- Why is Pukka Organic?
Pukka’s family of Teas and Organic Wellbeing are all firmly rooted in the principles of organic farming. This means much more to us than just the absence of agrochemicals; it is a method of growing crops in a way that connects people with the plants and the soil. It is a way of living lightly on the planet, ensuring that we give back as much as we take, of creating cycles of beneficial intent at each stage of a product’s journey from field to shelf.
For a farm to be truly organic we believe that herb cultivation should be just one element in a larger system, involving production of a diverse range of crops that meet the wider needs of the farmer. Some of our favourite farms demonstrate this perfectly by combining cultivation of organic herbs with subsistence food crops, livestock, large-scale compost and other organic inputs, as well as areas of sustainably managed forest for collecting wild fruits, bark and resin.
The Soil Association logo on the back of all of our products testifies that all of our ingredients are certified to EU organic standards. This certification process ensures that all our products are traceable back to their origin, thus connecting us – and you – with the farmers and the farms in which the plants are grown. Just as an organic system requires the farmer to return organic matter to the soil, so too can our relationship with the farmer enable us to give something back to him/her by providing a premium price so that the cycle of beneficial intent can continue.
There are four key organic principles of organic farming that The Soil Association adhere to;
1) The Principle of Health: The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings. Organic farming should avoid the use of fertilisers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adverse health effects.
2) The Principle of Ecology: Organic agriculture should attain ecological balance through the design of farming systems, establishment of habitats and maintenance of genetic and agricultural diversity. Those who produce, process, trade, or consume organic products should protect and benefit the common environment including landscapes, climate, habitats, biodiversity, air and water.
3) The Principle of Fairness: Natural and environmental resources that are used for production and consumption should be managed in a way that is socially and ecologically just and should be held in trust for future generations.Fairness requires systems of production, distribution and trade that are open and equitable and account for real environmental and social costs.
4) The Principle of Care: Practitioners of organic agriculture can enhance efficiency and increase productivity, but this should not be at the risk of jeopardizing health and wellbeing. Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and the environment.
For more on the wonder of organic please read this article.
- What stance does Pukka take on the GMO (genetically modified organism) debate and the current Non-GMO project in the US?
GMO products are banned from use in organic farming and the processing of organic products. As Pukka is 100% certified organic, Pukka never uses GMOs. Organic standards strictly regulate the use of pesticides, antibiotics and fertilisers whilst also monitoring animal welfare and the protection of wildlife. Therefore, GMOs and products produced from or by GMOs are incompatible with the principles of organic production as they usually involve a huge increase of environment-damaging herbicide use.
Pukka have a zero tolerance for the presence of GMOs in our organic herbal teas and remedies. As organic agriculture does not allow the use of GMOs, organic certification guarantees a non-GMO product. Pukka Herbs are certified organic by The Soil Association in the UK who exceed the standards required for organic food that are currently laid down in European law. It’s why we don't use tea-tents or pyramid bags that are either made from oil derived nylon or from GMO-Corn starch.
Pukka believe that the Non-GMO project in the US has helped to raise public awareness on the risks associated with GMO. As the US government do not enforce the labelling of GMOs, the Non-GMO Project is filling a much-needed gap in informing the US public of its potential risks, however as every one of our Pukka Herbs is certified organic which guarantees GMO-free we have not as yet joined the Non-GMO Project.
- Do Pukka Herbs do anything to offset their carbon production?
We are certified carbon neutral in our operations by carbonfootprint.com. We also support forest conservation in The Western Ghats of India – one of the worlds ‘biodiversity hotspots’ with AERF (Applied Environmental Research Foundation), and closer to home, protecting local woodland with the Forest of Avon Trust. You can read more about our carbon management in our Sustainability Report.
- What is 1% for the planet?
