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A question of fractions. "Tea", part of a plant based diet but not a panacaea!

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

It sounds obvious but I wonder how many people really think about tea as being part of a plant based diet? I mean all we steep is leaves, twigs, flower parts, roots, seeds and fruit; not an ounce of anything outside the Kingdom "Flora" is blended, steeped or sipped by the tea world. Even those teas that are characterized by Umami, that meaty, brothy flavour, all derive from plants only so, when we at Ela's consider this ancient beverage, that we are consumed with, we witness that " What goes around comes around" and that there could be no more fitting drink to reflect consumer trends than tea.

Some of Ela's loose leaf tea range on the bench.

However, as we procure and blend, we do so with a firm belief that we stay between the tram tracks afforded by the perception of tea and not stray off into Lah Lah land, professing tea can do everything, it can't!

It is incredible that there are blends of "tea" on the market place with 20 or more ingredients. Really? What do the creators think is the point of that? In a 2grm portion of dry matter, if equally distributed, you would only be brewing 0.1grm of an ingredient in 236grms of water; not enough to taste or benefit from. The reality is that ingredient decks read from highest content to lowest so, those at the bottom are probably in at 1% or lower, that is 0.02grms so, you decide! Worth it?

Frankly, we know that certain celebratory Doc's and other personalities can fan the flames of desire for certain ingredients and that drives the blender to sprinkle a little of the heralded ingredient (read "Fairy dust") onto blends that are perfectly palatable and good by themselves. We at ela's just don't see the point. It's not that we think we know better, we just consider tea to be pleasurable first and foremost and everything else may or may not count.

Ela's Turmeric Blond 1979: So called for a teen crush I had for Debbie Harry but also for the liquor colour which is more obvious!!

So, if you see an ingredient on one of our packs you can bet that it's there for a purpose, like carrot (yes carrot) in our Turmeric blond loose leaf which delivers natural sweetness to our root warm turmeric and ginger or moringa, in our green tea, which adds a verdant character and colour while smoothing out any harshness that our high grown organic green may have.

Moringa, unmistakably a member of a plant based product

And there is not an ingredient on our pack that does not belong in a plant based diet nor any tomfoolery like "candied fruit" for which read "fruit and sugar" (look at your go to tea and be honest now!)

Look, I am not saying that your favourite 10-20 ingredient tea doesn't taste wonderful, I just question, Why so complicated?

Tea ingredients taste great and like our other intake of plant based foods we don't render them indistinguishable by blending them all together or indeed render their benefit to us microscopic , in impact, by having just a tiny little bit of each one so, why should tea blends be any different?

Our belief is that nature does a pretty decent job of creating a wonderful sensory palate for us to enjoy so don't play God (or your version of a higher being...or not) and screw with perfection!

We believe in the "Science of freshness", that active ingredients and those that deliver sensory pleasure, invariably oxidize or complex, over time, into less useful or attractive articles. In fact, infusions get weaker with age and none of this is likely to please.

So as wilted lettuce isn't a winner, why choose a product that offers you the infused equivalent of that unprepossessing article.

"Less is more" whether you are a Consumer interested in tasting nature's bounty or doing right by your body. Look at the ingredient label and consider the repercussions of blend design; it's highly likely that all teas are good for you, purely by delivering hydration, but that the inferred health claim, through ingredient inclusion is going to deliver nothing other than psychosomatic relief.

Drink tea because it tastes good and it will invariably lift your spirits, in a time when we could all do with a bit of that!

Ela's Turmeric blonde, all of 4 ingredients

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Snelly, I am so much in sync with your thinking. Even with large scale tea blending - my Unilever days - I thought we blended too many disparate items. I’ve ended up thinking focus one just one or two main tastes/aromas. Throw in a cost reducer if you can - but why ?

Reminds me of my time 1989/90 seconded to Bushells in Sydney when the Commodities Director told me ‘why black black and white rather than shades of grey’? Who said we knew everything at Brooke Bond/Lipton headquarters in London? 😜

ps. Ok, with herbals I can accept the odd ‘pretty’ component added to the dried leaf .

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