High Tea @ MOV: Sipping sustainable tea with Herbal Republic

By guest author Tyaka Graves, High Tea @ MOV organizer

With the High Tea @ MOV fast approaching, we decided to touch base with Anita Suri the Marketing Manager from Herbal Republic Fine Tea Corp to find out a little more about the official tea sponsor for the High Tea @ MOV and how we can all ‘sip to save the planet’.

To start, tell me a bit about Herbal Republic and what you do?

Herbal Republic has been in the business of fine teas for over 15 years. Originally located on West Broadway in Vancouver, five years ago we merged the Herbal Republic brand with our TEAZ Tea Boutique location on Granville Street. Our objective is to offer the best quality of whole leaf at reasonable prices. We have always sourced and blended, using the very best ingredients with the quality teas from around the world.

Apart from our retail location on Granville Street, we recently launched products under our ‘sip to save the planet’ initiative, for the wholesale and food service market. Our objective is to ensure that all our products are the best quality and also meet our environment mandate to ensure that we can give back to the planet as well as our industry. My role in the business is focused on marketing, business development, and assisting in creating new products.

Herbal Republic tea farmers

What is your favorite Herbal Republic tea and why?

My favourite Herbal Republic tea is the Ambassador Tea which is our house specialty English breakfast house blend. This was conceived and blended after I lost my father and in his memory we created a blend to reflect his favourite tea region of the world. He was an Ambassador, a diplomat in the Foreign Service, and had travelled the world extensively.

Tell me about the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), and what this means for Herbal Republic and your customers?

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is an organization based in the UK with a primary mandate of ensuring that the tea producing estates meet all of the standards commonly associated with the symbol fair trade. Together we ensure that the workers get a fair wage, their working conditions are improved and finally their estates meet standards of sustainability.

We are also members of the Rainforest Alliance and buy tea from estates monitored by the Rainforest Alliance and in the future will be using their logo on our packaging. Finally, we are also supported by the Green Table for launching products that are sensitive to the environment, biodegradable, and compostable.

What are your suggestions for storing tea to ensure freshness?

To maintain freshness, we recommend that you buy tea in smaller quantities and store the tea in an air tight container away from light. Most teas should not be exposed to light for continued lengths of time.

Now summer is approaching, what refreshing tea would you recommend for a hot summers day?

You can use all of our teas at TEAZ Tea Boutique for making ice tea.

We are launching and sampling healthy ice tea smoothie and ice tea mixes where you can add whatever you wish to the base. It is a tea leaf product allowing you to make ice tea instantly. Of course, you may add whatever you wish to the tea. We are offering the instant leaf to get you started. It is a great product and we definitely enjoyed developing it.

What is the most interesting ‘old wives tale’ you have heard about making the perfect cup of tea?

I don’t think I have ever heard any old wives tales about how to brew tea. We offer instructions to our customers based on our expertise and experience. There is one brewing instruction which we find most people are unaware of. Green and white teas require little infusion time with water temperatures  between 80–90 degrees Celsius. We find that most people are completely unaware of this. You can find detailed instructions on how to brew all our teas on our Herbal Republic website.

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