Leaves and Flowers Takes Teas to a New Level
A Berkeley tea company is putting a premium on handcrafted botanical infusions and locally sourced herbal teas.
Photo by Lance Yamamoto
Several years ago, Anna Morton and Emily Erb saw a need for handcrafted, locally sourced herbal tea to match the ethos of so many restaurants and cafes in the Bay Area. The longtime friends combined their knowledge — Morton’s from a background in food and herbal studies and Erb’s in the beverage industry — to form Leaves and Flowers in Berkeley in 2014.
Flavor comes first in all of Leaves and Flowers’ botanical infusions. The best-selling Turmeric Wellness herbal tea builds on the soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric with notes of rosemary, citrus peel, ginger, and black pepper to help safeguard the immune system. Rosella Mint blends peppermint, hibiscus, and stevia leaf to create a bright combination of tart and sweet that can also be enjoyed over ice. Peace Tea incorporates the leaves and flowers of the yarrow plant in a soothing blend with spearmint, tulsi, and rose petal cultivated on local farms.
Leaves and Flowers also sells imported small-batch teas that are sustainably grown and harvested, like the roasted buckwheat Soba Cha from the Himalayan region of the Yunnan province in China. This tea has a nutty, toasted flavor and contains particularly high levels of antioxidants. All of the blends come beautifully packaged in rice paper pouches, tins, or violet glass jars.
In March, the company plans to launch a cold beverage line featuring noncaffeinated, herbal blends that offer medicinal value without added sugar. As Morton noted, the two chose the name of their company carefully so they could expand their product range to “offer simple ways to integrate herbs into our lives.”
As the company grows, Morton and Erb would like to move away from the day-to-day grind of filling and delivering orders while furthering the vision of the company. They have a trip to Japan in the works and would love to expand their adventures to “collect knowledge about how plants are traditionally used in cultures around the world.”
Leaves and Flowers can be found at a variety of East Bay restaurants and cafes, including Pizzaiolo, Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar, and Standard Fare. You can also buy their blends at The Gardener and online at LeavesAndFlowers.com.