I’ll be totally honest here – when I initially found out about Löv Teas and browsed their website, I was a little surprised at how spiritual they made the tea sound. I mean, I can appreciate a warm tea-hug as much as the next tea enthusiast, but there’s got to be a limit, right?
Hah, wrong. I guess this is what happens when you get used to chugging Tim Horton’s tea on the go between lectures and meetings and work. Every once in a while I do treat myself to David’s Tea, a specialty tea store with a whole wall of loose-leaf teas to choose from. So, at best, I expected Löv Teas to be something along the lines of that, which is a pretty good place to be. But it was so much more.
Before I go on to gush about how much I loved Löv Teas, let me tell you a little bit about why I was so interested in trying Löv Teas in the first place, and what caught my eye before I even tried it:
1. It’s coarse loose leaf tea.
Not only are you avoiding the pre-packaged stuff that’s essentially a powder with who-knows-what in it, you’re also getting coarsely-chopped herbal tea so that you can literally see the distinct colour of each herb, petal, and in some cases, even the little flowerbuds. Aesthetically pleasing, but also providing a much richer flavour than you would get otherwise.
2. It’s organic tea.
They don’t just add organic into the name somewhere in hopes that people will ignorantly buy it because it looks healthy (a serious marketing ploy we need to watch out for these days). It’s certified organic by the USDA (meaning at least 95% of the ingredients must certified organic, and produced without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and dyes), European Union (again, requiring that 95% of ingredients are organic) and also holds an EKO Quality Symbol, an organic certification in The Netherlands. Just in case one certification wasn’t enough for you, they’ve got three. There’s no artificial colouring. No artificial flavouring. No pesticides, and it’s completely non-GMO.
3. They care about packaging, too.
Each tea is packaged in a FSC certified post-consumer recycled box, which is printed using non-toxic soya ink. When you open the box, the tea is sealed in a paper, rather than plastic, package. And why not? It looks more cute that way, anyways.
4. The box is gorgeous.
Okay this last one is a little superficial, but come on. That exotic dense jungle print (see below) just makes me so irrationally happy.
Löv Teas was generous enough to send me tea samples of each of the four teas they currently carry to test out and share with you. Here are my thoughts:
Since I’m used to drinking caffeinated Earl Grey in the mornings, this herbal, caffeine-free tea didn’t give me the same wake-up call I’m used to. However, it did bring me into a more gentle, calm awareness of everything around me. The subtle ginger is perfect for a gentle push towards being productive and getting started with your day.
Mind Body Balance
Sweet and comforting, this tea was the most surprising of all. I never really thought much of what it would feel like to be “balanced”, but this tea made me feel exactly that. It’s the kind of tea that will clear your mind and make you feel okay, no matter how stressed you are.
To be totally honest, this one was probably my least favourite. It contains raisins and licorice root, both things I dislike, but if you do like the taste of those then I can imagine that this would be quite delicious!
The Wellness Tonic
This one wins the “Most Good-Looking” tea award. On top of all the green herbs and leaves, there are also cute little chamomile flowers, blue mallow petals (which are actually purple), and some red pieces that I am guessing is the rosehip. If seeing all this beautiful colour being scooped into your tea infuser doesn’t already enhance your tea-drinking experience, I don’t know what will. Oh, and it makes you feel like it’s healing you from the inside out, which is also pretty nice.
I also love how each tea comes with suggested ways to serve it, be it hot, iced or with a slice of a certain fruit. I haven’t tried the pairings myself – call me boring, but I like my tea just as it is – but maybe I’ll get around to making some iced tea once the weather warms up a bit around here.
I had the opportunity to ask the founder, Brittney Van Matre, a few questions about how Löv Teas began:
1. What inspired the creation of Lӧv Teas?
Many years before the product was actually created, Lӧv was born of my desire to create calm in my own life. I went through a period of intense anxiety and internal restlessness – I affectionately refer to this time as my “vision quest”.