1% for the Planet is a global movement of companies donating at least 1% of their annual turnover to environmental organisations worldwide. Although growing in the US, the idea of connecting businesses, consumers, and non-profits together for positive change in this way is new in the UK. Pukka Herbs is one of a handful of pioneering companies who have signed up to 1% for the Planet, pledging to create positive environmental change regardless of how much profits it makes. Here's is thier website if you want to take a look:
Fair for Life, Fairtrade & FairWild
- What is Fairtrade?
Many of us are familiar with the FAIRTRADE Mark and are aware that it is supposed to guarantee that a product has been produced and traded in an ethical manner. But what exactly is involved in this process? How does it benefit the producers? And why should we be paying a premium for Fairtrade products?
The Fairtrade certification process is based on a set of internationally agreed standards that are designed to support the social and economic development of small-scale farmers and plantation workers. To obtain Fairtrade certification, buyers and producers are required to work in partnership to meet product-specific standards, ensuring that farmers and farm-workers are paid fairly for their work.
Fairtrade payments can be broken down into two main categories; the first is the ‘Fairtrade price’, a guaranteed minimum price for a product that protects farmers from volatile fluctuations in the market. The second is the ‘Fairtrade premium’, an additional sum of money that is paid to a communal fund that is used by farmer’s associations to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.
To use the FAIRTRADE Mark on a product, the producers and traders of the ingredients must be inspected by FLO-CERT, a third party certification body, who ensure that all the standards have been adhered to. Generally speaking, at least 20% of the ingredients of a product must be Fairtrade certified in order for the product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark.
Fairtrade standards are designed to support the sustainable development of small producer organisations and agricultural workers in the poorest countries in the world. 10 of Pukka’s 30 teas carry a ‘Fair’ certification (Fairtrade or FairWild; see below). Here are the key Fairtrade Standards from Fairtrade International:
1) Social development: For small-scale producers Fairtrade standards require an organisational structure that allows the producers to actually bring a product to the market. All members of the organisation need to have access to democratic decision-making processes and as far as possible participate in the activities of the organisation. The organisation needs to be set up in a transparent way for its members and must not discriminate any particular member or social group.
2) Economic development: For all products Fairtrade standards require the buyers to pay a Fairtrade Minimum Price and/or a Fairtrade Premium to the producers. The Fairtrade Minimum Price aims to help producers cover the costs of sustainable production. The Fairtrade Premium is money for the producers or for the workers on a plantation to invest in improving the quality of their lives.
3) Environmental development: Fairtrade standards include requirements for environmentally sound agricultural practices. The focus areas are: minimised and safe use of agrochemicals, proper and safe management of waste, maintenance of soil fertility and water resources and no use of genetically modified organisms.
4) Forced labour and child labour: Forced labour and child labour are prohibited in the Fairtrade standards. We source Fairtrade Cinnamon, Ginger, Spearmint, Vanilla, Rooibos, Green tea, Black tea from Vietnam, India, Egypt, South Africa and Uganda.
- What is Fair for Life?
Fair for Life is the gold standard in fair and ethical trade. It’s one of the fairest, most equitable and transparent fair trade systems in the world.
Fair for Life guarantees that everyone who Pukka touches, from crop to cup across the globe, is treated fairly, equitably and transparently. So all Pukka’s teas aren’t just good for you and the environment. They’re also good for all those people who work hard to create them. All Pukka teas are certified Fair for Life. http://www.fairforlife.org/
- What is FairWild?
The FairWild Foundation are an international organisation that aim to provide a worldwide framework for implementing a sustainable, fair and value-added management and trading system for wild-collected natural ingredients and products. FairWild is a certification programme that combines principles of fairtrade and sustainable wild collection. The purpose, as described in the FairWild guidelines, is:
“To ensure the continued use and long-term survival of wild plant species and populations in their habitats, while respecting the traditions and cultures, and supporting the livelihoods of all stakeholders, in particular collectors and workers.”
