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Inspired living

Discussing the rich properties of tea


Byron Bay Tea Company

Byron Bay Tea Company has combined its love of tea with the best ingredients it can find, while honoring the rich history of tea across cultures. Founder Sarita Merlo shares her story.

 

How did Byron Bay Tea Company begin?

As a naturopath and herbalist, I have always been interested in holistic health. And I am an avid tea drinker. In 2005, keen to turn the ritual of tea drinking into a modern-day practice, I started plucking herbs from my garden in Byron Bay and blending teas for my own health.

At the time, the herbal tea options in the marketplace were limited to single herb teas such as camomile and peppermint. I was motivated to create a range of delicious, healing herbal teas by blending organic herbs with other natural and exotic ingredients such as berries, spices and vanilla bean.

The signature range of teas — Energy, Calming, Digest, Immunity and Detox — was launched in 2005 at the local Byron Bay and Bangalow markets. It was quite a foreign product to many people back then, but the teas soon gained popularity among health-conscious consumers, with Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat and Gaia Retreat & Spa coming on board as wholesale customers, as well as cafés, restaurants, health stores and more.

Traditional and oriental teas were swiftly added to the range so that we could offer a full range of teas. With the healthy beverage market bursting at the seams in Australia, we continue to experiment with form and flavour to create some unique and healing brews encapsulating the magic of Byron Bay.

Our most recent additions are our powdered beverages that can be added to your favourite milk. Spice Dream is our caffeine-free chai latte product that is made just from pure, organic spices without sugar and other additives like many on the market. Fortify is our cacao and medicinal mushroom brew that is rich and decadent, with powerful immune-boosting benefits.

What has inspired you to start your business and create your products?

The power of plants and their healing ability is the motivation behind creating the Byron Bay Tea Company range of teas. I wanted people to be able to enjoy their medicine via the ritual of tea; drinking a brew that tastes great, can be enjoyed with friends or as a daily mindfulness practice. Plants are healers in their own right; aware, intelligent and alive. Instead of simply extracting a chemical component to make a medicine, using the whole plant where all the components work together sets the scene for greater healing. Nothing gives me greater enjoyment than weaving the magic that is at our fingertips in nature.

With a passion for the health of the individual and the planet, I made sure that Byron Bay Tea Company has sustainability at the forefront of what we do. We are proud supporters of Save the Bees Australia, which advocates for bee welfare. Furthermore, all packaging pieces are either recyclable or reusable, with the pyramid teabags being biodegradable. Organic, wildcrafted and pesticide-free ingredients are sourced from growers who employ sustainable farming practices, and these are often small, family-run farms or cooperatives where they are paid a fair price for their tea and/or herbs.

What ingredients do you use and why?

We carefully select organic, wildcrafted and pesticide-free ingredients both locally and abroad. I have a particular fondness for native Australian ingredients, and you will see these used throughout our range including lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, wattleseed and eucalyptus. We still have much to know about the amazing health benefits of these beauties that have been used medicinally by Indigenous Australians for millennia.

Across our range we use over 50 ingredients including tea, herbs, berries, vanilla bean and spices. We carefully select these ingredients based on their health benefits and flavour profiles. Then we hand blend them according to the health themes in our facility which is located in the lush, green rolling hills of the Byron Bay hinterland.

What benefits can your teas offer?

Our signature range of organic herbal teas have been blended for health including Energy, Calming, Digest, Immunity, Detox, Tummy Tone, Glow and more.

The tea leaf provides hundreds of thousands of bioactive elements and it is likely that they work synergistically to impact virtually every cell in the human body. The tea leaf is particularly high in flavonoids (higher than many fruits and vegetables), providing potent antioxidant benefits. It also contains L-theanine, an important amino acid that has an effect of improving mental alertness while at the same time inducing a sense of calm.

Byron Bay Tea Favourites

Calming

An exquisite, soothing evening tea combining camomile, passion flower and lime flower with vanilla bean and cinnamon. The perfect way to relax and unwind at the end of a long, stressful day.

Tummy Tone

A guilt-free treat to entice the liquorice lovers. Combining the refreshing properties of peppermint with the tasty treats of liquorice and aniseed myrtle, this specialty blend will linger long on the palate. Particularly beneficial after meals to settle the tummy or satisfy your sweet tooth.

Glow

Beauty begins on the inside. The zesty blend of lemongrass and ginger is complemented by a purifying punch of peppermint. So for a naturally healthy complexion, sip Byron Bay Tea Company’s Glow.

Digest

A light, refreshing infusion featuring peppermint, lemon balm and fennel, which has been specially blended for enjoyment before, during or after any meal.

Immunity

Feeling a little stampeded by life? Revive, renew and revitalise with this unique blend of eucalyptus, echinacea, lemon myrtle, liquorice and ginger. A healthy, refreshing tea for busy people to enjoy any time of the day or when you need that gentle lift.

Fortify

Needing a little spring in your step? Fortify is a wellness tonic combining the powerful healing benefits of medicinal mushrooms and tulsi with cacao and a delicate blend of spices. These plant extracts increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and can help to balance, restore and protect the body. With a rich, decadent flavour, Fortify is a healthy latte or hot chocolate substitute that is best served with milk.

 

Inspired by the magic of Byron Bay and its Indigenous heritage as a natural healing ground, Byron Bay Team Company blends powerful, healing herbs with other natural and exotic ingredients.

For more information, visit byronbayteacompany.com.au.