In Good Taste

A TEALEAVES FOOD SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

Our In Good Taste Project seeks to reveal the truths and myths behind the science, theory and practice of taste, so that you can use that knowledge to design a better life.

As we rapidly approach 2 degrees of warming, the need for drastic climate action cannot be ignored. Informed by the current environment we live in and the ever changing effect we are having on the planet, we embarked on this journey questioning how our tastes can be used as a powerful tool to create positive impact, and not simply a sense we succumb to.


“How do you help people change behaviors when they feel utterly stuck in bad habits? Oftentimes the why trumps the how. I was never taught that in medical school.”

DR. DAVID EISENBERG MD
DIRECTOR OF CULINARY NUTRITION AT
HARVARD T. H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

In a world where we trust food that comes in a plastic package with a nutrition label more than when it sprouts up at our feet; where doctors prescribe medication but cannot prescribe healthful meals; where caviar and foie gras are the pinnacle of luxury and staple products are judged for their shelf life rather than their nutritional density… The hidden costs are so much more than the price we pay.

Through the voices of physicians, farmers, foragers and fisherman, designers, educators and journalists our project In Good Taste shines a spotlight on how our monoculturalistic desires for food, fashion and more are unsustainable and unhealthy. The road to reclaiming your own tastes is cultural and complex and the strategies are anything but singular.

Origin


Six years ago, we decided to take a deep dive into palate and explore the importance of each facet of the palate experience. To us, as blenders, we have always defined palate as color, aroma and taste, always looking to balance and optimize each element to create the ultimate tea drinking experience.

When we began this exploration, we anticipated that we would develop new learnings that would alter our current methods and refine our perception of palate, but we did not estimate just how much our mindset would shift and change.

Following Color, where we investigated color strategy in design, then Aroma, that sought to promote inclusive design through the sense of smell, In Good TASTE examines the role that we can play as tastemakers to redefine what eating and living ‘in good taste’ truly means.

Evolving Tastes

A NEW LUXURY FOR A NEW NORMAL

Luxury companies and designers in food and beverage play a crucial role in determining what is in "good taste". Traditionally, luxury has meant creating products, services and experiences that are unique, resource intensive and often costly to the earth. Our reputation was forged in blending rare, expensive ingredients to create the most exceptional tea drinking experiences. As tea blenders, we have witnessed the impacts of climate change first hand.



Over the course of the past few years, that definition of luxury has changed for us, and so too have our tastebuds. We traveled the world interviewing renowned experts in medicine, health and nutrition, environmental science, anthropology, design and agriculture asking them what eating 'in good taste' means to them.

Tastebuds Refined

To share these learnings with you we have created a documentary so that you can have access to the insights that will allow you to take control of your taste.

Our documentary, ‘In Good Taste’ explores how we can be empowered – to make conscious choices, where there is wellness for us and wellness for the planet. Those who grow the food, those who eat it, and those who move the food between the two – must all be connected in a social movement that honours the deep symbiotic relationship between culture and the environment that created agriculture in the first place. Our current globalized and industrialized food system does not provide convincing evidence that it is sustainable in any of the three aspects of sustainability (economic, social or environmental) (Gliessman, 2007; 2015). With a deep understanding of what a holistic, ecological view of the food system can be, the change needed to restore sustainability to food systems can occur.



THE RESULT?

'In good taste' is about reclaiming our tastebuds so that they drive us to delicious products that are also healthy, sustainable, conscious and meaningful.


The Manifestation

As an amalgamation of the learnings we have accumulated through making this documentary, we created a series of sustainable Botanical Powders.

“We didn’t want individuals to have to choose between something that tastes 'good' or something that is 'good'. This product is both. Each ingredient in this new line was selected based on its health properties, and through the art of blending, each ingredient moves from being purely nutritious, to delicious."

LANA SUTHERLAND
TEALEAVES CO-FOUNDER & CEO

We began by making unprecedented changes to our packaging and ingredient selection process, pivoting based on our new understanding of an increasingly beleaguered environment.


The Botanical Powders feature ingredients chosen for their health properties and environmental prowess — such as ashwagandha, beetroot, moringa leaf, and dandelion root powder. By working with leading experts in food, nutrition, and planetary health, including Berkeley Open Source Food and University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, we blended this innovative line of botanical powders as the foundation to a daily ritual taking you from morning to night. Carefully and consciously crafted, these blends invigorate from the inside out, while safeguarding the plants and botanicals used to make them.

THESE BOTANICAL POWDERS ARE DESIGNED TO OPTIMIZE THE DRINKER'S DAY:
MORNING:

To kickstart the day with calm and focused energy.

MID-DAY:

Soul-soothing hot cocoa packed with natural antioxidants.

EVENING:

Tension-relieving and reinvigorating for a restful downtime.


Extensive interdisciplinary research was implemented on the impacts of sourcing wild and foraged ingredients for both personal and planetary health. On the consultation of Berkeley Open Source Food, whom TEALEAVES has been working with since 2019, the new blends include wild foods, such as dandelion, as they require low energy inputs to be grown and have low carbon footprints. The Botanical Powders provide rich flavor, color, and wellness benefits when added to a daily ritual. From lattes to smoothies, to cocktails and even salad dressings — the possibilities are endless!


PACKAGING

The botanical powders are packaged using circular design principles with as little cost to the earth as possible. The outer tube is 100% recyclable and every element inside the tube can be composted at home — including the pouch inside which is made of NatureFlex, a plant-based material. Nothing in the product will go to waste.


The Conversation continues...

We will be continuing to question our tastes and we hope you do too. Join us on this journey, as we learn from the world’s top chefs, thought-leaders, scientists, doctors, designers and circular economy experts.

Keep redefining your taste.