To obtain FairWild certification, collectors, who may traditionally have uprooted an entire plant, will now be required to leave some of the root in the ground so that it can grow again the following year. Collectors who would normally have harvested 100% of the herbs in a given area, may also be required to leave 30-40% of the population untouched so that the seed can mature and naturally regenerate. Collecting from unspecified areas will also be ruled-out under the FairWild agreement. All plants will be harvested from pre-determined collection sites in which detailed studies (resource inventories, yield estimates and regeneration studies) have been carried out.
To reflect the extra time and effort required to harvest the plants in a sustainable manner the individual collectors are paid a premium price (5-10% above the normal cost) (in addition to the FairWild premium that is given to the cooperative; about 10% on the purchase price) providing them with a strong incentive to preserve plant populations. In this way FairWild certification can transform a potentially destructive activity into a powerful tool for conservation. This is a really exciting initiative for us at Pukka, as it gives us and our customers an opportunity to strengthen our support for herb collectors and the environments in which they live, simply by continuing to produce, blend, eat and drink wonderful herbs!. We source FairWild Licorice, Elderflowers, Limeflowers and Nettles from Khazakstan, Spain, Bulgaria and Croatia.
- Where do Pukka stand on animal testing?
Pukka stands for life. And love – love of this glorious planet, and every living creature on it. So we will always oppose animal testing, and keep our business 100% cruelty-free.
No finished Pukka creation, or raw ingredient of any of our products, has ever been tested on animals – at any phase of development – nor will there ever be a reason for us to do so.
We’ve never commissioned any of our suppliers to use animal testing, and we’ve never used the services of any other research establishment to conduct animal testing on our behalf, either for a product or any product ingredients.
We’re passionately strict when it comes to whom we buy ingredients from – and will never trade with any supplier or intermediary who has conducted, commissioned or been party to animal testing.
Each year, we ask for written assurances from our suppliers to ensure that the ingredients they sell to us, comply with the Humane Cosmetics Standards (HCS). This standard is set by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and is regarded as the highest standard for animal welfare in the cosmetics industry.
If we found that any of the ingredients wasn’t fully compliant with the HCS, we’d seek an alternative supplier – and, if necessary, remove the products containing the ingredients from our product range.
Tea: Safety, Dosage & Contraindications
- How many Pukka teas are safe to drink on a daily basis?
Pukka teas are both delicious and safe to drink throughout the day. To increase your experience of the wonder of plants we would recommend drinking a variety throughout the day. But, it is always worth checking the pack for any relevant recommendations. For example, at present, there are recommendations on the Three Licorice, Three Cinnamon, Peppermint & Licorice and Licorice & Cinnamon.
- Are Pukka teas safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
We recommend that the Pukka Motherkind Pregnancy tea is consumed during 2nd and 3rd Trimester only, just to be cautious. All other Pukka teas are considered safe to drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Is it safe for children to drink Pukka herbal teas?
We do not recommend our teas to any child under 1 year old without the advice of a practitioner. This is just a precaution as the herbs can be safely used by anyone, but as children’s immune systems are still immature, we recommend that you take the advice of a practitioner after a face-to-face meeting.
- Are Pukka teas vegetarian or vegan?
All Pukka teas are vegetarian. Lemon, Ginger and Manuka Honey and Chamomile, Vanilla and Manuka Honey contain honey and may not, therefore, be suitable for all vegan diets.
- Are Pukka teas gluten free?
All Pukka teas are free from gluten containing ingredients. However, we want to point out that Night Time and Relax contain oat straw flowering tops. Although the analytical tests undertaken on these teas show that gluten is absent, consumers who are extremely sensitive may want to check the suitability of oat straw further for related gluten allergies like avenin.
- Are Pukka teas Kosher certified?
All Pukka teas are Kosher certified by the Orthodox Union.
- Are all Pukka teas caffeine free?
All our teas are naturally caffeine free except for the following that contain green or black tea or cocoa;
• All Green Teas: Clean Matcha Green, Serene Jasmine Green, Supreme Matcha Green, Mint Matcha Green, Ginseng Matcha Green, Sweet Vanilla Green and Turmeric Gold.
