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I think you’ll pleased to know that Bestow Organic Teas are not only delicious and good for your skin, they are also helping to transform a community in Sri Lanka.

When we decided to develop a range of skin-beautifying teas, it was very important to me that they were not only organic but were sourced from a fair trade supplier.

I know that many of the workers in tea plantations in third-world countries are poorly paid and treated like second-class citizens.

For me, socially conscious business it is not about beating the supplier down to get the bottom dollar but paying a fair price for a quality product that is fair to all the people who are involved in producing it.

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Good For You | Fair For All

The day I discovered organic tea plantations in Sri Lanka was a happy day for me. This company is run by a fourth generation plantation owner, who is as passionate about environmentally and socially conscious business as I am.

“You wake up and you go, you are doing something good,” he says. “You look at the cancer rates. We are in the business of producing and selling food. You have got to produce food that is good for health. That’s why I feel organics is the right way. I believe in it.”

Changing from conventional to organic farming methods in 1992 required courage. “To change someone’s mind about chemical faming, they have to unlearn everything,” says Durka. “For them to understand the benefits of organics for their children and for their communities has taken a long time.”

Today, Durka’s plantations supply beautiful, organic teas, spices, cashews, fruits and other produce all over the world and are recgonised as organic farming pioneers in Sri Lanka.

The Hills Are Alive | Organic in Action

During my summer holiday last year, my husband and I visited the organic plantation in Sri Lanka to see where the magic happens. Thanks to their biodynamic philosophy, the fields and slopes are filled with life.

Organic basil and rose fragrance the air. Wild camphor grows in the hedgerows as a source of organic spray. Cattle roam, producing compost for the plantation and milk for the community, while specially planted trees provide shade for the workers, food for bees and a home for birds. My host told me that he had been to some plantations where there are no signs of life at all. I am pleased to report that their estates are buzzing with life and eco-diversity.

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Muthu’s Story | From Displacement to Development

Perhaps even more important to me was learning how the Fair Trade principles they abide by are making a genuine difference in the community. Many of the plantation workers are descendants of Indian estate workers who the British brought to Sri Lanka, when both of those countries were under British rule.

Muthu is the plantation owner and his family was part of this displaced community. “My ultimate goal is to bring back pride to the grower, and an identity to the farmer,” says Muthu. “I wanted to ensure an identity to a community of estate workers,” says Muthu.“I took it as my duty and responsibility to see this illiterate and marginalised community flourish through future generations.”

“At the inception of the project there were severe social problems among the disaffected and marginalised young estate population including alcohol and other drug dependencies. With opportunities to learn new skills, follow different career routes and be instrumental in the set up and development of new projects these problems are disappearing. There’s still a lot to do.”

Fair Trade Premiums Developing The Estate Community

A fair-trade premium from the sale of company produce product is reinvested back into the local community for the purposes of ensuring higher living standards.

The fair-trade premium is distributed via a Social Committee made up of elected representatives of the estate workers. Decisions about how to invest the income are made in consultation with the local community. 

Fair-trade premiums have funded the building of a new cultural centre at the estate where social functions, weekly meetings, clubs and classes are held. Estate workers homes have also been repainted inside and out and more cows purchased which provide income for community members. Education is also a focus for the community. English lessons are offered to the young people on the estate, which opens up new possibilities for their future. Schoolbooks have been purchased for young students.

Global Sisterhood | Much More Than Just Tea

Many of the estate workers who work in the plantations that the Bestow Organic Teas come from are women. I was able to meet the group of women pictured above when I visited. They didn’t speak English. This gave me a chance to practice my Sri Lankan on them, which they found very amusing! Despite our language differences, I felt a sense of kinship with them. They were mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They wanted a good life for themselve and their chidlren – just like we do.

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The Fair Trade ethos means these women are paid a living wage, are provided housing and have access to medical services and education

It humbles me to know that my business choices can make such a difference for women in another country. It warms me to know that every time a woman back home in New Zealand buys and enjoys the benefit of Bestow Organic Teas, she is also supporting a sisterhood of women in a little community of Sri Lanka.

Time for a cuppa, I think. Join me?

 Janine

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NEW! BESTOW ORGANIC TEA RANGE

We are delighted to introduce you to the first in our new Bestow Organic Tea Range – two beautifully blended therapeutic teas Luminositea and Eternitea.

Luminositea and Eternitea will support healthy skin from within and the Bestow ‘Time for Me’ Tea Ritual we invite you to embrace, will further enhance your personal wellness journey.

