The story of Pukka's Love Tea
Every cup of Pukka tea has a unique and often fascinating story. One of our favourites is the story of Love tea.
This is partly because of the intention behind its creation, and partly because of the inspiring projects that it supports, especially through its FairWild certified ingredients: elderflower, limeflower and licorice.
The story behind Pukka's Love tea
As with all our teas, Love was created by our Master Herbsmith, Sebastian. What makes this tea different is that it was a very personal creation, blended with the intention of 'wooing' a new love on their first date.
The mix of flowers, including rose, lavender and marigold, was a way to the lovely Suze’s heart, and at the time there was never any thought of putting the blend in a tea bag.
The tea clearly worked; within a year Sebastian and Suze had moved in together and were married soon after. Several years later, Sebastian decided to spread the love even wider. The original blend was recreated and in 2004 we launched Pukka’s Love tea.
Now, more than 1.3 million cups of this heart-warming brew are drunk every month. That’s a lot of Love.
The FairWild effect
The ripples of good intention not only touch the people who drink the tea, they also touch the people who grow and collect the herbs. There is one story in particular that illustrates the healing power of Love – the story of FairWild elderflower, collected from the ruins of villages destroyed during the Bosnian war.
For those of you who don’t remember the Bosnian war, it was a bitter conflict between different ethnic groups that took place during the 90's. Much of the worst fighting happened in and around Sarajevo, which was surrounded by opposition forces who blocked anything or anyone from entering or leaving the city for almost four years.
A short distance from Sarajevo is the small town of Konjic. Like Sarajevo, Konjic was also under siege for much of the war. Opposition forces occupied small villages in the surrounding hills, firing shells into the town, whilst government forces fired shells back into the hills. By the end of the war most villages had been abandoned, and in many cases, completely ruined.
In the years since the end of the Bosnian war, the abandoned villages have gradually been reclaimed by nature. It just so happens that one of the most common and vigorous pioneer species to colonise the villages is the elder tree – the source of elderflower, a key ingredient in Love tea.
The project we work with in association with FairWild was set up in 2000, a time when the conflict was still very fresh in people’s memories. One of the aims of the project was to create employment for people who lost their livelihoods during the war.
They now employ over 700 families to collect a wide range of herbs, including FairWild elderflower, limeflower, dandelions and nettles. FairWild certification, as the name suggests, ensures that the collection is fair and is sustainably harvested from the wild.
Spreading the Pukka love
In the case of elder, there is minimal risk of over-exploitation. The main value of FairWild certification is in providing assurance that the collectors are fairly paid, and perhaps most importantly, that there is no discrimination between different ethnic groups.
In a society that was so deeply divided in relatively recent times, treating everyone equally is of utmost importance. The project we work with has gone one step further, and is actively trying to promote reconciliation by supporting ethnic minorities in remote areas.
In many ways, the elder is a potent symbol of regeneration. Traditionally associated with warding off evil, it now grows out of the ruins of conflict, transforming places of despair into something far more hopeful.
Next time you drink a cup of Love tea, take a moment to remember this story and reflect on the power of good intention and the ripple effects of a simple gift of love.
Do you have a beautiful story to share about our Love tea? Tweet us @PukkaHerbs using the hashtag #PukkaLove and tell us all about it.