Reach Tea: Why You Should Buy Organic and Sustainable Organic tea is a must—here’s why. By Leslie Carvitto Presented byIf you’re reading this, you’ve likely made several switches to purchase organic products. Heck, you may even be on a first name basis with the kale guy at the farmer’s market. But there are lots of products out there, and it’s not just our food that should come with an organic label. How many of your day-to-day essentials are organic? We’re talking about one of our favorite beverages: tea. Whether or not it’s iced or hot, tea is a nourishing way to “press pause” and feel great. Our go-to for herbal teas is Pukka Herbs, a UK based herbal wellbeing company that produces teas and supplements. Pukka has seven delicious tea families, and all of them are certified organic and fair trade. A tea that’s healthy for you and healthy for the planet? That’s a decision we shouldn’t have to grapple with! Read on to find out why organic tea should have a home in your pantry. Tea Time 101: How Tea is Made You drink it every day, but do you know the full story of your favorite tea? The majority of tea is produced in subtropical and tropical climates where rainfall and humidity is present. China, Sri Lanka, India and Kenya represent a majority of the world’s production. With so many varieties and flavors, you wouldn’t guess that tea processing for all types consists of a similar set of methods with minor variations. The general procedure consists of five processing steps: First, the leaves are harvested and hand-plucked, then laid out for several hours to dry. Then the tea leaves are rolled, pressed, or twisted to break the cell walls of the leaf, which extracts the juice and exposes the enzymes and essential oils. Next, the oxidation process takes place which gives the tea it’s particular taste, color, and strength. The final step is to heat the leaves to stop the oxidation process. Pukka’s teas incorporate an incredible range of organic herbs, green tea and even matcha (which is a powerful antioxidant-rich powder made from the tips of the tea leaves). Each blend in Pukka’s range of teas has been developed by their Master Herbsmith, inspired by the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Creating herbal tea this way allows Pukka to fuse herbal superpowers like ginger and turmeric, or dandelion and fennel to create functional herbal blends to support the whole spectrum of health and wellness needs. Turmeric is a great example. If you’re sipping on a turmeric tea, you’re consuming an infusion the actual herb—so you get an insane amount of benefits. (If you didn’t already know, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, improves brain function, lowers one’s risk of heart disease, and might even prevent cancer.) Pukka’s Turmeric Active tea is specially designed for active, exercise-lovin’ folks, as it supports joint movement and reduces the inflammation that comes with a strenuous fitness routine. And if sustainability is important to you (it is to us!), you’ll be happy to see that Pukka partners with FairWild in the creation of this blend, with efforts extending to protect the nesting environments and endangered trees in India. The Benefits of Going Organic Nobody wants chemicals in the food they eat or the products they use, and switching to organic has benefits that extend far beyond ourselves. The Organic Trade Association notes that if every farmer in the U.S. converted to organic production, we could eliminate 500 million pounds of harmful pesticides from entering the environment annually. Moreover, organic farming builds up healthy soil matter better than conventional no-till farming and helps combat soil and land issues such as erosion. Pukka’s mission to source the highest quality organic herbs has led them to small farms in Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Central America. Here, they found herbs growing abundantly and farmers who held a deep reverence for nature and her plentiful gifts. Together they’ve worked to perfect herb cultivation, care, and harvesting to get the delicious results present in their tea today. Their rigorous quality standards set them apart from conventional tea, and all herbs are analyzed for quality after they are collected and dried. Many of us know that farming organically means more than just the absence of chemicals. It’s also compassion for the earth and the people actually out in the field. Pukka’s purpose is to connect people, plants, and the planet by creating circles of benevolence where all three are constantly benefiting. How can you count on this? Their herbs goes through a rigorous certification process that ensures all products are traceable back to their origin. This act not only connects Pukka with their farmers, but also connects tea drinkers to those who sustainably grow and tend the plants—it’s a guarantee that your tea is good for your body, the planet, and those who make it. How Can Tea Be Sustainable? Here are a few ways you can determine if the tea you’re drinking is sustainably produced and certified organic. First off, scan the labels on the package. Do they have an organic certification? How about a Fair for Life or Fair Trade icon? If you don’t see any recognizable labels, check the company’s website and do research into their values and principles. If you really want to do your due diligence, see if the company is transparent enough to share a sustainability report. Pukka proudly presents their progress and sustainable highlights in a report that covers issues like carbon footprint (they are certified carbon neutral in their operations), resource conservation (ZERO waste is sent to landfill in their operations), and product excellence (100% of the herbs used in teas and supplements were organic). Yeah, it’s little extra work to vet a company before a purchase, but connecting to our daily purchases can have a beneficial impact on our environment. Doing a little research will go a long way in making environmentally responsible buying choices. Don’t Panic, Go Organic We know—Mama Earth needs our love. With growing concerns of global warming, reduction of nonrenewable resources and toxins polluting soil and our bodies, understanding the connection between what we buy and it’s environmental impact is at an all time high. Switching from conventional to organic products helps combat this damage by reducing pesticides, greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources like healthy soils and fresh water (in addition to being better for you and wildlife like birds, bees and butterflies). Swapping just one item is taking a stand for Mother Earth and creating beneficial cycles for the people and plants that call her home. If you’re giving your kale some love, make sure you do the same for your tea. Presented by PukkaPukka is an organic herbal wellbeing company on a mission to connect people to the power of plants. Pukka’s herbal teas, herbal supplements and new herbal lattes are all 100% organic, made with medicinal grade herbs and each blended with a functional purpose to support your health and wellbeing. Pukka is a certified B Corporation and committed to making a positive impact on our planet with regenerative organic farming practices and donating 1% of sales to environmental non-profits through membership of 1% for the Planet.