Friday, October 2, 2009

Kalahari Teas


I have been meaning to write a review of the Kalahari Tea Company for ages now - ever since they so kindly sent me a sampling box of their delicious teas.

Now I'm not usually one for reviewing commercial products, because they often seem over processed and I salute nature state in all things. Yet, I was persuaded to review Kalahari Teas because of their commitment to sustainability and fair trade. Tea, coffee, Cocoa and Sugar are products that can have a devastating effect on the environment - through cultivation on a huge scale. They can also exert a huge effect on human rights - through the heavy hands of global corporations squeezing the price of a commodity down so low that it's barely worth it for the farmer and his family. We owe it to ourselves and the planet to make sure that if we do buy these products, we do so safe in the knowledge that someone else is not paying with their life for our morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Kalahari are members of 1% For The Planet - an alliance of environmentally conscious companies who recognize the true cost of doing business and donate 1% of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment worldwide. 

They also support the African Wildlife Foundation who work to preserve the wildlife and wild lands of Africa. 

Finally, many of their products are organic and teabags made from unbleached hemp and wood pulp!

I tried a selection of teas and these were my favourites:

Raspberry Truffle (chocolatté): More raspberry than truffle, this tea had a pleasingly rounded fruitiness to it without scenting the whole room, as some fruit teas do - and would sing with a spoonful of honey or a liquorice teabag added to the pot.

Kalahari Red Chai: I love chai in any form and this one has that authentic pepper kick - of course Indian chai is rich with milk and sugar, but this cleaner tasting version will still hit the spot for spice lovers. An alternative is Cherry Vanilla (chocolatté), which also tasted like chai to me, but with a slight chocolate back note.

Safari Lullaby: I tried this one last thing at night and definitely drifted away faster than usual. It contains valerian which is a powerful sedative and in small amounts such as this, can aid restful sleep and relax the body. The tea had a comforting rooibos depth with chamomile, mint and lemon grass peeping in over the top.

Citron Oolong: I like to wake up with a cup of weak Earl Grey and this tea hit that very spot, with bergamot hints over the slightly bitter oolong tea. Guarana makes up for any caffeine that might be missing and starts the day with oomph!

A note for regular readers of my blog - these teas are not suitable for the SCD diet, although those that have been following for a while may be able to tolerate the odd cup. For celiacs, all teas are gluten free, so consume without fear of contamination!

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