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Ten reasons we love Guayusa tea

Posted by Linda Elliot on

We gave up coffee as our daily source of caffeine in favour of Guayusa (a caffeinated holly that grows in the Amazon rainforest) about 3 years ago. Since we first fell in love with it a lot has happened.

We adored it so much that we wanted to tell more people about it, and we worked hard around our busy day jobs to find out how to start a tea business! There’s no time here to list everything that was involved, but it’s now about a year and a half since we started trading, and we have so many more plans!

We have learned so much. One thing we've learned is that if you feel a passion about something so much that you can’t stop thinking, or talking, about it - and you want to build a living around it - you can. You might have to put in some extra hours - and be able to sustain it (for what feels like quite a while) - but if that love doesn’t go away, you won’t give up!

You probably have gotten the sense that we are really passionate about Guayusa? So, it wouldn't hurt us to back up why - here’s ten 10 reasons why we love this tea so much. We could list more - but, ten is a nice neat number. It’s also the exact amount of letters in ‘G.U.A.Y.U.S.A.T.E.A’ :)

Read more

Ten reasons we love Guayusa tea

Posted by Linda Elliot on

We gave up coffee as our daily source of caffeine in favour of Guayusa (a caffeinated holly that grows in the Amazon rainforest) about 3 years ago. Since we first fell in love with it a lot has happened.

We adored it so much that we wanted to tell more people about it, and we worked hard around our busy day jobs to find out how to start a tea business! There’s no time here to list everything that was involved, but it’s now about a year and a half since we started trading, and we have so many more plans!

We have learned so much. One thing we've learned is that if you feel a passion about something so much that you can’t stop thinking, or talking, about it - and you want to build a living around it - you can. You might have to put in some extra hours - and be able to sustain it (for what feels like quite a while) - but if that love doesn’t go away, you won’t give up!

You probably have gotten the sense that we are really passionate about Guayusa? So, it wouldn't hurt us to back up why - here’s ten 10 reasons why we love this tea so much. We could list more - but, ten is a nice neat number. It’s also the exact amount of letters in ‘G.U.A.Y.U.S.A.T.E.A’ :)

Read more


Why is holly used at Christmas?

Posted by Linda Elliot on

As a UK-based business selling Ilex guayusa - an Amazon rainforest holly that makes a delicious tea - it got us wondering why the European holly, Ilex aquifolium, is also revered in Christmas symbolism here.

If you'd have asked us “What plants or trees have mythological status in the UK?”, we’d have probably named the holly along with other things like oak and mistletoe.

On the other side of the world, among the Amazonian Kichwa people, the guayusa holly is also revered - and is in fact the singly most referred to plant in their culture. This is due to its use in day-to-day life as an energy-giving beverage and how it also functions in medicine, ritual and festivities.

Here in the UK, we have the ritual of hanging wreaths of holly at Christmas. In the Amazon, the Kichwa have their own holly rituals, such as events themed around guayusa during times of festival.

As we investigated the subject, we learned much about the mystique that surrounds the beautiful European holly tree and tried to spot similarities in the magic shrouding the Amazonian guayusa holly tree.

The appearance of holly on things like Christmas cards came about with the Victorians, but its mythical status dates much further back - to pagan and Roman times. 

Please allow us to take you on a journey that we hope you'll find 'w-holly' awesome :)

Read more

Why is holly used at Christmas?

Posted by Linda Elliot on

As a UK-based business selling Ilex guayusa - an Amazon rainforest holly that makes a delicious tea - it got us wondering why the European holly, Ilex aquifolium, is also revered in Christmas symbolism here.

If you'd have asked us “What plants or trees have mythological status in the UK?”, we’d have probably named the holly along with other things like oak and mistletoe.

On the other side of the world, among the Amazonian Kichwa people, the guayusa holly is also revered - and is in fact the singly most referred to plant in their culture. This is due to its use in day-to-day life as an energy-giving beverage and how it also functions in medicine, ritual and festivities.

Here in the UK, we have the ritual of hanging wreaths of holly at Christmas. In the Amazon, the Kichwa have their own holly rituals, such as events themed around guayusa during times of festival.

