Refreshingly Honest – An honour to hear about Honest Tea and honesty from a truly ethical entrepreneur

#Refreshinglyhonest
I was truly honoured to be one of a small group of tea bloggers and tea enthusiasts to be invited to the launch of Honest Tea in the UK, the refreshingly healthy, bottled, herbal and fruit tea drink brand from Seth Goldman, ethical entrepreneur and the company’s “TeaEO”.

The UK Honest Tea Launch

Ethical entrepreneur Seth Goldman shares his story at the launch of Honest Tea in the UK (Image Courtesy of Coca-Cola GB)

The setting was modern, intimate and, to quote the brand’s strapline, refreshingly honest. In the unlikely urban oasis environment of trendy Shoreditch venue, Look Mum, no hands! and flanked by a miniature orange grove created especially for the occasion, a row of tables were set out with newly sprouted lemon balm shrubs in vintage packing crates and fantastically tasty, healthy food providing the perfect backdrop for the tasty, refreshing teas.

The miniature orange grove

The miniature orange grove set up for the UK launch of Honest Tea

A delightfully sunny summer’s day was the ideal setting. After a thirsty journey to get to the launch, I was very glad of my first bottle of the Pomegranate and Blueberry variety – a sweet, fruity blend that was just right and matched the food that was served perfectly. I also enjoyed a Honey and Lemon Honest Tea, which was soothing to a hay fever induced scratchy throat.

Honest Tea has a genuinely remarkable story, springing up from humble beginnings around a Maryland kitchen table in 1998 and growing to be the best selling tea in the USA by 2007. The Honest Tea journey and growth shows how a combination of a strong mission, vision and ethics are the key ingredients to a recipe for a successful business that works to make the world a better place. It was fascinating to hear Seth tell us his story with great warmth, honesty, humour and humility.

Some of the UK Honest Tea blends

Lemon with Honey and Pomegranate and Blueberry Honest Tea blends

Seth was also more than happy to share his thoughts, advice and tools of the trade for those launching or looking to run ethical and healthy food and drink businesses, which is certainly refreshing and was sincerely welcomed by the group. You can read the whole story in Seth’s book, Mission in a Bottle –  well worth a read as a tea lover, businessperson, or if you too are an aspiring ethical entrepreneur.

The brand was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2011, but despite this phenomenal growth and success, the company has remained true to its original mission and vision – -a refreshing approach. You can find out more about Seth’s vision, his work as “TeaEO” and the Honest Tea ethos at drinkhonest.co.uk and on the Coca-Cola UK blog.

Seth Goldman shares his story

Hearing about the outlook for the food and drink industry and the remarkable Honest Tea story from its founder, Seth Goldman

Seth believes that the food and drink industry is going through a profound change currently, with a new focus on health and sustainability, without compromising on quality and taste. He describes their original vision as a hope to “shift people’s diets toward organic, authentic beverage recipes that taste ‘just a tad sweet’.” This drive for low sugar and caffeine free products is opening up innovation in tea, in particular, something I will return to on the blog in my series on tea for health. As well as being Certified Organic and approved by the Soil Association, the packaging is fully recyclable and made partially from plant materials from sugar cane. There’s a delicious, “circle of life” feeling to a drink designed to replace sugary drinks coming in packaging made from sugar cane!

The Honest Tea varieties at the launch

Lemon balm – one of  the ethically sourced herbal ingredients in the Honest Tea varieties

This new perspective in the industry poses great opportunities for authentic brands with simple ingredients and a planet and human-friendly ethos. He is also an advisor to and on the board of a number of other like-minded food startups, including a plant-based burger that could be set to challenge the carnivorous options at the BBQ!

Seth is genuinely excited and spoke humbly about Honest launching in the UK, saying, “This is one of those pinch-me moments. We can’t wait to share our drinks with folks in the UK and are confident the Honest name and brand values will translate without the need of an interpreter.”

An amazing afternoon with like minded people and words of wisdom from an inspiring businessman and human being. It will be great to see what’s next for the Honest Tea brand and Seth’s other admirable business ventures.

Honest Tea is stocked in a number of bars and restaurants in the UK (like Look Mum, No Hands!) and can be found in Whole Foods (the first store to buy the fledgling brand in the US in the early days), Co-Op and branches of M&S Simply Food at BP Connect service stations.

Seth Goldman's book, Mission in a Bottle

Seth Goldman’s book, Mission in a Bottle

Super Teas from the Tetley Tea Folk

A nice cup of tea is good for your health…

Regular readers of Tea with Rachael will know that over the past year, I have had a lot of medical investigations and finally some very illuminating diagnoses, which have proved to be a big weight off my mind. Having been diagnosed with a form of inflammatory arthritis recently, in addition to the dysautomnia, I have been exploring ways I can complement my treatment and support my overall health and wellbeing with healthy eating and living.