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  • July 7, 2016

We are delighted to introduce you to the first in our new Bestow Organic Tea Range – two beautifully blended therapeutic teas Luminositea and Eternitea.

Luminositea and Eternitea will support healthy skin from within and the Bestow ‘Time for Me’ Tea Ritual we invite you to embrace, will further enhance your personal wellness journey.

THE STORY BEHIND THE TEAS | Janine Tait

janine-tait-2016I used to be addicted to coffee. It was hard on my nervous system and I knew my body didn’t respond well to it. Giving up coffee was a gift I gave to my body and I have never looked back.

I have since enjoyed exploring the colourful and therapeutic world of herbal teas. A simple tea-break can give you an extra boost of anti-oxidants, calm and relax you, cleanse the body or give you a burst of energy. It all depends which tea you choose.

At Bestow, we gather to drink herbal tea together each morning and afternoon. We take turns making it, getting out our vintage china and serving tea on a silver tray. It is a beautiful ritual which gives us a joyful pause in our busy day. Nutritionally, it is a great opportunity to hydrate and get some added vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

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It was important to me to know that we were all drinking quality organic tea so that our skin and body received maximum goodness and none of the pesticides and chemicals that can creep into supermarket herbal teas.

The best way to know what we were drinking was to develop our own range – so that’s exactly what we did! We were lucky enough to discover a Sri Lankan company with established organic tea plantations. I visited them in January. The people there are even more passionate about tea than we are!

The tea plantation is biodynamic and full of life with organic cattle providing compost, wild camphor in the hedgerows as a source of organic spray and the rich fragrance of tea leaves, basil and rosemary in the air.

Back home in New Zealand, we spent happy hours as a team drinking and researching our favourite therapeutic blends and we are happy to share these first two teas in our range with you.

LUMINOSITEA | Your Morning Glow

luminositeaIngredients
 100% Organic White and Green Tea (Camellia Sinesus)

Flavour + Colour

A pale colour and gentle flavour


Therapeutic Benefits


White Tea is an anti-aging tea thanks to anti-inflammatory phytochemicals which help to prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin.

Green Tea contains a particular type of antioxidant which has been scientifically proven to increase the hydration of the upper layers of the skin, resulting in enhanced enzyme action and increase natural moisturising factors. A moist, hydrated skin reflects the light which gives healthy skin its luminous glow. That is why this blend is called Luminositea!

Best Time of Day
Enjoy Luminositea in the morning to get the stimulating benefit of the low levels of non de-hydrating natural caffeine and to get your morning glow on!

ETERNITEA | Your Anti-Ageing Tea

eterniteaIngredients 
100% Organic Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), 100% Organic Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Flavour + Colour

A pretty pink colour and a tangy, fresh flavour with a hint of cinnamon.

Therapeutic Benefits


Hibiscus is a super-tea, containing more anti-oxidants than any other tea. These anti-oxidants help to combat the ageing affects of free-radicals in your body. Do your body a favour and arm it with goodness.

Cinnamon helps to stabilise your blood sugar which is essential for anti-ageing. When blood sugar levels are rocketing around it causes glycation, a process where oxidised sugar attaches to collagen molecules, curling and tangling the fibres. Cinnamon protects your skin by keeping your blood sugar levels sure and steady throughout the afternoon, and your collagen resilient and smooth throughout the years.

Best Time of Day to Drink

Enjoy Eternitea in the afternoon. Instead of putting yourself on a sugar roller coaster at 3pm, drink this sugar stabilising tea and eat a small handful of nuts to sustain you through till dinner time.

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THE BESTOW ‘TIME FOR ME’ TEA RITUAL

What makes a tea-break more than a tea-break?

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Intention! A tea on the run only offers you one-half of the benefits. We invite you to embrace the Bestow ‘Time for Me’ Tea Ritual as a way of building mini-retreats into your busy day. This relaxing ritual helps you to introduce a healthy self-care rhythm which is so important in pursuing a life of wellness and wholeness.

THE RITUAL

Put the kettle on.
* Select a beautiful tea-cup to enjoy your tea in.
* Steep your chosen Bestow Organic Tea in boiling water.
* While you wait for your tea to steep, take 5 slow, deep breaths. Put your hands on your belly and feel your belly rise and fall as you breathe all the way down.
* Sit quietly and sip your tea slowly, savouring this moment of blissful pause.

