For many of us, the expression ‘pukka’ is most strongly associated with that king of the kitchen Jamie Oliver, whose delight in his own creations was often declared with this exotic-sounding, beguiling little word. With such obvious marketable appeal, it should come as no surprise to discover that someone else wanted to get in on the ‘pukka’ action. Far from the hurly-burly world of celebrity cooking, it was a humble tea company that made the move to pukker up. Taking the word as its brand name, Pukka tea is no doubt hoping that some of its magic will rub off on its latest line of herbal concoctions.
With five enticing-sounding flavours making up its herbal collection, Pukka is looking to appeal to just about every sort of tea drinker out there. While this is a noble ambition, some of the blends fail to deliver when it comes to that most basic of requirements: taste. Pukka’s ‘Elderberry and Echinacea’ is a case in point. If you are like me, and enjoy the sweeter blends, then this fruity offering should be – excuse the pun- your cup of tea. What a disappointment, then, to find no sweet kick to the flavour, but instead a rather bland, almost savoury taste.
Despite this letdown, there are some flavours in the collection which do deliver when it comes to taste. The ‘Detox’ blend works wonderfully as a clean and simple early morning pick-me-up. Indeed, the fusion of aniseed, fennel, and cardamom makes for a subtle and highly drinkable brew. In much the same way, Pukka’s ‘Night Time’ blend also manages to keep its complex range of flavours in balance. The oat flower note is particularly appealing with its understated earthiness.
The serious tea drinker will no doubt find something to enjoy in Pukka’s herbal collection, but those with a sweet tooth might come away a little disappointed.
Good news for the eco-conscious, though, Pukka teas are certified Fair for Life and FairWild. Chris Prindiville
Pukka is distributed in Australia by Organic Trader and is available from select health food stores, independent grocers, and online at www.pukkaherbs.com.au.