• All Black Teas: Elegant English Breakfast, Lively English, Breakfast, Gorgeous Earl Grey
• Revitalise (contains 8% green tea)
• Original Chai (contains 20% black tea)
• Star Anise and Cinnamon (contains 8% green tea)
• Licorice and Cinnamon (contains Cocoa)
Pukka do not use any form of decaffeinated black, green or herbal tea. We like to use plants in their most natural form, and the decaffeination process alters a plant’s natural chemistry. Some decaffeination processes can also utilise various chemical and mechanical procedures that are not in line with Pukka’s organic principles and so for the moment we have left the tea leaves as they come.
Green tea and matcha naturally contain caffeine, but also contain a constituent known as L-theanine which can actually help to balance the effects of caffeine in the body.
- What is the calorie content of your teas?
The calorie content of the teas is very low so we do not list the calorific/nutritional values of our teas on the packaging.
Tea: Packing & Manufacturing Queries
- Are your teabag sachets recyclable?
Our teabag sachets are not currently recyclable. The paper used to make the tea sachets (envelopes) has a Polyethylene (PE) lamination and for this reason they are currently unable to be recycled. We are looking into potential alternative materials that are recyclable or biodegradable.
- Why are Pukka teabags wrapped in individual sachets?
We wrap our organic herbal blends in a sachet because we want to lock in the freshness and protect the high essential oil content which gives our teas such a special taste. Individually wrapped sachets protect the tea bags from light and moisture which degrade the herbs, causing the tea to lose its depth of flavour and herbal health benefits. The sachet also prevents any cross-contamination of flavour or smell with other nearby foods.
- What are your teabags made from?
Our tea bag paper is made of a special blend of natural abaca (a type of banana) and plant cellulose fibres. Our supply of tea bag paper is also Totally Chlorine Free (TCF). They are staple-free and 100% biodegradeable and/or recyclable.
The tea bag strings are made from 100% organic, non-GMO, un-bleached cotton.
- Are your tea bags sealed using any forms of glue or heat?
Our teabags are not heat sealed; therefore they do not require a polymer of any kind to keep them closed. The machine folds the bag and sews it shut with a single piece of cotton thread. Some other manufactures use teabags which have a polypropylene (PP) lining which when heated bonds together to seal the tea inside.
- Is there any epichlorohydrin in your tea bags?
We can reassure you that our tea bag paper does not contain any epichlorohydrin, but it is used in the manufacturing process. The absence of epichlorohydrin is regularly checked by our tea bag suppliers and complies with all relevant EU and US food regulations.
- Why do you not fill your tea boxes to the maximum capacity?
We have to use one sized carton for production and it needs to accommodate the blends of numerous different types of teas, some of which have a very high content of bulky blend. We are always actively searching for ways to improve the environmental impact of our packaging.
- Why do you use packaging for your teas?
At Pukka we are dedicated to sustainable living and endeavour to make all our packaging environmentally friendly and to the highest industry standard. For our tea, we use an organic cotton string without a staple, to ensure you can safely recycle the tea bag; we manufacture the teabags in the UK to support other businesses here to grow as we do, and our cartons are printed with vegetable inks. We want to keep our blended herbal tea bags preserved as much as possible to lock in the freshness and retain the high essential oil content which gives them such a unique and strong taste, which means using a sachet. The individually wrapped sachets protect the tea bags from light which can cause the oils to evaporate, helping to protect their depth of flavour and herbal health benefits.
- Do Pukka Herbs measure the levels of fluoride in their green tea?
We do not test for fluoride in any of our blends of tea. Fluoride content increases with old leaves and machine-harvested tea. Our leaves are younger and hand-picked. It is said that the higher the quality of the tea, the lower the fluoride content. Fluoride content can also be influenced by the quality of the soil; all of Pukka’s teas are grown under organic standards.
