New to Content this month are the herbal infusions from London brand, The Herball. Created from seasonal plants, we love the gorgeous packaging (making these a the perfect gift) and delicate taste. Founder Michael Isted has a real passion for holistic health, in particular the healing power of plants. With ten years experience consulting and creating beautiful beverage concepts around the world for the luxury hotel, restaurant and spa sector, we asked Michael to why these infusions are so special.....
What makes The Herball different from other herbal infusions? Here at The Herball we know exactly when and where each herb was harvested, and by whom. It is this attention to detail that inspires us to only pick from the wild ourselves or work with small farms. All the herbs are hand picked with good intention and love by people who really care and understand the plants. We also use herbs that have been harvested within season - when a new season starts we replenish our stock entirely. We use herbs that are picked at the peak of their vitality and maintain that vitality through the drying process. Also just like the gardens & meadows our Herball infusions are forever changing with the seasons with new herbs added or replaced when new herbs are available.
Why did you decide to create the range? The inspiration for The Herball was the lack of authentic dried herbs available on the market, we have such majestic and beautiful herbs in the UK but when it comes to dried herbs their beauty is just not celebrated. Here in London we have a rich tradition of using herbs both medicinally and for pleasure, we wanted to maintain that tradition but reach out in a more contemporary way perhaps introduce some these plants for the first time or re-introduce them back into other peoples lives. We wanted to create a range of herbs where people could really connect with what they were drinking, identify and understand the herbs, how they look, how they taste, how they smell and ultimately how they can be enjoyed. They are amazing, The Herball is really a celebration of how beautiful these plants are.
What therapeutic benefits do 'Of Flowers' and 'Of Herbs' have individually? Although all the flowers, seeds, roots and herbs we use in our infusions have many therapeutic benefits the purpose of this range of infusions is really quite simple, just enjoy the look, aroma and taste of these plants enjoy their very being whilst enjoying yours. The therapeutics or phytochemicals of these plants are if you like just an added bonus.
As a brief overview of the infusions the Of Flowers as the name suggests is very floral and fragrant collection of plants whilst the Of Herbs is a greener more earthier, selection. I wanted to create two contrasting blends that reflect nature itself, the broodier, earthier, grounded side Of Herbs and the more fragrant, elegant and floral side Of Flowers, I think they accompany one another really well, its like one cannot exist without the other like night and day.
Do you have any expert tips for brewing? There is no one way to brew just find a way that suits you, I like to steep 1-2 teaspoons with freshly boiled water that has cooled slightly for 3-4 minutes, then re-infuse for perhaps 4-5 mins, you can continue to re-infuse several times until the plants can no longer be enjoyed. However, brewing is personal it can often depend on who you are with, the weather, your mood, time of day and the type of pot or brewer that you use. I would however recommend giving the brewing process your full attention. The real beauty of these infusions is that you never get exactly the same cup or pot twice, each brew is a unique and richly rewarding experience, a small piece of nature in a cup.
On a separate note you can get anywhere between 15-30+ cups of tea from each packet, if you are re-infusing. For example the Chamomile in the Of Flowers is so powerful its difficult to throw away.