Let them Drink Cake: Celebrating 25 years with Tea Tonic
This year, Tea Tonic and Australian Native Products are sharing their silver anniversaries. Join us as we chat with Lisa Hilbert, the incredible woman behind Tea Tonic, and Australia's only female manufacturer of Australian-made teabags. Get ready to fall in love with tea all over again and discover its amazing health benefits. We hope you enjoy this blog post and that you will find a renewed love for organic tea and its many health benefits after reading it. We certainly have!
The story and inspiration behind Tea Tonic
Growing up as a young girl, Lisa was constantly unwell with asthma and eczema, and it was thanks to naturopathy that she found great results. However, the results were more focused on treating her asthma, and unfortunately the treatment of her eczema was pushed to the side.
After the great success herbal medicine had in treating her asthma as a child, she took it upon herself to learn everything there was to know about the incredible power of herbs. It was through blending her own herbs to make a powerful complexion tea that led to Lisa's skin transformation. From that moment, she was hooked and continued to investigate the world of herbal medicine, with an emphasis on tea as medicine.
By combining the herb blend of calendula, nettle, dandelion leaf, burdock, and red clover, she was not only able to heal her own skin but a range of other skin-related conditions, including lymphedema; thus, Complexion Tea was born, making it the first official tea in the range.
This was 25 years ago, when herbal teas were not widely available in the market, and Lisa, a university student at the time, was frequently asked by friends to create blends because the blends that were available to purchase in supermarkets were bland and boring.
After graduating as a naturopath and Western Herbal medicine practitioner, Lisa started her own clinic and set up a stall at the markets. As people began to understand the benefits of these tea formulations and the profound impact they had on people's health and wellbeing, Lisa gradually introduced more and more teas to the market. In fact, she has continued to add two per year for the past 25 years!
How Lisa’s personal journey and background as a naturopath influenced the formation and philosophy of Tea TonicFrom day one, the number one priority has been health benefits from drinking tea, combined with ensuring a full flavored taste. For ten years, Lisa ran her clinic alongside the tea business until she realized that this was not practicing what she preached; she was burning the candle at both ends and something had to give. This would be her naturopathic clinic; however, Lisa realized that by creating these teas, she would be able to treat far more people than she ever could with a face-to-face clinic.
As in naturopathic principles, it’s all about the synergy and the synergistic effects. For Lisa, it’s never about one element, it’s about how one element can amplify another.
Why choose Australian Native Products as a supplier for your tea ingredients?Tea Tonic's mission is to keep things as holistic and local as possible; holistic in the sense that every element that goes into the tea, including the unbleached tea paper, is considered. Buying local stems from making a conscious choice from a world and environmental perspective. It was an easy decision to buy from Australian Native Products, based in Mareeba QLD, being certified organic and Australian grown.
What is so special about Australian Botanicals?
Since ancient times, the indigenous people of our land have known the healing properties of native flora and, as such, have been using it to treat a variety of ailments, including drinking tea. There is something incredibly special about the plant species native to Australia and the rich, fertile soils produce an incredible medley and array of aromas and flavors. There is simply nothing like them.
Lemon Myrtle is a significant ingredient in the range. What makes this Australian native so special and how does it contribute to the taste and health benefits of your products?The Australiana tea blend is all about native Australian ingredients, so it's a no-brainer that Lemon Myrtle was included in the mix. With its pleasant taste and aroma, not to mention its enormous health benefits, it was a must-have. It also blends perfectly with Eucalyptus and Sage, complementing these flavors and working in symphony together.
On top of that, Lemon Myrtle is also antimicrobial and antibacterial, acting as nature's disinfectant for the upper respiratory tract. In fact, it has been nicknamed "the traveler's tea" because it is such a great product to take away with you, particularly on the plane; it is like having a doctor in your bag.
The other tea in which Lemon Myrtle is a star player is the Throat Soother Tea. The formula has been designed to deliberately kill germs and disinfect the mouth and throat area. It is combined with marshmallow, which is a demulcent, to coat and seal mucous membrains, as well as seabuckthorn, which is loaded with vitamin C and very soothing. Overall, Lemon Myrtle has been strategically used for both taste and as an antimicrobial element, something perfect for gargling with. Other than this, Lisa just loves the taste of lemon myrtle; in fact, it is a staple in her pantry.
