10 questions..

Reto Raselli, «King of Herbs» from Poschiavo

Reto Raselli has been cultivating his own herbs in Valposchiavo since 1991. The herbs are harvested by Raselli and his family and then gently dried and processed in the family’s Erboristeria Biologica.

Samira Walther, Produktmanagerin Bernina Express, 22. March 2022

Since the beginning of March, all passengers on the Bernina Express have been given a free cold herbal tea as a giveaway. The drink does not contain just any old herbs, but exclusive organic herbs from Valposchiavo. We spoke to the «King of Herbs» about his business and the special Bernina Express herbal tea .

1 How did you come up with the idea of cultivating herbs?

The idea did not come from me, but came from a development concept that the municipality of Poschiavo had drawn up at the time to assess the development of the valley. I took part in the project and then started producing herbs together with other farmers.

2 How has the company developed?

The herb farm has developed significantly. During the summer season, up to 20 people are employed at harvest time. Erboristeria Biologica, the company that dries and processes the herbs, employs a total of nine full-time employees plus on-call staff.

Insight into the Erboristeria Biologica

3 Which herbs do you grow?

We grow about 30 different kinds. The most common are mint, thyme, sage, lemon balm, lady’s mantle, camomile, yarrow and verbena.

4 What’s your favourite herb?

I don’t have a specific herb that I like most. They all have their own special qualities.

5 Do you have a favourite tea?

Yes, I particularly like the mixture of mountain herbs and edelweiss.

Raselli herbal teas

6 Where can you buy your teas?

We sell our COOP branded products in all COOP shops and our own branded products in Migros and many smaller, attractive shops throughout Switzerland.

7 What are the production steps involved?

You have to grow the herbs in the fields, harvest them, dry them, make the desired cut, then package them into different shapes and finally pour boiling water over them, and you have a great organic mountain herbal tea.

8 Do you sell any other products?

Yes, we also sell some spices and edible flowers and lately we have developed an excellent cold herbal tea.

Dried flowers

9 What is your connection to RhB?

RhB goes straight past our house and we almost feel as if it belongs to us and our valley. My favourite route is the one from Poschiavo to Ospizio Bernina.

10 What is so special about the herbal tea served by RhB to passengers on the Bernina Express?

The cold herbal tea that customers get on the Bernina Express is intended as a thank you for choosing this train journey. We want to give passengers the feeling that they are, to some extent, part of the taste of our region.

The online shop and further information about the RASELLI Erboristeria Biologica can be found at  www.bioraselli.ch 

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