FAIR TO ALL

janine-tait-2016It was very important to me that Bestow teas were not only organic, but were sourced from a supplier that was fair to all of the the people involved in producing it. Many of the workers in tea plantations in third-world countries are poorly paid, and treated like second class citizens. I am pleased to report that the Sri Lankan company who supply our tea operate within a fair-trade business model. This means they pay their workers a living wage, provide housing and make sure they have access to medical services and education. For me it is not about beating the supplier down to get the bottom dollar but paying a fair price for a good quality product that is produced ethically.

FEEDBACK

robyn-marshallRobyn Marshall | Beautiful Hush

I have never liked the flavour of green tea. Because of this I have so enjoyed drinking the Eternitea, Hibiscus and Cinnamon blend, which is also very high in antioxidants and has a delicious taste! I find it uplifting and the cinnamon definitely helps to stabilise any sugar cravings. I don’t even need to have anything to eat when enjoying this tea. Our clients all loved it and said it shouldn’t be called tea but a refreshing juice! We are looking forward to serving it chilled in our waiting room during the warmer months.

testimonial01Jose Kakebeeke | Beauty With Substance

I am a big tea drinker. I prefer it over water so drink it morning, afternoon and evening. I really enjoy the Bestow Luminostea. It is much milder in taste than other green teas I have tried. This combination so so simple and delicious and the fact that it contains so many anti-oxidants is a real added benefit. Having a cup of tea is a comforting ritual for me, as well as a thirst quencher. If I am stressed or need to have a breather there will always be a cup of tea with it.

testimonial02Ashleigh Scott | Ashleigh Scott Facialist

I have never been a coffee drinker, but I do occasionally enjoy a cup of herbal tea. Especially in winter there’s nothing better than sitting down at the end of a busy day with a nice warming cup. It helps me relax and sets me up to have a good night’s sleep. I love that these teas have been carefully curated to ensure maximum health benefits, so I know I am doing something good for my skin and body. We have been serving both Luminositea and Eternitea to our clients for the last couple of weeks and have had amazing feedback. Our clients can’t wait to get their hands on a tin themselves!

  • June 2, 2016

Green tea has long been considered for the many health benefits it offers. Matcha green tea however is a super strength version that is said to be around ten times more nutritionally dense than regular green tea. This green powder is embedded in the Japanese culture and is delicious as well as being both energising and relaxing at the same time!

Matcha is a great ingredient to team up with our beloved Bestow Beauty Oil. In the simple smoothie recipe below we have done just that with the following health benefits.

Bestow Beauty Oil is a wonderful food for skin. It’s your edible cosmetic, making your skin soft, smooth and velvety. Bestow Beauty Oil is able to do this because it contains high levels of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) that are not only vital for your health but also the beauty and vitality of your skin.

Unlike most fats, your body cannot produce Omega-3 and Omega-6 this is why they are called vitamin F. We have created Bestow Beauty Oil: a blend of organic, unrefined, extra virgin seed oils cold-pressed from flax and golden flax to provide you with a source of these Essential Fatty Acids. Bestow Beauty Oil is a bit like fish oil only better tasting and containing more essential fatty acids for your wellbeing.

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AND HERE’S 4 REASONS WHY WE LOVE MATCHA!

It helps detoxify
Matcha has a high chlorophyll content, which plays a pivotal role in detoxifying the body. Thus when you consume Matcha it naturally removes chemical toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disruptors from our system, not to mention all those things we may have overindulged in over the summer break!

It helps prevent aging
There are more anti-oxidants in Matcha than any other superfood, blueberries, green veggies or dark chocolate! Because of this it can tremendously improve the health of your skin, helping it fight free radicals and slow the aging process.

It helps enhance concentration
Due to the presence of an amino acid called L-Theanine, chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are produced in the body. These chemicals improve memory, enhance mood and increase concentration. Matcha makes you happy!

It boosts energy levels
The special combination of nutrients found in Matcha combine to give you a powerful energy boost without any side effects. It is clean and good energy that is released. Most people experience the stimulative effects of consuming Matcha for at least two hours.

BESTOW MATCHA SMOOTHIE RECIPE

200mls of coconut water
1 fresh or frozen banana
1 tablespoon of dairy free coconut yoghurt
1 dessertspoon of Bestow Beauty Oil
3 – 4 sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon of Matcha powder
A sprinkle of chia seeds

Blend all the ingredients together other than the chia seeds, add some ice cubes if you are not using frozen banana and want a nice cold smoothie. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with chia.

WHERE TO BUY MATCHA POWDER AND BESTOW BEAUTY OIL

BESTOW BEAUTY OIL – Visit our stockist pages in the menu above and find one nearest you

MATCHA POWDER – matchamatcha.co.nz

Did your mother or grandmother ever tell you to ‘count your blessings’? We may have shrugged off such homegrown advice in our youth, but neuroscience today is affirming much of the wisdom bestowed upon us from simpler times.

