I first spotted these bottles at the Green Festival NYC a few months ago and knew that I had to write about them.
What makes Runa different from any other tea that I have tasted is that it doesn’t have the astringency that most teas have. It is incredibly smooth, with no twinge of bitterness at all.
Interestingly, Runa’s tea, which is made from a leaf called Guayusa, has the same amount of caffeine as coffee and twice the amount of antioxidants as green tea.
All certified organic and fair trade certified, Runa’s bottled tea products come in four flavors — traditional, lemon-lemongrass, mint, hibiscus-berry — and they can be found at supermarkets in a select number of states across the country (check Runa’s store locator to see if they’re available near you). By far, my favorite flavor is the mint.
Guayusa originates from an Amazonian region in Ecuador, and the people there have been brewing these leaves into tea for thousands of years.
What is also really cool about Runa is that the company’s operations in this remote part of the country have increased the standard of living in the community by 4x. This is exactly what the Government of Ecuador had in mind when it selected Runa (out of 600 applicants) to make an equity investment in the company.
So when you purchase Runa tea, you are not just getting a great product but you’re helping to support an impoverished community far, far away. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Here is an interview I did with Runa founders, Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, fellow Brown University grads, at Natural Products Expo East 2010.