Where a plant comes from has a huge effect on its character, much like people. Plants grown in their native environment develop the right balance of chemical compounds. For that reason, whenever we can, we source from a plant’s native habitat. We look for suppliers who can either sustainably collect or cultivate herbs that meet the quality standards we need. This can often take years of development. By fostering long-term relationships and paying a fair wage (through programs like Fair Trade and FairWild), we incentivize our farmers and collectors to create high quality products. These relationships have been so successful that we’ve been working with some of our suppliers for more than 30 years. Using Fair Trade and Fair Wild standards wherever possible also ensures the sustainability of both people and plant communities.
After being harvested or wild collected and then cut, cleaned and carefully dried, our herbs make their way to our solar-powered facility in Sebastopol, California. This is where things get interesting. We must ensure that the herbs we’re using have the “right stuff,” so we hold them to an extremely high standard known as pharmacopoeial grade. A pharmacopoeia is an official book of quality standards for herbs, vitamins and drugs that ensures the right quality and the correct effect for their intended purpose.
Each herb has its own quality standard to ensure optimal activity. That can mean high essential oil content, the right amount of bitterness, or a minimum level of an active compound. But the result for each is the same: a tea that has power. This commitment to quality is one of the things that sets us apart from other tea brands.