• Elizabeth Bretko

The Epic Story of Professor Persnickety & The Nas Tea Cough Killah



Gosh. Where do I begin here?

It feels important to begin by telling you that every recipe I've put forth has been designed by me. While I'm often guided by recipe's of old, I always tweak and reinvent them.

Except! Heartsong Chai, the brew that got me brewing, which was entrusted to me by a collective of men that somehow deemed me worthy, which set me on this life path o' mine, by gifting me the recipe for Heartsong Chai. Thanks to those guys, I'm still going strong 17 years later, designing & concocting plants for people.

Also except! This recipe right here.


A gift to all of us from my dear friend, Professor Persnickety.

The Professor and I have been friends for 15 years now. I adore his wife, his children, his life, his home, his art & his way in the world. Our heart's align most easily & have since the very day we met.

About ten years ago he got real sick and was diagnosed with emphysema. As he embraced his healing path, his search for the Cough Killah began. He's been working this recipe for ten years, my friends. TEN YEARS!

His ultimate desire was to craft a remedy for the uncontrollable cough. As the disease within him progressed he'd experience out of control coughing fits that would prevent him from breathing and cause him to pass out. His greatest frustration about this was that the coughs were "not even productive". If he was going to cough that hard, he wanted to see results.

So he began concocting, researching & experimenting on himself, finally coming up with something that worked to both turn the cough productive AND to stop it. The downside was that it tasted vile. He started calling it NasTEA and that's when he first called me. Over several years we brainstormmed about the recipe quite extensively but while I could see how fired up he was about it, I did not grasp the importance. Thankfully, that hardly mattered to the Professor because he knew how important it was and he'd already identified me as the person that would bring his blend to the people.

Last November I had the opportunity to go see him and get schooled in all things NasTEA. We brewed batches. We talked formulas. We talked delivery methods. I drank cup after cup and I got the full download straight from the source.

Then I came back to Uber Herbal to integrate all I'd learned, to blend a batch and design a label, which proved to be a very difficult project for me. Normally when I design recipes for Uber Herbal I'm going for a universally appealing product, something that is generally beneficial for most people. Yet here I have been handed a recipe that is lazer focused on an outcome and used for specific purpose. A recipe that has been specifically designed for people with serious respiratory challenges the likes of which I have not personally experienced. So I took a long time bringing it to market. For the first few weeks I played with the recipe until I found the ideal, easiest way to prepare and consume it.

Then I had to wrestle with the name. For years we've called it NasTEA. The Professor thinks this is very clever marketing because it plays off the other tea company's that do that: SereniTEA, LongeviTEA and whatnot..... but NASTY? NasTEA? My intuition screamed, NOOOO!

I mean,

1. Will people really spend their money on something that brags about being gross?

2. It actually doesn't taste bad. Like at all. It tastes really good, def. not nasty!

So we argued about it a bit because I wanted to change the name but I quickly realized that for the Professor, this blend will never taste good. He'll admit it tastes "much better than it used to", but that's as far as he'll go. Which left me to accept that it has already been named and then wrestle with the language around it. Label draft after draft after draft pretty much sucked, I felt reeeeeeeally blocked and meanwhile the product just sat. Until last week when someone came into the shop with a terrible cough and I made her a cup of this tea. I got to watch as she found a relief that had been alluding her all day. I got to see the surprise in her face as her body finally relaxed. That's when I realized I had to get this blend in a package ASAP. I mean, it's WINTER. Right now! Jeesh.

So I did it. I busted through all the blocks and I put out a label.


So here you go, Professor Persnickety's Nas Tea Cough Killah! It's on the shelves at the shop, I'll have it with me at Growers Market (GP) on Saturday and its even on the website already right here.

My next task is to get some in a box and get it into the hands of the good Professor himself. My fingers are crossed that he'll be.... well.... tickled. In all the best ways!


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