The tea bag paper suppliers do not use fluoride in the manufacturing process.
Tea: Ingredient Queries
- What is the ‘flavouring’ in Pukka tea made from and which teas is it in?
Some of the Pukka teas contain organic essential oil granules, labelled on the tea box as ‘essential oil flavours’. To create these granules, the essential oils are processed using a base that contains organic sugar, organic malto-dextrin, organic gum arabic and organic lecithin.
The lecithin used by Pukka is extracted from non-GMO organic sunflowers. It is a complex blend of naturally occurring fats found in plant material. Lecithin enables us to blend oil and water together, so that we can add essential oils to our teas and enhance their flavour. The lecithin is processed through the compression of the sunflower seeds and then a separation of the oil, water and fibre found in the seeds. The oil portion is then dried ready for use.
According to Soil Association standards, and their policy of ‘honest labelling’ if the ingredient is made and used as a flavouring it must be labelled as a flavouring on the ingredient list. Other organic certification bodies or other food regulators do not have this open policy so you won’t see other companies listing what is in their flavourings.
Here is a list of Pukka teas containing these granules:
Lemongrass & Ginger
Detox with Lemon
Lemon and Mandarin
Lemon, Ginger and Manuka Honey
Elderberry and Echinacea
Gorgeous Earl Grey
Wild Apple & Cinnamon
- Some Pukka teas taste sweet, how are they sweetened?
Sweetness is just one of the six essential tastes that our Master Herbsmith Sebastian considers when creating our blends, carefully balancing the therapeutic effect of our teas with the best taste experience.
The sweetness in Pukka tea comes from the natural flavour in the organic herbs we use such as fennel seed, aniseed and licorice root. Licorice, for example, is a magical plant that not only has 50 times the natural sweetness of refined sugar but is also an incredible herb with many traditional and scientifically validated uses.
Just because our teas are sweet does not mean we add pure sugar as an ingredient to any of the tea blends. Some of the Pukka fruit and manuka honey based teas contain organic essential oil granules, or organic flavour granules labelled on the tea box as ‘flavours’. The essential oil granules are processed using a base that contains organic maltodextrin, organic gum arabic, organic sugar and organic lecithin. The organic sugar is used at a very low percentage to aid the production of these essential oil granules. The amount of residual sugar present within the tea after processing is minimal and below the limit of detection (<0.1 grams). Those that contain honey are processed using organic honey, organic maltodextrin and ascorbic acid as an antioxidant.
Pukka’s guiding philosophy is to connect people with the power of plants to help them live healthier and happier lives. We do this by creating unique herbal tea blends using the finest grade organic herbs with the intention of making delicious tasting teas that also help you feel good. We would like to thank you for supporting us on our journey to make life a little ‘sweeter’.
- Why do Pukka add Licorice to the tea blends?
Our guiding philosophy is to connect people with the power of plants to help them live healthier and happier lives. We do this by creating unique herbal tea blends using the finest grade organic herbs with the intention of making delicious tasting teas that also help you feel good. We take this privileged position of helping people make healthy choices for themselves and the planet very seriously indeed.
Sweetness is just one of the six essential tastes that our Herbsmith Sebastian considers when creating our blends, carefully balancing the therapeutic effect of our teas with the best taste experience. We often add Fennel or Licorice to our teas to sweeten them. Licorice, for example, is a magical plant that not only has 50 times the natural sweetness of refined sugar but it is also an incredible herb. It is calming and nourishing, and its silky nature helps soothe your whole system. It also acts as a good harmoniser of the other herbs in the blend, bringing out their best qualities so you get the most balanced cup of tea.
However, should Licorice not be to your tastes, we do have a number of blends that do not contain this particular herb. They are as follows;
- Can I drink Pukka teas that contain licorice in if I have high blood pressure?
