Mind-blowing levels of devotion go into the production of MyHavtorn’s sea buckthorn-packed products, and they have an equally devoted following at Ayla for the results they deliver on sensitive and rosacea-prone skin.
Robin and Ingrid, the wonderful couple behind MyHavtorn, have graciously given us a closer look at their farm in Sweden’s Bollebygd Valley through interviews like this one about the sea buckthorn harvest and this one about the tea that’s made from the leaves of the sea buckthorn tree.
Well, we fell so completely and hopelessly in love with that delicate, health-boosting wonder tea that we asked them if we could buy all of it. Happily, they agreed, and this was how our first Ayla product collaboration — Happy Tea — came to be.
To give you a closer look at this very special product, we asked Robin to answer a few more questions for us specifically about its production. As you'll see, it's an extraordinarily time-consuming, care-filled process, which makes the tea quite expensive to make. By having MyHavtorn pick and dry the leaves in Sweden and then packaging it in tins here in the US, we're able to bring it to you at a more reasonable price that allows more of us to enjoy this very special, highest-possible-quality tea.
Ayla: Tell us about the harvesting process for your sea buckthorn tea.
Robin: The leaves are from both female and male trees; the males have bigger leaves and are easier to pick, but our orchard has only 10% males, so most of the leaves are from females. Harvest season often starts in early August. We pick the leaves by hand as soon as possible when they are not too mature, but we are also careful to not hurt the trees when they are still carrying berries. The trees are very sensitive during that time, since they need to provide nutrients to the berries (the leaves help the trees collect energy from the sun).
If the leaves are not harvested, they fall to the ground and die…so, for us, it is great to be able to use them. The sea buckthorn tree has many gifts; it is really a wonderful tree in so many ways! Here is a picture of me picking the leaves with my father, Sven-Erik (who is 63) and my grandmother, Ruth (who is 87).
Ayla: Everyone looks so young and healthy! Is it because of the tea and the berries?
Robin: Yes, maybe. My grandmother is very healthy and active. We call her “the mountain goat.” She and her sister, Ruth, really enjoy picking the leaves together. Ruth is in very good health, too.
Ayla: And they look so happy! There couldn’t be a better advertisement for this tea. OK, then what do you do after picking the leaves?
Robin: Our tea leaves are not heated. First we rinse them in cold water from our property’s mineral spring, then we dry it on benches and roll it to start the fermentation process (when the tea reacts with the air).
Ayla: And how do you usually drink the tea in your family?
Robin: We like to brew it during dark, cold winter days. For example, I made some after labeling your hand creams in our ice-cold factory during a power outage! We often “fika” with the sea buckthorn tea during the middle of the day, while we eat a special treat and talk with friends. My grandmother, Ruth, and great-aunt, Iris, insist on fika even when the family is in the orchard all day to pick the leaves and berries.
The last time we knew exactly who picked the leaves of the tea we were drinking (and then washed them by hand in their mineral spring) was — never. Honestly, how often does that happen?
And that’s just the beginning. This tea is healthy as all get out, providing loads of antioxidants and hard-to-come-by minerals in a massively anti-inflammatory brew that’s caffeine free and safe for absolutely everyone to enjoy, every single day.
To get your Happy Tea, click here. And hurry! Because although we bought it all, there's a limited amount of it until the next harvest. While you're at it, check out MyHavtorn's other products, too. Each one is made with the same amount of care and attention to detail, and we adore them all.