About

Intelligent Tea

When wild food and organic chef Freda Wolfe went to study natural medicine, she learned that a lot of the plants she used in her dishes were actually full of healing properties too. While on the four year master herbalist training she started foraging, drying herbs and making concoctions for friends to treat common ailments like hangovers, headaches, colds, flus and tummy trouble.

With her natural flair for balancing flavours she was a dab hand at this and her blends became sought after. Starting out with a tea stall at Temple Bar Food Market in Dublin, she responded to customers and developed a range of teas and tisanes.

It was here that the name ‘Intelligent Tea’ came to fruition as discussions often centred around the ‘intelligence’ of plants and the ancient wisdom of traditional healers like Biddy Early.

To begin with Freda went out picking all the plants herself, but as the business expanded she convinced Irish vegetable growers to branch out into wild plants. Imagine growing and harvesting a field of nettles? “Yes it is certainly more challenging than cabbage and lettuce” says Freda who appears to be immune to stings herself.

Freda continues to forage for ingredients. There are two Irish growers specifically for Intelligent Tea and surplus herbs are sourced from other growers in the British Isles when required. All ingredients are chemical and pesticide free, with the mainstay certified organic. Intelligent Teas are hand blended by Freda.

Our Foragers

Freda Wolfe - Head Forager

Freda is the brains and brawn behind the Intelligent Tea operation. From blending teas, to foraging, harvesting, selling and distributing this one woman power house is living proof that “you are what you eat”. 

 “Foraging is such fun. It took me years to learn how to identify the plants and now that I do, I’m addicted”, says Freda who enlists the help of her army of friends and relatives to hunt the hedgerows and fields. Keeping far from roadside pollution and chemically sprayed agricultural land is key when sourcing the wild plants to ensure the only cleanest, best plants are used for Intelligent Tea.

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Our Growers

Nick Hill, Dranagh, Carlow

On his small holding in rural County Carlow, Nick was growing vegetables and salads for supply to local chefs and a market. And then along came Freda and persuaded him to welcome weeds, herbs and wildflowers into his patch. While many gardeners live in fear of some of these perceived pests, Nick connected with the power of the plants and now grows Nettle, Marigold, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Meadowsweet, Marshmallow, Mullein, Peppermint, Fennel and Yarrow.

A clever move as it turned out, because he is supplying large quantities for Intelligent Tea and he is certified organic.

Our Growers

Frank Jesper, Killruddery Estate, Wicklow

For the past 14 years Frank Jesper has been kitchen gardener at the historic Killruddery Estate Gardens, supplying the tea rooms with seasonal vegetables, salads, herbs and fruits. The 4.5 acre high walled garden is not only beautiful and bountiful, but used as a recreational space for visitors to the estate as well. The aromas of the chemical free gardens are now enhanced with the Peppermint and Lemon Balm that Frank is growing for Intelligent Tea. And in turn the beautiful Killruddery environment is lending a stately flavour to some of the blends.