Meet a tea artisanQ&A with founder of Cocoon Tea Artisans, Tina Hueg
Meet the ever-inspiring Tea Artisan, Tina Hueg, who has with full integrity and dedication to organic and health-promoting tea, created Cocoon Tea Artisans. Award-winning in the homes of tea, Japan and England, critically acclaimed in both VOGUE & ELLE, served at Michelin-restaurants - and served to you on Karmameju’s Products we love. With the best organic ingredients and the finest whole leaves from the original teaplant, Cocoon Tea Artisans brings along many benefits for body, mind and skin: packed to the brim with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins - tea is skincare from the inside.
Get to know the founder in this Q&A.
How did your journey with tea start?
My journey with tea already started when I was a teenager. To gather around a pot of tea everyday was standard in my familie - and I enjoyed the company and the conversations it fostered. From there, my focus was extended to the flavour of the tea, and the feeling it left in my body depending on the tea we drank. My mother was a nurse. She teached and followed studies in anything that revolved around the body and mind. It has with no doubt been my inspiration to follow studies in the original tea plant and its healing properties. My tea is always centered around those studies.Cocoon Tea Artisan’s first tea was launched in May 2017, and now I work with people from all over the world. We share so much knowledge and joy about tea - and all my knowledge, I desire to share. When I lived in paris, I learned how to be true to your craft. Many shops had "Artisan" written on the door, and it was everything from the baker to the joinery - places that attracted me in a very special way. They were not in a hurry to finish a product, but took the time to be in the moment and to go in depth with their craft. That's why it became a part of my company's name: Cocoon Tea Artisans. I love to take the time to go in depth with all my teas, so that my customers always have a good tea experience.
Can you give a short summary of tea’s history through time?
The original tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, derives from China. A scientist, Shen Nung, and his assistant was in the midst of boiling hot water to drink when a sudden whiff got some tea leaves to fall down in the boiling water. And that was how the hot tea drink came about. The tea was used as medicin and eaten as a vegetable. Since then, the tea has been incorporated into many rituals all over the world.
Why does the difference in tea differ so much?
Teas are, like many other ingredients, very different as the cultivation and quality of the tea leaves differ a lot. Part of the teas you buy in classic supermarkets are often what the tea industry calls tea waste or tea dust. It is not the real tea leaves, but only the dust from the whole tea leaves that is used. This is of course to get the price down, and in my world it has nothing to do with tea. It is a residual product, and not something that was originally intended to be used for drinking. But it does give a taste - oftentimes a bitter one, which is why many people choose to add milk, sugar and lemon in their tea. When you drink tea from whole leaves, it is often drunk without anything being added. That way you can taste all the tea's delicate notes. It stimulates our senses and it does so much good for us. You don’t need to be an avid tea drinker in order to taste and feel the difference. It is so giving to experience our customers becoming so loyal because they are able to feel this difference. It truly makes me happy.
You have won several awards for your teas, tell us about them…
I have won awards for several of my teas, both in England and in Japan. I have won awards for the tea’s flavours, and that is exactly what I have always wanted to achieve. Tea that tastes good, and that is healthy for the body. To win an award for my green tea in Japan, which is considered the homeland of green tea, has brought me so much joy. I am going to Japan soon to make a tea tasting because I have won this exact award.
We view tea as skincare from the inside - can you explay why?
Like water, whole leaf tea have many important properties for our body, and therefore, also skin - the largest organ in the body. Our teas count in our daily water-intake, so I would like to encourage everyone to drink at least a cup of tea a day. Personally I drink 2 liters of tea every day and 1-2 glasses of water. Tea is a good way to vary your water-intake, and the tea plant contains a lot of good antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which you also benefit from. It is a good idea to alternate between different teas to maintain a healthy body balance.
How can you use tea as skincare from outside?
You can use your teas for many skincare routines in everyday life, or when you have a little extra time for a home spa day. For example, make a pot of white tea after a nice bath. Pour a cup to drink and enjoy. Take a cotton washcloth and pour some white tea on it, twist it up, and place it on your clean face for three minutes. You can pour the rest of the tea into a drinking bottle, you can use to rinse your hair and scalp after you have washed your hair with shampoo and conditioner. This way your hair is cleansed with nature's own ingredients and residues from shampoo or similar in the scalp are helped back into balance by repeating this regularly.
Can the tea bag and its contents be used after it has been used?
When you have finished using the white tea for skincare, you can tear up the tea pyramid and pour the white tea into the blender for your smoothie recipe or into the vegetable blender. You can also use the ingredients when baking buns/bread. In this way, you get all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from the tea leaves - and nothing goes to waste. If you have dry lips, feel free to place the tea bag you used for tea directly on your lips. 3-5 minutes a day to give extra moisture to lips. Preferably on the upper part of the lip as well, if you tend to have wrinkles on the upper lip.
You have a little ritual about how to hold the cup, can you tell us about that?
Tea should preferably be drunk from a cup without a handle, that makes you feel the heat through. The original tea cup is made so that the hands can feel if the tea is too hot, and thus send a signal to the brain so that you wait to drink your tea and you don't burn your tongue. When you drink from a cup with handle, it is often here that you burn your tongue, as the brain does not receive signals from our clever body. There is a reason why the teacup is made without a handle. And this is not the only one. When you drink from a real teacup without a handle, you will automatically wrap your hands around the cup several times and feel the heat from your body in your palms. This helps to calm your nervous system without you even thinking about it. I wish more people would get into this habit, as it will relieve stress in everyday life. That is why I have made my own cups exactly as they were intentioned to with a thin edge that curves out so that the tea lands on the spot on the tongue where it stimulates and gives the best taste.
Do you have a mantra? Something you remind yourself of and live by?
I practice thinking about what I am grateful for in life. I love to immerse myself in my family and my relationships in general throughout all days of the week. My weekdays must be lovely, so I live by that every day - and I think I succeed very well.
How do you practice DO YOU - what is the best thing you can do for yourself?
The best thing for me is my family and friends. I love people, laughing, going for walks with my husband and dog, and immersing myself in my tea universe. These are the elements that make me happy in my everyday life. In addition, I love taking days out of the calendar to stay at our holiday home or to travel. I love exploring the world, meeting new cultures, and people who inspire me.
TINA HUEG’S GUIDE ON FINDING YOUR FAVOURITE TEA
White tea is the tea that remains closest to the natural, original tea leaf as it only undergoes aeration and drying. White tea is said to benefit oral hygiene, and help maintain bone strength. Many white teas contain a high caffeine content - this one does not.
Green Quince tea
This herbal blend is caffeine-free. It is made to detoxify the body and to provide an extra good night's sleep. It also tastes heavenly cold brewed - if necessary, add a sprig of fresh mint in a pretty glass and an ice cube. But don't add sugar – the ingredients are so good and fresh that the body is stimulated by the different flavor components.
Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey is made on a base of black tea. Black tea is fully oxidized which is what makes it completely dark in color. It contains caffeine and provides good energy for the day. Earl Grey is a recipe that consists of black tea and bergamot. This is the recipe from which all Earl Grey teas are made. The difference lies in the quality of black tea and bergamot used.