Home-grown, hand-picked, artfully-blended herbal and wild teas. All ingredients from our Cambrian mountain forest garden.

Plucking good teas since 2011

Our blends

Indiginous, local teas that bring delight and subtle new flavours to discerning sippers. Each tea is carefully blended from just three ingredients picked and processed by hand.

Minimum order £40

No 1 : Rise

Birch Leaf 62%
Rosebay Willowherb Flower 24%
Mugwort Leaf 14%

Pleasingly astringent tannin notes; a good alternative to green tea

50g / 38 cups

£6.60

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This tea came out top in blind tastings when we first launched - it has the familiar affect of astringency we know from regular tea. We pluck our birch leaves in June, when they have developed tannin and lost their youthful tenderness but before they become jaded. We add to the uplifting effect of birch with a little Chinese Mugwort which we grow for its aromatic, strong flavour (it's related to Rosemary and Wormwood). Rosebay Willowherb flowers add a purple flourish (you might see pink swathes of it on roadsides in summer, but we only harvest from our patch in the middle of nowhere!).

No 2 : Relax

Rosebay Willowherb Leaf 56%
Hawthorn Blossom & Leaf 24%
Meadowsweet Flower 20%

Complex honeyed citrus notes.

50g / 33 cups

£6.60

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Hawthorn blossom used for traditional heart medicine apparently has been found to contain the best chemical profile (natural ones of course) when it was harvested at its most beautiful. We wait for that perfect hawthorn blossom day and hope it doesn't rain. We use a little, not a lot, because too much makes the scent of it - naturally designed to mimic something rotting that attracts the pollinating flies the tree needs - a bit fishy! It tastes good and compliments the heady honeyed overtones of meadowsweet and light citrus notes of rosebay willowherb leaves.

No 3 : Refresh

Peppermint Leaf 34%
Nettle Leaf 33%
Bramble Leaf 33%

Refreshing clean mint with mellow base notes.

50g / 33 cups

£6.60

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We started growing this variety of Peppermint on the recommendation of someone we trust, that it makes the best mint tea. We agree. We blend it with two spring tonic ingredients (we need gloves for these before we dry them) - nettle, famed for its mineral content (we just pluck the tip and uppermost leaves) and blackberry bramble young leaves, which make a soothing and slightly astringent base for this tea.

No 4 : Rest

Wild Raspberry Leaf 47%
Fennel Fronds 33%
Rose Petals 20%

Delightful rose top notes with complimenting fennel tones.

50g / 33 cups

£6.60

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This is a tangle of tea - we can't guarantee you'll get exactly the same ratio of herbs in each cup! Two ingredients from the rose family feature in this tea, mixed with the sweetly aniseed flavour of fennel. Wild raspberry grows in abundance where we live and as with other brambles, the leaves make a good base - just a little tannin to support those sweet floral high notes. For our scented rose petals we planted Rosa rugosa and share the harvest with local bees, working hard in the hills for their nectar.

Pick your own with this A2 poster showing you what Free Teas might be growing somewhere near you. Put this up in your kitchen and fill your cupboard with ingredients that you can blend yourself. The poster includes 42 common plants with advice about foraging.

£6.50 with free postage

Coming soon

About Us

What's special about Fine Pluck?

Fine Pluck is one of a handful of producers of uniquely UK grown tea. We only know of one other, but to our knowledge we're the only producer that plucks by hand rather than by machine. This means were able to select only the best fresh ingredients. All of our ingredients will have come from our forest garden or from as close to us as possible to minimise food miles.

Creating teas from only local ingredients also introduces some wonderful new flavours. Nettle, mint, fennel and chamomile are common ingredients but birch, meadowsweet, hawthorn and mugwort will be new to most people. Part of the motivation for us is working with what is growing around us. If we were based elsewhere in the UK, our list of ingredients would be different.

Working with indigenous plants, which grow with the vigour of weeds, greatly benefits our food security credentials.

Only 3 ingredients

We're passionate about our blends being just three herbs. So many other herbal blends are named after one herb then list about eight more ingredients!

When we decided what to use our smallholding / emerging forest garden for, or more accurately, when we observed that it was already effectively a herbal tea garden, we knew that what would set our teas apart from the rest was being unique in producing all our blends exclusively from UK grown and harvested herbs but you probably already know that.

We deliberately created each of our blends from just three herbs. By doing that carefully, we have crafted a balanced and flavourful cup of tea. Especially as some of our ingredients are likely to be unfamiliar, we think its good not to blur too many flavours together. And its fun to be able to detect the flavour and effect of each herb in the blend as well as enjoying the trio together.

It seems almost strange our teas having an ingredient list, compare that to a respected brand of (you might have thought single leaf) tea from Heath & Heather called Raspberry Leaf:

Ingredients: Raspberry Leaves (48%), Hibiscus, Blackberry Leaves, Natural Raspberry Flavouring (6%), Apple Pomace, Tartaric Acid, Rosehips, Raspberries (1%).

Teas like these are the result of market research to develop herbal blends which appeal to as many people as possible on first taste, but we tread a different path and blend three prime quality herbs to their best effect. Adding unnatural proportions, even of natural flavouring, and adding a bit of acid in an attempt to make a more fruity taste does not a good tea make as far as were concerned!

Raspberry leaves do not taste of raspberries! If you fancy a taste of raspberry fruit, choose cordial! Happily for us, were finding that even people who have been wooed by fruity promises before, are pleasantly surprised when they sample the taste and clarity of Fine Pluck teas.

Ethics

Fine Pluck is a delightful business to be part of – it isnt a political or ethical statement. It developed from our love of foraging and new recipe development. But we are also permaculture designers who thinks it is high-time we started thinking regeneratively rather than just sustainably about our partnership with the world were part of. Were not especially political or ranty about that, it just seems to make sense.

Our teas arent certified organic, but rest assured that the permaculture principles we follow are in the same vein.

Medicinal herbal effects

We're well aware that many plants have an effect on the body, mild or powerful, positive or negative. For example chamomile is commonly associated with a calming effect, fennel and mint are often used as aides to digestion. Whilst many of the ingredients we use have a herbal effect on the body (extremely mild at the doses where pleasant flavour is the top consideration) we primarily blend for taste – however we try not to put ingredients together that have clashing herbal effects.

We have some very limited knowledge of the western medical herbal tradition, just enough to know the basics for our own information.

Bitter is good

Many of our ingredients are listed as bitter or tannin. Dont let this put you off. What most people like about every day builders tea (Camellia sinensis), whether black or green, is that it is mildly astringent through its tannin content. So many of our teas with herbs containing tannin will be attractive to fans of normal tea. We even list those that are black-tea or green-tea like on our poster.

A bitter taste on the palate is especially beneficial as a stimulant to our digestion and liver function. Drinking or eating something bitter at the beginning of a meal encourages digestive processes to kick in.

Fine Pluck, where did the name come from?

'Fine pluck' is actually tea harvesting terminology. When just the growing tip and one leaf was harvested (only for the Emperor of China and senior officials), this was called the Imperial pluck. Nowadays the best tea is the fine pluck, the growing tip plus two leaves.

So, the verb, fine pluck, describes what were attempting to do; picking by hand allows us to select, during harvest, the best looking leaves, buds and flowers rather than using a machine to indiscriminately cut everything, stalk, dead leaves and all. Our name gives some people malapropic issues but this isnt intentional. Honestly.