Talking Herbal Tea With Organic Tisane Company Rhoeco
In Thessaloniki, Greece, we find Rhoeco – a sustainability oriented company run by three friends that make beautiful herbal teas by hand using 100% organic and locally sourced herb species. Being as passionate about tisanes as the welfare of this planet, we'd say they’re our exact ‘cup of tea’.
Who is behind Rhoeco?
– The team behind Rhoeco is Katerina, Vaya and Harry. Friends since we were students at the university studying Agriculture here in Greece, and later on we found ourselves doing our post-graduate studies together in the UK. It is a blast working with people that share the same vision, are easy to cope with, and at the same time have real fun!
What is your story and brand concept?
– Our studies in ecology and organic farming made us conscious and grateful for the planet we live on. It was then we realised that new approaches are needed in order to secure a safe planet for future generations. So, the three of us decided to become a team and create the brand. We felt that we wanted to introduce a unique Greek product and a slow living ritual representative in the most ecological approach possible.
– Rhoeco stands for sustainability, integrity, and equity. We produce with a minimum environmental footprint. The container is reusable and compostable, leaving zero waste. We claim equity for all parties and we ensure fairness at all levels and for anyone involved. We prepare and pack our blends with honesty only by hand, aiming to offer only of the highest quality products. These are our main principles which we try to maintain during all our activities.
“All of our products consist of 100% organic dried herbs and nothing more. No additives, no sweeteners, no extra flavour.”
What is the magic of herbal tea, and what are the health benefits?
– Everything about herbal tea is magic – from the beautiful, heavenly scented bunches of herbs that arrive to our lab, to the delicious, super aromatic tisanes they create. Watching the whole herbal parts unfurl inside the hot water is like watching a graceful ballet dance. The odours that spread at the same time are fantastic. They are a pleasure both for the eyes and the nose! Combining the herbs to create the blends results in amazing color pallets with different textures. No need to explain about the smells. It is a delight to work in such an environment.
– Herbs have been, and still are, widely used in alternative medicine as natural treatment methods. More or less, all of the herbs hold numerous properties that seem to be beneficial for human health. They have been proven to soothe and settle many disorders and improve health condition. In any case, consumers should check the ingredients and seek for the products that suits them best.
What ingredients do you use, and how do you source them?
– At this point, we use 18 different Greek herb species – all organically cultivated to create our blends as well as for our monovarietal product range. All of our products consist of 100% organic dried herbs and nothing more. No additives, no sweeteners, no extra flavour. Just lose whole leafs, the best part of pure herbs!
– All different kinds of herbs we use in our products come from organic, smallholder, family farms. We tried numerous samples of herbs from different farms in order to choose those that met up our quality standards and gave the desirable character to our tisanes. Now, we have our network of organic herb suppliers all over Greece, people we trust and love to work with. They pick the season’s harvest for us, dry it with natural methods and send it to our certified facilities. We sort out the herbs, create the blends and pack them, all with handmade processes.
Tell us about Thessaloniki and the process of producing the products.
– Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. What’s unique about this place is that you can find the positive aspects of both a small and a big city. There are numerous cultural events and festivals, and all the amenities one may seek, but at the same time distances are not great and people are not alienated.
– Our facilities are located in the outskirts of the city right next to the forest. It is a real pleasure watching such a calming view especially when working long hours like we do. All processes of creating our products are strictly 100% hand made. The most crucial and important part is the sorting. Very carefully, and with great attention to detail, we remove all undesirable parts, like badly dried leaves, dirt, and little rocks, and we pick only the best parts – leaves, flowers, seeds – to create our blends. We sieve the herbs and store them in conditions that do not deteriorate them with the optimum temperature and humidity levels. Packaging is also made by us in our lab and we always make it in small batches so as to have fresh stock in all cases.
“As a company, we respect nature, and thus we produce with a minimum environmental footprint. We rely on natural cycles and imitate them at all stages of production.”
What can you tell us about your commitment to sustainability and the environment?
– Sustainability is about environmental integrity, social justice and economic prosperity. Each and every one of us must always take into consideration that we only live on this planet for a few years, and we need to respect it so that future generations are able to enjoy the same goods as we do. Resources are not infinite, and consequences have already begun to show.
– As a company, we respect nature, and thus we produce with a minimum environmental footprint. We rely on natural cycles and imitate them at all stages of production. Choosing organic, we choose a much less polluting agricultural system with very low environmental cost. The package reuse – a concept inspired from the recycle of matter in its natural environment – the decomposing, and finally the incorporation of the package into the soil result in no waste.
– Our best tips would be to choose seasonal organic goods, reduce food waste, buy less-buy better, respect human and animal rights, be united. Reduce-reuse-recycle. Play your part!
What’s on the horizon for Rhoeco?
– We have just launched our new product range, which consists of five different monovarietal herb species. Packaging materials are also biodegradable and herbs are Greek, organic and whole-leaf. For this line, we have collaborated with a connoisseur, and made a professional tea tasting so as to point out the unique traits and character of each herb on the label.
– Latest news is also that this January, we will be present as exhibitors at one of our favourite trade fairs taking place in Paris – Maison & Objet! We are super excited for this and look forward to welcoming visitors and introduce our products to new markets.
Left: Rhoeco encourages the consumer to reuse the cup-like container and not waste it. In each of those packages, they provide a seed stick with organic herb seeds, which can be planted inside the biodegradable container. They call the concept: ‘Drink it – plant it’.
Right: A sneak peak of the new Rhoeco product line.
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