute to the humans making it all possible these days. Many artists, movements like Trackage Scheme and venues are breathing new life into the island, but in truth, it cannot be possible without knowing our past, and this section of Maltese culture is perhaps the unsung hero in the creative word, and Te fit-Tazza gives her the limelight she deserves to dance in.​​

In one year of Te fit-Tazza we are experiencing a truly remarkable high. A celebration of what is so brilliant Maltese, from the items we used to drink, to the scenes we love to gaze at to the venues generations clubbed at.

The next release? We cannot reveal too much at this stage, but we can promise something: it will make us smile, it will make us crave our islands, and it will make us think “Ilallu!”

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Meeting up with Lisa Gwen