We love licorice at Pukka. Sweetness is just one of the six essential tastes that our Herbsmith Sebastian Pole considers when creating our blends, carefully balancing the therapeutic effect of our teas with the best taste experience. It is calming and nourishing, and its silky nature helps soothe your whole system. It also acts as a good harmoniser of the other herbs in the blend, bringing out their best qualities so you get the most balanced cup of tea.
Some studies into the effects of licorice on our bodies have suggested that it has the potential to increase blood pressure and decrease blood potassium levels. These studies have used either isolated extracts of a constituent known as Glycyrrhizic Acid (GA) or licorice candy sweets. Isolated GA is highly concentrated and absorbed more rapidly by the body in comparison to ingesting the raw plant material. Similarly, in licorice candy sweets, it is the high levels of sugar and salt that may be responsible for significant changes in blood pressure or potassium levels; subjects were also ingesting up to 1kg of these licorice candies on a daily basis.
When these details are taken into consideration, there is no evidence of any negative side effects resulting from the intake of licorice based teas. In fact, a number of additional naturally occurring constituents found in licorice root have actually been shown to modify the enzymes that initiate changes in blood chemistry and pressure depending upon the condition and need of the human body.
There is a broad consensus that a safe daily dosage of GA is 120mg per day when taken over a prolonged period. The majority of Pukka teas contain less than 10mg of GAper cup, meaning that they can be drunk freely throughout the day. Those teas with a higher level of licorice are ‘Three Licorice’ which contains 40mg of GA,‘Peppermint and Licorice’ (18mg) and ‘Licorice and Cinnamon’ (11mg).
- Is the amount of Licorice in Pukka teas safe to drink during pregnancy?
Please see the previous FAQ for background detail on current clinical research into the safety of Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) the primary constituent found in licorice.
There is a broad consensus that a safe daily dosage of GA is 120mg per day when taken over a prolonged period. During pregnancy, the figure is 50mg of GA. However, this includes an applied safety factor of 10x the originally calculated figure of 500mg of GA. Therefore, to err on the side of caution, we believe that it is safe to consume two cups of Pukka ‘Three Licorice’ tea per day with each cup containing 40mg of GA. As the majority of Pukka teas contain less than 10mg of GAper cup, these can be drunk freely throughout the day.
- Why we love Cinnamon and is cinnamon safe?
Cinnamon has been used safely for many years as a flavouring in foods and for its broad range of health benefits however there appears to be some confusion around some interpretation of what ‘true cinnamon’ is. It is one of two common names for only one form of cinnamon bark from the species Cinnamomum verum Syn. zeylanicum. This cinnamon is also called Ceylon cinnamon and it is not contained in our teas, being somewhat less flavoursome and lacking in many of the beneficial nutrients when made into a tea.
Our unique Three Cinnamon blend is made with Vietnamese (Cinnamomum aromaticum), Indonesian (C. burmanni) and Indian (C. bejolghota) cinnamon respectively. All non-verum cinnamon’s are also known rather generically as cassia cinnamon and are the most commonly consumed cinnamons in both Europe and the United States, as well as through most of India, China and elsewhere in Asia. As you may know, the coumarin content of this form of cinnamon tends to be higher when compared with the verum form (but all cinnamon species contain coumarin). Owing to its high coumarin content, its beneficial properties and its unique flavouring characteristics, we include these three types of cinnamon in our Three Cinnamon tea. It is safe for everyone to drink. Our risk-assessment based on EFSA safety factors show that you would need to drink over 42 cups of our Three Cinnamon tea a day for a few weeks for there to be any problem. Of course, no one is going to do that. In all of our planning we assume that we will just drink three cups of any one type of tea a day.
The concerns have stemmed mainly from evidence that liver or kidney toxicity can occur after exposure to high doses of coumarin over prolonged periods. However, this has been shown to be linked to a common detoxification pathway that is not present in humans, namely the 3-hydroxycoumarin pathway, which yields potentially toxic metabolites of coumarin. Humans are generally much less likely to suffer such toxicity because most individuals rely on the much more efficient 7-hydroxycoumarin pathway.