As we investigated the subject, we learned much about the mystique that surrounds the beautiful European holly tree and tried to spot similarities in the magic shrouding the Amazonian guayusa holly tree.

The appearance of holly on things like Christmas cards came about with the Victorians, but its mythical status dates much further back - to pagan and Roman times. 

Please allow us to take you on a journey that we hope you'll find 'w-holly' awesome :)

Read more


Unearthing more of guayusa's story

Posted by Linda Elliot on

Our last blog went down really well, and we certainly enjoyed writing it - so much so that we have another article along the same lines - one that delves into other lesser known corners of the mysterious and wonderful guayusa plant.

Last time we finished up talking about how the recorded use of Guayusa fell quiet after the abandonment of the Jesuit missionaries - this is obviously not to say that local communities stopped using it, for the Bishop of Cuenca, Manuel Plaza, reported in 1854 that the Jivaroan peoples were still cultivating guayusa near their houses.

The story can be picked again when we learn that, in 1857, the English botanist, Richard Spruce (which we think is a great name for a botanist!), saw that Guayusa was still being grown and used by these same peoples south of the town of Banos, in Antombes.

Read more

Unearthing more of guayusa's story

Posted by Linda Elliot on

Our last blog went down really well, and we certainly enjoyed writing it - so much so that we have another article along the same lines - one that delves into other lesser known corners of the mysterious and wonderful guayusa plant.

Last time we finished up talking about how the recorded use of Guayusa fell quiet after the abandonment of the Jesuit missionaries - this is obviously not to say that local communities stopped using it, for the Bishop of Cuenca, Manuel Plaza, reported in 1854 that the Jivaroan peoples were still cultivating guayusa near their houses.

The story can be picked again when we learn that, in 1857, the English botanist, Richard Spruce (which we think is a great name for a botanist!), saw that Guayusa was still being grown and used by these same peoples south of the town of Banos, in Antombes.

Read more


Learning more about the story of guayusa

Posted by Linda Elliot on

You may or may not have noticed that once you scratch the surface, there does not seem to be a great deal of literature about the history or more traditional uses of guayusa.

 Those of us who have tried it have our direct knowledge of drinking it and, for the writers of this page, feel the benefits of drinking guayusa as a healthy alternative to coffee.

There is also a substantial amount of information easily available online from trusted sources and authorities about the tea (e.g. Wikipedia, Runa).

We have looked a bit deeper and found some publications that delve further into guayusa's story.

Some of these publications were written as long ago as 1978 and the documents themselves pull together snippets of information about guayusa from many other significantly older writings.

We've unearthed some of these treasures in this blog and hope to continue it as a series.

Read more

Learning more about the story of guayusa

Posted by Linda Elliot on

You may or may not have noticed that once you scratch the surface, there does not seem to be a great deal of literature about the history or more traditional uses of guayusa.

 Those of us who have tried it have our direct knowledge of drinking it and, for the writers of this page, feel the benefits of drinking guayusa as a healthy alternative to coffee.

There is also a substantial amount of information easily available online from trusted sources and authorities about the tea (e.g. Wikipedia, Runa).

We have looked a bit deeper and found some publications that delve further into guayusa's story.

Some of these publications were written as long ago as 1978 and the documents themselves pull together snippets of information about guayusa from many other significantly older writings.

We've unearthed some of these treasures in this blog and hope to continue it as a series.

Read more


Great video about the production of Guayusa by Runa

Posted by Linda Elliot on

This is an interesting video that gives an insight into how guayusa is used traditionally in Ecuador.

It also goes into good detail on how Runa have set up an amazing factory that produces Fair Trade, non GMO and organic guayusa tea that we know tastes and feels great - because we drink it everyday ourselves!


Read more

Great video about the production of Guayusa by Runa

Posted by Linda Elliot on

This is an interesting video that gives an insight into how guayusa is used traditionally in Ecuador.

It also goes into good detail on how Runa have set up an amazing factory that produces Fair Trade, non GMO and organic guayusa tea that we know tastes and feels great - because we drink it everyday ourselves!


Read more