27 February 2023

Time for Tea with Ella from Rasa Teas

Time for Tea with Ella from Rasa Teas

Have you heard of Chocolate Tea? It's a wonderful combination of cacao husk flavoured with delicious organic ingredients such as vanilla, orange and rose. 

We're delighted to be stocking 4 different varieties of luxurious loose leaf chocolate tea created in Leeds by Rasa Teas using some of Steenbergs' organic ingredients. 
~ Chocolate Chai ~
~ Chocolate Vanilla ~
~ Chocolate Orange ~
and the latest new variety...~ Chocolate Goji Rose ~
The cacao husk used in Rasa Teas comes from organic small-holder farms in Chililique, Peru and Maya Mountain, Belize via Ali Gower, director of Chocolate Tree in Scotland. 

We are really pleased to have had the chance to chat to founder of Rasa Teas, Ella Young, to find out all about the inspiration behind the company and how daily rituals around drinking tea can help us all to slow down.

1. What inspired you to develop your brand of chocolate teas?

The wasteful world we live in. I try to use everything that I can and while working for a ceremonial cacao company I saw that the nib was cherished while the husk was undervalued. These delicious, aromatic and nutritious shells have so much to offer.

2. How important is it to you to source the right ingredients for your teas?

The most important thing! I work with a chocolate company based in Scotland who has a very close relationship to the farms (and farmers themselves) in Peru and Belize and has done so for a long time. I love visiting the origins of my ingredients and developing a deeper connection to the land and culture they are a part of. I source ingredients from their native land which is generally very far from me. I am just back from a trip in Sri Lanka where I got to visit a cardamom farm using organic processes and learn about growing and drying. Last year I went to the Bulgarian Rose Festival and was so delighted to share the beauty of rose. I use organic cacao and spices to allow for quality taste, greater wellbeing and to keep plant spirit alive.

3. Which is your favourite flavour of tea and why?

My favourites within my chocolate range are the Chocolate Goji Rose and Chocolate Vanilla. As mentioned, my visit to Bulgaria really deeped my connection to the rose but this blend of goji and rose has been important to me for many years and helped me to get my menstrual cycle back. These are powerful plants and feminine in flavour - in yoga we speak of Shakti which is the Divine Feminine Force and is translated to mean POWER. The Chocolate Vanilla tastes luxurious due to the organic madagascan vanilla - the second most expensive spice in the world, after saffron. This blend has a Great Taste award and is certainly a customer favourite.

4. Do you regularly use herbs and spices in your own cooking too?

Yes, always! I love making curries and dahls and black mustard seed is my essential starter for that. My other most used spices must be paprika (on my roasted chickpeas), cinnamon (in my ceremonial cacao) and a mixed curry powder (on roast veggies ready for soups).

5. Do you have a favourite spice? And if so why?

Perhaps cinnamon because it's so versatile. It sweetens my bitter cacao and is a lovely touch to porridge or stewed fruit but I also love to add it to curries and other savoury dishes so it's an all-rounder.

6. Why is ritual important to you?

'Grabbing a cuppa' has become something we do so often without even realising it. Rasa Teas encourages you to slow down. Inspired by ancient tea culture, we have custom made teaware (soon to be restocked!) that contains your loose leaf during the suggested 12-minute brewing time while you can cleanse your space (simply open a window or burn some sage), your energy (through a breathing practice) and your mind (gathering your focus on your cup). You can enjoy the aroma, warmth and taste of your brew and finish 20 minutes later feeling totally restored.

7. What's beyond the cup?

This company is about slowing down. When the world is constantly asking you to go quicker, faster, harder, The Slow Life is a rebellion. We promote daily rituals through drinking tea, connecting with nature and treating yourself to fulfilling experiences such as Rasa Retreats: Summer Solstice Celebration, 2022The Creatrix, 2022Full Moon Full Bloom, 2023 and more to come! The springtime Rasa Retreat is sold out but sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our autumn slow living plans that you might just like to join.

To purchase any of the Rasa Chocolate Teas visit our website here.

For more information on the teas and retreats that Ella offers, please visit her website here. or visit her Instagram page @rasateas.