However, there are justifiable concerns with very high intakes of cassia cinnamon when ingested as a ground powder in large quantities by a small subpopulation of individuals who have a genetic defect that prevents the effective biotransformation of coumarins by the liver. This has been the focus of a lot of recent research and risk assessment.
We not only test the total coumarin content of all our cinnamon containing teas at third-party EU laboratories and in our own quality control facility based at our headquarters in Bristol, we also ensure that the total amount available when consumed as a tea would not induce any liver issues — the main potential risk — even in the most susceptible individuals.
Our tea with the most amount of cinnamon is Three Cinnamon. Each cup of Pukka Three Cinnamon tea, based on a single bag infused in boiling hot water (250 mL) for 5 minutes, contains about 7mg coumarins. Clinical evidence suggests that you would need to drink 42 cups of Pukka Three Cinnamon tea for there to be any adverse effects or liver toxicity. Our other teas with cinnamon have the following lower levels of coumarin; Original, Green and Vanilla Chais have 3.2 mg, Revitalise has 2.1mg and Licorice and Cinnamon has 1.2 mg. Our Fibre Plus has 1.5 mg per daily serving and are all well within safe limits.
Bearing in mind variations in susceptibility between individuals, and the incomplete state of knowledge of coumarins, Pukka Herbs offers the following recommendations to ensure the safety of its teas containing Cinnamon, notably Three Cinnamon tea.
- Do not exceed four cups of Pukka Three Cinnamon tea daily within any 2 week period.
- People with liver disease or coumarin sensitivity (polymorphism of CYP2A6 enzyme) should not consume more than one cup of Pukka Three Cinnamon tea daily within any 2 week period, unless otherwise directed by their health professional.
- All of our other teas and supplements containing cinnamon can be used freely according to the recommendations on the packaging.
- What is ‘Whole Leaf’ Tea?
The black and green tea range use only ‘Whole Leaf’ tea leaves. This means we only use whole leaves that are chopped just before packing to facilitate production into teabags and to maintain their special flavour.
- Serene Jasmine Green tea - is it jasmine flowers from a jasmine plant plus green tea OR a green jasmine plant?
Serene Jasmine Green tea is made from green tea and fresh Jasmine buds. The fresh buds are mixed up with the dry green tea in layers and left overnight for 8-12 hours. In this time the buds open (it gets warm inside the pile) and the dry tea absorbs the flavour of the Jasmine flowers. For our tea the process is repeated 4 times. For cheaper grades this is done with less flowers and only once. In the morning, the wilted Jasmine buds are removed by hand, so there are no Jasmine flowers left in the tea - just the Jasmine aroma. After the flowers are removed, the tea is dried again as it absorbs moisture in the process. The total amount of Jasmine buds needed for a quality like ours is app. 1kg of fresh buds on 1kg of made tea. The whole process takes 5-10 days.
- What quality grade of Matcha powder do you use?
Our matcha powder is one of the best quality matchas you can get. The basis of matcha powder is the top buds of shaded spring teas. For these 'Kabuse Cha' teas, the bushes are shaded with dark meshes for a couple of days before harvesting. This increases the amount of amino acids and makes the tea sweeter. After harvest, the leaves are processed to steamed green tea, then the leaves are ground in stone mills. A very important factor is the temperature, so the milling is extremely slow in order to avoid high temperatures that can destroy the quality. Matcha should be stored in the cool and dark, otherwise it will lose flavour as well as colour. And, of course, it’s organic. For more information on matcha read this article or visit our matcha site.
- Why is there 2% matcha powder in the Pukka matcha green tea range?
Matcha is naturally bitter in flavour and 2% matcha provides just the right balance of taste for our matcha green teas. Pukka matcha is 100% organic, pure and powerful; 2% provides just the right balance with our whole leaf green teas for a delicious taste and embalming you with its zen-like qualities.
