Who is the adorable little friend in Being Tea’s logo? This is Luff, our beloved pet, with the important responsibility of keeping humans connected. Here is his backstory…

Luff is a plush buffalo / bison, and his cartoon form is the character you see on my website. He has been a part of our life (with my partner, Jonathan, who is the one who draws Luff) for nearly 20 years. And he’s actually not just one, he is part of a herd that we keep.

Called “luffabo”, luffs are imagined to be domesticated, house-friendly buffalo. Yes, all of them have names – when you meet them in person, you can ask which one is with me today.

Luffs travel everywhere with me, even internationally, and surprisingly, nearly everywhere I go, I meet other people who also keep plush pets close by. I even once met someone on a tea farm who had a stuffed friend in their backpack, too. This is the inspiration for sharing Luff’s story here in Being Tea.

You see, Luff represents a part of our inner world that never goes away. It is the origin of who we are. That which knows and gives unconditional love, which imagines and dreams, which understands the disarming power of goodness that “cute” brings to life. You can call it your inner child, but it’s more than just a period in your early life. For many folks, expressing this inner seed is very challenging, particularly as we endure stress and trauma. Plush pets – particularly those who have been with you a long time – manifest it externally, though, and encourage a softening to the world and to yourself.

Science has shown that the act of hugging itself – whether people, animals or even plush friends – releases stress reducing endorphins, specifically the neurotransmitter oxytocin (the bonding “cuddly” chemical).

After all these years of luffs being known only to people close to me in my life, I thought it was about time they become known to others who are looking into starting this path in tea, too. As means to nurture a softer, curiosity friendly, and real “you” approach to learning and growth. Because tea can do powerful things, if we let our guard down long enough to let it in.