Lisa is a vegan and tells us that one of her go-to dishes is to get a tin of chickpeas, pour into a dish and sprinkle some lemon myrtle leaves on the top; voilà, it's the perfect meal. Food as medicine doesn't get any better than this.
The process involved in creating a new tea blend - How the mix of ingredients and flavors is decided upon
Creating a tea blend is an involved and complicated process that involves listening to customer feedback as well as the public about what they are asking for. It is also about determining the desired outcome, such as whether it will be a “calming” or “energy” tea, and so forth.
Then, of course, there is the herbal remedy side of things where traditional formulations come into play. After this comes deciding if the taste of this particular healing combination will be appealing and, if not, how it can be adjusted without losing the desired effect. So, there are as many facets to the process of making a tea blend as there are different ingredients. At the heart of every Tea Tonic creation is Lisa's background as a herbal medicine practitioner.
How important is Australian Certified Organic for Tea Tonic and its customers?Quality is at the heart of everything Tea Tonic does, and whatever they buy, they only buy the best from the best. Lisa prioritises the highest quality ingredients with the fullest flavors; the higher quality, the better. One thing that sets Tea Tonic apart is that they only use certified organic ingredients in each blend.
What has been some customer feedback about Tea Tonic products?
Something very charming about Lisa is how she derives such great pleasure from hearing about the positive effects her tea has on her customers. Customers are forever saying that their habits have changed or improved dramatically. Even people who say they are not tea drinkers drink Tea Tonic, something that is of great significance to Lisa.
Lisa believes that “once you discover it, I don’t know how people live without it”.
Lisa's decision to create the sample collection was based on customer feedback praising the diverse range of tea flavors and the enjoyment of trying them out. The sample box has become a popular item, offering 33 tea bags with a variety of flavors, and is priced at an RRP of $21.50.
It's all about finding your favorite; however, saying that, it's hard to decide on just one, so some customers continue to buy the sample box instead of just one flavor. As with everything in life, people love variety.
What motivates Lisa everyday to continue brewing these wonderful teas?As mentioned above, customer feedback makes her smile. A happy customer and a positive comment gives her the zest (no pun intended) to continue creating teas and inspires her to go on no matter what sort of day it's been.
What are the future plans for "Tea Tonic"?Happiness all over the planet. More distributors throughout Australia and a well-distributed international network. Currently, there is a focus on exporting, with many enquiries coming from overseas customers.
For those who haven't tried "Tea Tonic" yet, how can the experience of a Tea Tonic cup of tea be described?
Tonic Tea is never boring. It's always full-flavored and it's very different from anything else available on the market. It's all about creating the desired effect, and, moreover, a big burst of flavor. Let's just say there is nothing insipid about this tea and there is nothing half-hearted in the formulations.
How much Tea Tonic Tea do you need to drink to get the full therapeutic effect?For a therapeutic dose, Lisa recommends 2-3 cups of whatever tea range that has the desired benefit. Loose-leaf tea is the best value; however, teabags are also very convenient. Both are great options, and you can also find a great range of tea accessories for those who want to infuse the tea themselves in a pot.
Last but not least, it’s also Tea Tonic’s 25th anniversary, so they are the same age as us! Let’s talk about what they are doing to celebrate this milestone.
For Tea Tonic's 25th birthday celebration, Lisa created the super delicious "Celebration" tea. Designed to taste just like a cake, only without anything bad for you, it is super high in antioxidants and full of green tea and butterfly pea flowers. It's simply a super happy tea, and Lisa and her teenage daughters have been celebrating with it ever since she made it. In fact, it's so delicious that they fight over who gets the last cup in the pot!
What's so great about this tea is not only that it tastes like cake, but also that it won't spike your glucose thanks to the addition of monk fruit, which gives sweetness without the downside of indulging in something sweet. It's definitely a tea to buy if you want to feel indulgent without actually indulging.
Lisa would like to extend her birthday celebrations to our blog readers, with the offer of a special discount - The discount code is LEMONMYRTLE15 valid until 31/08/2023 – this for this specific collection: https://teatonic.com.au/collections/gift
So here’s to Tea Tonic and here’s to us - Happy 25th.
Stay in the know by clicking here.