- What is the right water temperature for making a cup of matcha green tea?
Boiling water can affect some of the beneficial constituents found in matcha green tea. We suggest using water just off the boil to ensure you gain maximum benefit from your cup of green matcha green tea. The ideal temperature for a matcha green tea is between 70-80 degrees centigrade.
- What is the difference between matcha green tea and matcha green tea powder?
Matcha is a very special form of powdered green tea that comes from the same plant as regular, whole leaf, green tea. The difference between matcha and green tea lies in the unusual cultivation and processing methods. For matcha this involves removing unnecessary fibres from the dried leaves before grinding it into a delicious tasting, dark green powder with all the goodness of green tea in a super-concentrated form. So, the only difference between matcha green tea and matcha green tea powder is whether or not it has been ground down into powder form.
- Why do Pukka not produce a pure matcha tea?
By blending matcha with pure whole leaf green tea and special blends of herbs, it enables us to create a range of matcha teas that are suited to different personalities and daily needs. To find out which matcha suits you, why not take our matcha quiz.
- Will the Pukka Turmeric Gold tea stain my teeth?
Turmeric is one the world’s most commonly consumed spices; it is eaten, drunk and cooked by millions of people every day. The yellow pigments do not permanently stain teeth, but be careful not to spill it on any white clothing…
- Pukka Wholistic Turmeric is so powerful, why should I try the Turmeric Gold tea as well?
Firstly, it’s a delicious herbal tea. The refreshing and vibrant combinations of turmeric, green tea, cardamom pods and refreshing lemon blend together to create an invigorating and unique taste. In Traditional Chinese Herbalism, turmeric is believed to ‘invigorate the blood’ and promote circulation throughout the body, with turmeric having been used for thousands of years in ancient Asian and Ayurvedic cultures as a tea and a pure powder. It was most commonly used as a water extract, a little like a cup of tea.
If you are a turmeric fan you may have heard of ‘curcumin’ that is one of the better known compounds in turmeric and you may also have heard that its not very soluble in water. So why would we put turmeric in a tea? Well, even without so much of the curcumin, turmeric is such a powerful plant that you will get its golden glow from a cup of tea as well; it’s clear to see from the bright yellow colour infused in your cup that some of turmeric’s golden yellow constituents (more officially known as curcuminoids) flow into the tea. Although there are less curcuminoids in the tea than our Wholistic Turmeric, there are many other water-soluble compounds within the turmeric that are. Recent studies have indicated that turmeric with the curcumin removed possesses numerous biological activities. When you consider that whole turmeric contains at least 200 different constituents, it makes you realise that turmeric is rather a lot more than curcumin. This makes Pukka’s Turmeric Gold tea, a delicious and powerful addition to your day that can be used alongside Wholistic Turmeric formula for an extra golden moment.
- Does black pepper improve the absorption of curcumin?
The simple answer is yes. Check out our article on extraction methods to learn more. We use Long Pepper, a spicy little peppercorn from the same family as black pepper in our wholistically extracted turmeric. This family of plants contain a constituent known as piperine which works synergistically alongside curcumin to improve absorption.
It’s not an ingredient in our turmeric gold tea, because we’ve picked plants that really bring out the true flavour of turmeric without overpowering it. Turmeric was also used in this way for many thousands of years and, even without long pepper, can be incredibly beneficial.
- Are the beneficial effects of honey reduced when it is immersed in hot water?
The Ayurvedic adage to not consume heated honey stems from honeys traditionally coming from the forest where there was concern that the bees may have harvested from plants containing toxic compounds that may be released when the honey was cooked.
Modern understanding of why honey should not be heated, stems from honey producing Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) when heated. The production of HMF is a natural process dependent on temperature and time. For example, HMF is only produced when the honey is heated for several hours at incredibly high temperatures. When making tea, the temperature of the water and the length of time that a teabags remains in a cup make the production of HMF negligible.