Lauku Tea // Welcome to Ozolini farm

Welcome to Ozolini Farm.

In the countryside of Latvia in the far northeast of Europe, the meadows and forests on Ozolini farm are lovingly cared for by the Lukina family. From the natural abundance of their land, the Lukina family has made herbal tea for two generations. Every petal, leaf, berry and herb is planted, harvested and packaged by hand. 

Every family has a story, a legacy that defines who they are and what they believe. The Lukina family’s story is intertwined with nature and the land. The word “lauku” means “countryside.” Brigita Lukina, the founder of Lauku Tea, grew up spending her summers in the country with her grandmother, picking herbs and exploring the countryside. Lauku Tea exists because of Brigita’s love of nature, and her desire to share her love with others.

Lauku Tea // Ozolini, a 100% organic sustainable farm in the countryside of Latvia
Lauku Tea // Farmed and managed by women
 

 

The History of Lauku Tea

In 1977, Brigita and her husband, Dima, discovered the abandoned Ozolini farm. Although the farm was a bit run down, for Brigita it was love at first sight. She and Dima spend weekends and summer on the farm, biking there from their home in Riga — a 100 km/62 mile ride. When they bought their first car in 1989, they began to furnish the house with old furniture. Brigita remembers it being very romantic without electricity or even a proper road.

In an old cookbook in Ozolini’s kitchen, Brigita found a recipe for tea made from fermented apple leaves. As Ozolini was rich with apple trees (and still is!), Brigita thought “why not try it?” As the recipe instructed, she filled a clay pot with apple leaves and left them warming in the bread oven overnight. The delicious fragrance that filled her kitchen the next morning told Brigita she had found something special. 

The History of Lauku Tea // It all started with a recipe in an old cookbook for fermented apple leaf tea
The History of Lauku Tea // Organic hand-picked apple leaves were the first ingredient in Lauku Tea

Fermented apple leaf tea became an everyday drink for Brigita, and as she discovered new floras growing on Ozolini, she would gradually add them to her tea — black currant leaves, dried slices of apple, mountain ash berries, meadow clover flowers, and lemon balm. This blend became her signature drink — Brigita's Daylight Blend. (The same blend now available in our Shop!)

Brigita searched for more heirloom tea recipes in books and asked friends to share their family favorites. She recreated the recipes with floras growing naturally on Ozolini and shared her blends with others. Soon demand for her tea was high. In 1992, with the help of the Peace Corps Business Training Initiative, Brigita started Lauku Tea.

As one of the first enthusiasts of organic and sustainable food production in Latvia, Brigita was an original, and Lauku Tea was the first of its kind. Most Latvians at the time enjoyed caffeinated black teas, but Brigita won over shop owners with her herbal blends. The idea of herbal tea for everyday enjoyment gained a loyal following among organic farmers and eco-conscious consumers in Latvia, and now has a dedicated fan base both in Latvia and globally. 

Brigita has since become the leader in organic herbal teas in Latvia, and is often asked to speak and teach throughout the country. Lauku Tea was given European Union Organic certification in 1999, and was chosen to be the tea served to the Queen of England at a state dinner when she visited Latvia in 2006. 

Evita, Brigita’s daughter-in-law, has since taken over the day-to-day operations on Ozolini farm. As the future generation, Evita holds dear the traditional methods of farming while creating new opportunities for Ozolini, like hosting international workshares and self-care retreats for women on the farm. Read more about Evita and how her family shows each other love through tea.

 

 

How Lauku Tea Came to the U.S.

 
Lauku Tea // How Lauku Tea was brought to the US
 

While on a 2014 trip to Europe, a small herbal tea shop drew Judith in day after day. The tea they served was truly something different — bursting with local flowers and berries blended into a vibrant and refreshing drink. This was not at all bitter and muddled like the teas she tried back in the U.S. It reminded Judith of her European parents and the way they spoke of teas from their homeland.

In the U.S., Judith couldn’t find a tea that compared to her European experience. The ones she could find only promised a “European herbal taste,” but they lacked the direct-from-farm quality and freshness. Eventually Judith’s search led her to Ozolini farm, where to her surprise she was invited to visit and work for the summer with Brigita and Evita.

Judith learned all about herbal tea on Ozolini, and she witnessed first-hand the love and gratitude the Lukina family infused into their tea blends. And the taste? Vibrant and refreshing, just as she remembered from her favorite European tea shop. A friendship blossomed, and soon a partnership formed. By bringing Lauku Tea to the U.S., Judith hopes to share the joy, love and gratitude she felt on Ozolini in a soul-satisfying cup of tea. 

 

 

Who We Are

Lauku Tea // Who We Are - Brigita Lukina, the founder of Lauku Tea

Brigita Lukina
Founder

Lauku Tea // Who We Are - Evita Lukina, the current steward and future of Lauku Tea

Evita Lukina
Latvia Partner

Lauku Tea // Who We Are - Judith Galles, the US partner who brought Lauku Tea to the US

Judith Galles
U.S. Partner

 

 

Our Philosophy:
Be yourself. Do good for others.

Lauku Tea // Our philosophy is to take moments for yourself
Lauku Tea // Our philosophy is to be yourself and do good for others
 

We believe to truly do good for others, you must first honor who you are by taking moments just for you.

We believe nature in its most simple form restores and rejuvenates the soul which is why we keep Lauku Tea as pure as its source. 

With the vibrancy of nature in your cup and with moments of self love throughout your day, we believe Lauku Tea will give you the spirit to go forth and do good things.