Spurred by strong emotions, I felt compelled to dive into spirituality, meditation, and natural medicine. Instead of acquiring more stuff, I invested time and resources into meditation classes, acupuncture treatments, massages, healthy organic food, and personal coaching. During this time I began to educate myself regarding natural remedies, also turning to a naturopath for advice and recommendations regarding herbs I could begin incorporating into my diet to help combat the unending stream of anxiety. This was the beginning of my journey, experimenting with different herbal infusions, creating new blends, and discovering their positive impact on my mood and health.
Fast forward years later, and after having stepped foot on over 30 countries, moving to Amsterdam, becoming a Certified Meditation Teacher, and falling in love, I came to a place where I wanted to share my knowledge and passion for organic herbal infusions, while also offering a beautiful, sustainable, everyday use product that would give back to communities in need.
Not only does tea enhance your health, but even more importantly, it offers you moments of stillness and euphoric mindfulness. These moments bleed into your life and have the power to change the way in which you see the world.
Tea connects all the facets of my journey that have helped form who I am today. And now I intend to use it as a vehicle for consciousness in the lives of others and the world as a whole.
2. What do you want people who drink Lӧv Teas to feel and experience?
I want people to feel peace when they drink Lӧv. I want them to forget about to-do lists, demands, and titles; I want them to indulge in a mindful, sensory experience of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. I want them to journey through time and space, touching an ancient cornerstone of human tradition spanning race, country, and culture. I want them to peel back the curtain to take a peek at what lies within them; I want them to see what’s really there, maybe even discovering something new and beautiful for the first time.
I truly believe that awareness and the expansion of individual consciousness will change the world.
It doesn’t take much; even a small cup of tea can ignite a roaring river of love within you forming an artery leading to a great ocean of never-ending joy.
3. Why do you think it’s important to incorporate sustainability and fair trade into your teas?
I have seen the ruthlessness of the corporate world. I have seen the passive manner in which we consume and re-consume, only to be thirsty for more. To operate sustainably, that is, from product source to package to distribution, is to draw a line in the sand that says, “I demand a change”. To choose this path means to sacrifice profit, time, energy, and patience. It takes great courage to go against the masses, to diverge onto the road less traveled, and to stand for your vision. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. The facts are staring humanity in the face – we must act. Any forward progress, from companies and organizations big or small, can create a ripple effect of positive change. It is always worth the risk to stand up for what you believe in. The Earth is our home and we must take responsibility for how we live here.
4. You don’t currently hold a Fair Trade Certification – is this something you’re looking into doing soon?
Although our herbals are ethically sourced from organic farming communities worldwide, not all of the farms can afford fair trade certification. Thus, not all of our ingredients are fair trade accredited. It is not an easy or cost effective process to ensure equal treatment and fair pay. Fair trade certifications, as well as organic licenses, are extremely expensive and exhaustive to maintain, both for the producers and for small companies such as Lӧv. Despite the hurdles, I wish to stay true to our values. We are currently working toward developing new products and exploring how we can create an offering beyond our current collection that is 100% fair trade certified.
In the meantime, a portion of all our sales are going toward the hopeful development of a birthing unit in Assam, India, the world’s largest tea farming mecca. This is where giant corporate tea conglomerates farm and source their raw materials. The farms are worked almost entirely by women. Assam has the highest maternal mortality rate in India, a country that, overall, accounted for some 50,000 of the 289,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2013 (http://time.com/3984024/maternal-mortality-photos/). I’d love to give back to these women and to provide them a stable, hospitable location to give birth. It is one of the underlying goals of creating the business.
5. What can we expect to see from Lov Teas in the future? Are their plans to bring in more teas?
Yes! So much more is in store! We are working on something special now. A bit of an adventurous twist to tie in our mindfulness related themes. We can’t wait to share!
I loved this tea so much that I got you guys a sweet, exclusive discount code – curiousbuttonlovteas – to get you 20% off your purchase! This code will only be valid until May 31th, 2016.
Head over to Lov Teas to learn more about it.