On the Road in Peru: Tea Blending with Les Matines
When the time finally came for Anisa Matin to launch her own tea label, she chose the name “Les Matines” because despite growing up in Lima, Peru, she grew up in Persian family who were always drinking tea. The concept of ‘Les Matines’– which means “the mornings” in french– was meant to draw on Matin’s preference for drinking tea in the morning.
Ever since she was a child, Matin knew that tea was made with love: her mother and grandmother used to put flowers in cups and brew them into a lovely steep, and as an adult she found herself missing the way tea was served in her home environment– that is, fresh from the garden. In the bars and cafés in Perú, tea had become much more anodyne and impersonal. Matin wanted to educate people on how to enjoy tea in a ritualistic way.
So, she bought several spices and started experimenting with composition. Matin loves to travel and saw it as an opportunity to learn about different spices and herbs and how they are incorporated into teas around the world.
In her showroom in Peru, Matin also combines different tea equipment from all around the world in order to provide a unique perspective on how tea is made from plants.
The glass cups are from China, the big golden cans are Arabic, the mixing container is from Turkey, the metallic jugs are European, and the paper filters she uses to brew are made in America.
Les Matines tea must meet four conditions: it must be tasty, it must look good, it must be healthy, it must be produced under fair conditions. When she isn’t sourcing her ingredients from local gardens, Matin works with several single suppliers in Japan, India, China, Palestine, and Israel. Unconcerned with mass-manufacturing, she curates relationships with small purveyors and knows many of them personally. (This is part of her plan to ensure that all of her ingredients are ecologically grown.) Ultimately, this is the personal touch that gives her tea the edge: Matin sources ingredients that are hard to find elsewhere in the landscape of tea: wild saffron, peach blossoms (a rarely-used portion of the plant that purifies the skin and assists in natural detox), and of course, her love of plants. We love her “Love”-inspired tea blend (a mix of earthy chais and sweet spice) and the fact that she packages in glass. With this much attention to detail, its no wonder the brand maintains its direct-from-nature vibe, bringing Peru’s enchanting aromas out of the garden and into the cup.