Tea is a very important part of my life, of course, well known for its many health benefits, so I have been keen to explore the health giving properties of tea and how I can make them work for me in my everyday life. It’s a fascinating process for me and one that I am sure will prove hugely beneficial for me and my health.

The timing could not be better – after a wonderfully relaxing holiday in a peaceful resort in Gran Canaria, I have been introduced to a number of fantastic companies, who are offering teas with a wide range of health benefits. I’m so excited to try them all and see what I can do to improve my overall health and wellbeing.

Tea with Rachael regulars will know that I am a big fan of a strong cup of black tea, so I was very excited to hear from the Tetley Tea Folk about their new range of Super Teas, launching at the end of this month. The lovely people at Tetley have already paved the way for everyday teas with added health benefits, offering black and green tea blends and a good quality Rooibos, so I’m delighted that they have created a range of health boosting black teas.

Tetley Super Teas

Super Teas from the Tetley Tea FolkImmune, Alert and Boost

These new Tetley Super Teas are designed to give you that little bit extra – supported by European Food Standards Agency-approved health claims, the teas provide an easy boost to your health and everyday energy as you drink your everyday cuppa. Comprising Immune, a black everyday tea with added Vitamin C to help boost your immunity (17.6% of RDA, 2kcal per 225ml serving); Boost, a black tea with added Vitamin B6 to aid energy and concentration and help give your performance that little extra edge (40% of RDA, 2kcal per 224ml serving), and Alert, a cuppa that contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, for that extra caffeine based energy boost (2 kcal per 225ml), there should be something to suit everyone’s lifestyle and preferred tea drinking style. They’ve certainly made it easy to help support everyday health by simply enjoying, in my case, my usual several cups of black tea each day. They have also launched a range of Super Green Teas, for those of you who prefer the health boosting benefits of green tea.

With poor immunity as a result of my medical conditions and having already been told about problems with B Vitamin deficiencies, the fact that these added benefits are rolled into my usual cup of black tea fit right in to my daily life, and I feel like I’m doing something good for my health that is in no way out of the ordinary. By just having my usual few cups of tea a day, I can do something small and simple that will hopefully improve the way I feel, aid my immunity and give me a little bit more energy.

A health boosting cuppa on the balcony

A health boosting cuppa on the balcony – bliss!

I don’t know whether it was just the glow I felt for doing something so positive and yet so simple, or whether the teas were actually making me feel better and giving me that much-needed energy boost, but I have certainly felt less tired in the week I have been drinking the Boost tea, and have manage to stop a cold turning into a nasty bout of sinusitis while drinking the Immune boosting tea. And all while enjoying my usual cuppa – I’ll drink to that!

I do hope you enjoy Super Teas, too – you’ll spot them in the shops over the next week or so at the bargain recommended retail price of £1.59! Find out more at www.tetley.co.uk

Next time, I’ll be trying out other health giving tea blends and trying out some laxative free teatoxes.

Cheers!

Rachael xx

Well hello, Stranger!

Do Not Disturb sign

I’ve been away for a while

Well, I have been away from TeawithRachael.co.uk for a long time – so sorry about that! But it’s with very good reason – I have had a number of important happenings this year, including big events like moving house, which have meant I have sadly had to focus a lot of time on other things, however, I’m hopefully back for good now!

A year of change
An important and quite life-changing development has been to be diagnosed with a number of food intolerances – and it’s a pretty long list! Wheat, corn, all dairy, shellfish, most fish, carrots, lettuce, celery, garlic…the list goes on! This has all taken a lot of getting used to, so I have been using that time to experiment with alternatives to the foods that I would normally eat a lot of, finding appropriate substitutions for herbs and spices, for example. This has proved interesting and at times fun, although it is still very frustrating to have to eat such a limited diet. I will be sharing some of my new “free from…” recipes over the coming months and really hope they are helpful for others who are in a similar situation and have intolerances, too.

Even more changes…
I have also been diagnosed with a condition where my heart rate and blood pressure fluctuate when they shouldn’t, causing all manner of symptoms, and which also affects my diet – I now need lots of salt and fluid to keep my blood pressure up! As you can imagine, this has taken over my life somewhat of late!

IMG_3105Still enjoying my adventures in tea land!
I have still had some fab tea, food and fashion adventures in this time, though, and have a number of recipes, new teas and even some guest posts to share with you.

I do hope you can join me once again for a lovely cuppa, some food inspiration, and to share some adventures, too.

Until next time – very soon!

Rachael XX