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To count your blessings is to practice the art of gratitude – a simple spiritual discipline with profound implications for our total health and well-being.

Gratitude is the art of paying attention to the many blessings and graces that are bestowed upon us daily – the fall of golden light through the trees, the satisfaction of a job well done, the shared laughter of friends, the feeling of a soft rug under our feet.

Gratitude teaches us to notice the blessings in our life and to receive them and all they have to offer.

Gratitude directs our entire being towards health. It is not going too far to say that our bodies listen to our thoughts. Paying attention to the simple things in our life boosts our immune system and promotes health and healing.

Gratitude makes us emotionally resilient and mentally supple, better able to deal with the challenges of life.

Gratitude is not a shallow happiness and does not require an inauthentic Pollyanna take on the world. It is a simple re-orientation that allows us to face fully into both the joy and sorrow of life, whilst becoming increasingly aware of the inherent goodness and love at the heart of the universe.

THE INVITATION

We invite you to develop the discipline of gratitude in your life – to become aware of the many gifts that surround you.

We invite you to practice a daily ritual of remembering and recording your blessings in this journal.

Embracing a daily ritual of counting our blessings redirects our mind and our sub-conscious to pay attention to the simple things in life.

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THE RITUAL

Find a quiet space

Create or claim a quiet corner of your home where you can spend ten minutes writing in your Bestow Blessings journal. You may like to light a candle and sit at the table after the kids have all gone to bed. You may have a favourite armchair you can relax in with a cup of tea. Perhaps your Bestow Blessings journal will live on your bed-side table so you can write in it each night before you turn out the light. It doesn’t matter where – just find a space to claim for your own for ten minutes each day.

Think back over your day
Think back through the events of your day and your internal responses to them. You could ask yourself, Where did I receive nourishment? Where did I give nourishment? When did I feel loved? When did I feel encouraged? What did I enjoy today? What beauty did I notice? Who helped me today?

Write down three blessings
Write down three blessings you have noticed during your day. Allow yourself to take time with each blessing. Allow the memory of it, the feeling of it, to fill your awareness.

Counting our blessings allows us to return to the moments of grace we may have missed in our busyness – allowing their impact to deepen and integrate into our being.

Gratitude practiced over time helps you become more mindful during the day. More and more you notice those ‘joy moments’ as they happen.

May you enjoy the many everyday blessings you discover and record in your Bestow Blessings Journal!

In gratitude, Janine

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  • November 10, 2015

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Having radiant skin, healthy hair and strong nails is important for your wedding day and your beauty therapist is one of the best people to help you achieve this with the products and treatments she has available at her fingertips.

But another thing you need to consider is what is happening from the inside? As you know, your skin, hair and nails are all created, nourished and renewed from the inside. So this means you are able to improve their appearance by working from within – if you know the secrets to achieving this.

Bestow Beauty is an intensive range of internal cosmetics that make use of will help you look fabulous on your wedding day.

bestow-oilBESTOW BEAUTY OIL
Your moisturiser from within

  • A great-tasting, edible oil that is mixed or poured over your food to nourish your skin, hair and nails from the inside
  • Keeps your skin supple and smooth
  • Helps prevent blockages and ‘breakouts’
  • Ensures your skin’s oil is healing and anti-inflammatory
  • Helps reduce redness in inflamed skin
  • Helps treat skin problems from acne to eczema.

BESTOW BEAUTY POWDER
bestow-powderYour edible cosmetic

  • A delicious smoothie powder that delivers the same anti-aging ingredients that your skin care does only directly to the cells that use them in the deepest layers of your skin.
  • Feeds your skin, hair and nails with all the nutrients they need to be strong, healthy and beautiful
  • Contains flaxseed fibre, kelp, spirulina, wheatgrass, alfalfa, coconut, blackcurrant extract & pumpkin flour.

BESTOW BE CLEANSED
bestow-be-cleansedDetoxify, purify, beautify

Your skin tends to reflect what’s happening on the inside. If your body isn’t eliminating toxins efficiently, this can result in dull, devitalised skin, and can contribute to many skin disorders such as acne, blemishes and eczema.
Bestow Be Cleansed is a natural detox powder designed to bestow a clearer, more radiant complexion by encouraging the liver and bowel to (gently) eliminate toxins.

Bride image by Tauranga photographers Katie & Quinn Photography