The ultimate winter tea We chat to Organic Merchant about sustainability & wellness.
We speak to naturopath Chalimah Jeanne about wellness, sustainability and the future of her brand, Organic Merchant.

Please share what you’ve been up to since we last spoke.

I’ve always adopted an outlook that life is a continual opportunity for learning and growth. Recently I have been exploring how to introduce my love of natural medicine and alternative wellness practice into a new product range. I have always been fascinated by the art of ritual and ancient modalities of healing and how they can be utilised with our modern lifestyle to improve health and wellness.

I regularly practise yoga, meditation, tongue scraping, dry brushing and oil pulling, for example, which come from Ayurvedic medicine dating back to the 2nd century BC. These rituals, combined with my daily herbal tea tonic, keep me grounded, connected and healthy.

I strongly believe that the future of wellness is the integration of old and new, in addition to integrative medicine — taking the best of western medicine and combining it with the understanding of nature, movement and spiritual connection and its role in healing and wellness.

What is your favourite Organic Merchant tea for winter?

My favourite winter blend would have to be our Spicy Chai. It’s full of all the warming, fragrant spices you’d find in a traditional Indian chai but without the caffeine. It’s a deliciously complex, vegetal blend using fennel, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, clove and peppercorns, with hibiscus, rose petal and orange to gently soften the spice. It’s a great tea for soothing digestive issues as well as boosting immunity.

What’s next for you personally?

This year is super-exciting for me personally as I’m in the middle of developing a new product range inspired by my love of ancient tradition and organic natural ingredients. We’re also launching new packaging that I have worked hard to ensure is eco-friendly and sustainable, moving us closer to our goal of being a B Certified business. I’m also looking to get back into practice and offering naturopathic consultations alongside our product portfolio.

Do you have any new products coming out this year? If so, can we have a sneak peek?

We have a number of new products coming out this year as well as a refreshed brand and packaging. Without giving too much away, I can say our new products will provide mind, body and soul wellness. I can’t wait to share them with you.

After the year that we’ve had with COVID, can you share the biggest changes for Organic Merchant?

We have been very lucky on the whole as drinking a cup of tea has always been synonymous with comfort, and after the year we’ve had, a little TLC has been much needed. Our online sales have increased and as our tea is stocked in health food and bulk food stores, those sales have remained strong. Fortunately, we have also been able to help customers who want to learn more about boosting their immunity or managing chronic conditions with herbal teas.

Do you see any changes in the wellness industry following COVID?

Overall I think the increased awareness of health and wellbeing is the biggest positive. There’s a strong interest in integrative health including yoga, mindfulness and other practices to improve your overall emotional state, focus and wellbeing. Remote working and the enforced isolation we’ve had to experience have helped to open people’s eyes to new ways of doing things, which is always exciting.

How does your tea ritual change in winter?

In winter it is natural to go for hot beverages and warming, spicy blends. I have started making hot chocolate using my range of functional cacao powders. My favourite would have to be Spirit Dust as it has a gentle spicy kick from the ginger and cinnamon, as well as the chocolatey goodness of the cacao. I’ve formulated it with ashwagandha and Siberian ginseng to help the body respond to stress and fatigue.

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