I’m trying to review as many things from work as I can, provided that a) they’re vegan, and b) they’re not coffee, because coffee is gross. I’m making a start with Essential’s hibiscus tea.
Essential is a worker’s co-operative based in Bristol that is entirely owned and run by it’s workers. They specialize in ethical wholefoods, and you can find out more or shop at http://www.essential-trading.coop. Their hibiscus tea is not only Fairtrade and organic, but Demeter certified. What’s that? You’ve never heard of the Demeter standard for biodynamic food and farming?! Okay, so…me either. I don’t know what ‘biodynamic’ even means.
Biodynamics turns out to be really interesting! It’s like organic with added spirituality, and focuses on understanding and embracing life’s processes and putting more into the land than we take out. I’m kinda surprised I haven’t heard more about it in the pagan community, but actually I think many of us have that kind of attitude without calling it ‘biodynamics’. There are also specific preparations to put on the ground and a lunar calendar to plant by. Very pagan-friendly! You can find out more about the Demeter standard at http://www.demeter.net.
But we’re not done yet. This tea is grown, processed and packed on a farm in Egypt, where they work with Sekem. Sekem is an Egyptian initiative focusing on improving communities and the natural environment (read more at http://www.sekem.com).
And the tea itself? It’s a very appetizing, ruby red color with a sweet, fruity, very slightly spicy scent. Accordingly, it has a sweet, fruity, very slightly sharp flavor. It’s not sickly sweet, but it’s also not *sharp* sharp, so I find it’s nice without anything to make it sweeter (unlike, say raspberry tea, which I find needs something to sweeten it up a bit). Sometimes I have it with a scant teaspoon of carob syrup, but that’s just ’cause I’m a sugar addict.
Hibiscus tea in general has a lot of vitamin C, so it might be a good drink for when you have a cold. It’s also said to help your digestion, soothe anxiety and even help you to lose weight. Just today I spoke to a lady who drinks hibiscus tea to help her sleep.
My one and only problem with this tea is that it isn’t loose-leaf, but on the plus side the bags are unbleached 🙂
Let me know if you’ve tried this tea and what you thought to it!