Rethink What You Drink, with Namasthé Tea
The key is pure mountain water which the ancient tea masters would say has the highest Prana (Chi).
This fresh water warmed to the right temperature for the type of tea is the oldest, purest and simplest form to hydrate healthfully and take herbal remedies.
Organic pure tea leaves are key, as pesticide residue and chemical “natural flavourings” lace well over 75% of all teas sold in teahouses, cafés and grocery stores. (The “flavoured” teas contain laboratory-made “natural flavouring” or “organic natural flavour” that can even be considered organic under the FDA rules. These are used to lure your senses into believing you’re sipping on a trendy healthy fruit tea when in fact it is an aging lower-grade commodity tea sitting a long time in a warehouse. They are then blended with ornamental flowers, pretty berries and nuts for looks, but mostly what you smell, crave and sip is a lab-made smell and taste engineered by chemists that is far from its original source.)
So when choosing a tea, read the labels and choose a real pure tea from a good clean Organic FairTrade Tea Farm co-op imported by a trusted local importer with certifications.
Better yet sip on tisanes or tea blends with locally grown botanicals from the Pemberton Valley that are above any current quality standards in the tea industry.
I always loved tea as a kid but my love of tea started at 18 when I moved to Whistler and bought my first herbal medicine volume called The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody. I started blending my own medicinal teas. It awakened something innate and ancient in me…. my calling. I went on to study Herbalism with Rowan Hamilton, Don Ollsin and BC First Nations. I have dedicated my life to the leaves of plants in one form or another ever since. I also had a vision in 1999 about everything we grow, blend and TeaCraft at Namasthé. The ideas have been brewing a very very long time. Slow Tea, one could say.
As an herbalist, I have blending hundreds of medicinal teas since 1999, but Namasthé got our first boxes in December 2007 after almost a year of planning, design and R&D. I still have many years ahead to build what I envision. It is a longer term project of some amplitude.
Earl Grey is one our most popular and we love drinking it hot like JLP on the Enterprise because we use real Cold Pressed Bergamot from true Sicilian Bergamot Oranges it actually gives our Earl Grey tea uplifting properties for gloomy days. We also blend our Pemberton grown, hand-harvested Cornflowers to the mix which gives our Earl Grey citrus & floral notes that have been used traditionally as anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, digestive botanicals.
(I drank “uterus-toning tea” made of raspberry leaf during pregnancy… Do you think it worked? I mean, it made me feel like I was doing something proactive, so I was happy to be drinking it… and it tasted fine!)
I actually had severe anemia in my first pregnancy that was not responding to prenatal nor ferrous pills to the dismay of my midwife. A simple tea, 3 times daily for one week of Nettles, Rosehips, Burdock & Yellow Dock did the job better than 7 months of tablets.
Water & botanicals make truly amazing broths, teas and cooking ingredients.
Iced cold brew is best in summer but hot tea everyday is excellent for health and morale.
I am forever a student of tea and herbalism and I love experimenting with the plants’ innate survival strategies. I have been growing in Pemberton for 5 summers and we are constantly out-putting less than our demand. It is a very intensive labour of love but with great farm partners like Sarah & Simone at RootDown Farm, it makes it easier.
Currently a group of our tea plants are shivering in this cold snap under layers of Burlap Coffee bags from SaltSpring Coffee so we hope they make it past this test.
I love summers in Pemberton. I love weeding in 35*C and I love the people and of course, the amazing black gold under our toes. Love the local food spots, too. We love growing at RootDown Farm with Sarah and Simone – they are amazing, hardworking role models and run a great farming operation with rich soils, great eggs and the best carrots! We get better each year and it is great to have two inspiring women farmers to work with.
The TPatch is 1/6 acre of hand-harvested & hand weeded herbals. When we moved 2 years ago we had to leave all our Peppermints behind from lack of space, so we hope to add more growing area next summer to get new ones going. We don’t grow volume, we grow the Thérroir, taste and rare botanicals unique to our blends. If we run out, no one else grows these commercially. So planning is key.
Tulsi is so special to the bees, for use in some of our favourite teas and to so many communities for health and spiritual purposes.
Lemon Verbena is a tough cookie to overwinter but so amazingly fragrant!
Wintergreen,White Buffalo Sage and Camellia Sinensis (tea) are so fun to grow to make Wulong but tough in Canadian winter.
Goji berries – fresh and juicy – were a favourite this summer, but hands down the most useful is dandelion and burdock that we weed and use in our Rootbeer Tea.
I love each and everyone one.
Let’s get political for a moment. What is the big deal about conventionally grown tea? Is a cup of Twinings really so bad?
Our line of TeaCraft Sodas Tea like Wild Roots Beer, Pemberton Cola, Wild Ginger beer have getting a lot attention – so much that we will be launching them as simple syrups for foodservice, bartenders and restaurants that have soda on tap. They are just simple botanicals, spices and tea – but no phosphoric acid, caramel color, HFCS, or “natural flavouring”. They are actually tea syrups that have health benefits.
We post updates and info on our Facebook page : Namasthé Tea Co.