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Tea, and Irony

Founded by two nutritionists, Tuuli Tea wants to help those suffering from everyday ills, such as heartbreak, a hangover or the beauty blues.

LONDON — Two nutritionists are hoping to redefine tea drinking, turning it into an act of defiance, an antidote to life’s ills and a way of getting through the day.

The cofounders of Tuuli Tea, which launched earlier this month, aren’t spiking their brew with gin — or anything stronger. Instead, they’ve created blends meant to mitigate the effects of a hangover, a broken heart or even a big meal.

They’ve created a beauty booster, too, and an energizer, all in the name of wellness, but without any sanctimony, or striving for perfection. Their 10 tea blends have names including “I Hate the World,” “Pass Out,” “Get Shit Done” and “Beauty Blues.”

In the words of the founders Tuuli Shipster and Sophie Ricard, there is “zero judgment” around this tea, and the motivation for drinking it should be to “embrace and honor who you are.” They want their drinkers to embrace life in all its messiness, and not feel guilty about it.

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Shipster, who is married to the British photographer and publisher Rankin, is an actress and model-turned-yoga teacher. She is currently studying for her post-graduate degree in herbal medicine, and said she felt there was a gap in the market for herbal teas “that were more honest, and targeted real issues.”

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Ricard, who met Shipster when they were both studying for degrees in nutrition, believes there is so much guilt around living life to the fullest, and that people need to give themselves a break.

Their aim is to target various moods, and physical imbalances. “We love the brewing process, and we wanted them to do good, and to taste good, too,” said Shipster, adding that the two wanted to “embrace real life, the f–k-ups as well as the positives. It’s a more balanced and attainable approach.”

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Tuuli Shipster and Sophie Ricard, founders of Tuuli Tea. Courtesy Image

The two worked with the graphic designer Warren Beeby on the branding, which reflects the brand’s unconventional ethos: Instead of wrapping their packaging in calming pastels, images of plants or blissed-out yogis, they chose a comical skeleton — in various guises — as the brand’s muse.

Their blends are targeted at everyday challenges. “Morning After (The Night Before)” tea contains peppermint and fennel to calm an upset stomach, and dandelion leaf and nettle to support the kidneys.

“I Hate the World” is a tea for those who refuse to channel their inner calm in the face of adversity. These are people who are frustrated — and embracing it — so Ricard and Shipster have whipped up a blend containing rooibos and licorice.

Rooibos is red (the color of anger) but it also contains healthy antioxidants, which help protect against free radical damage. The licorice is meant to aid the adrenal glands and maintain the body’s energy levels.

There is also a blend called “Heartbreak,” with oats for calming the nerves, ashwagandha to help reduce inflammation and hawthorn, which is meant to lower blood pressure and treat digestive issues.

The “Beauty Blues” tea includes elderberries, rose petals, mallow flowers, and blue cornflowers. While infusing, the tea flushes blue, which is meant to impart a sense of calm. The blend has been made to support skin health: rose is high in vitamin C, while blue cornflowers are anti-inflammatory and elderberries are full of antioxidants.

A box of 20 individually wrapped teas sells for 10 pounds, and from the end of January Tuuli will begin selling tin tea caddies containing 25 bags for 15 pounds. The blends are wrapped in biodegradable pyramid tea bags made from NatureFlex cellulose-based renewable wood pulp.

Shipster said she and Ricard have big growth ambitions, and are working a series of collaborations, including one in the beauty arena, which is set to launch at the end of the year. There are also plans to expand beyond the brand’s website, and sell through boutique hotels and cafés.