: Time for Tea!

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1. How did Organic Merchant Tea begin?

From 2003 to 2013 I worked in an integrative medical practice alongside some amazing doctors, nurses and other allied health practitioners where 70% of the patients I saw where being treated for cancer. I originally created my first range of teas in support of their treatments and to provide some relief to their symptoms. The Essiac Tea, Warming Digestive, Cooling Digestive, Vitamin C Tea and Restful Tea are where the story of Organic Merchant begins. Over the course of many years the range has expanded to over 30 different blends with both the original focus on health and some just for flavour!

2. What is it that sets your business apart?

The main things that set us apart from almost all teas people have seen before is that we exclusively deal in loose leaf teas, and our healthful focus derived from our naturopathic training. In fact, the reason we only do loose leaf teas is that this retains maximum freshness and therapeutic action, which is diminished when teas are powdered or milled as is usual in the mass market.

3. What is your favourite tea and why?

At present I am drinking a lot of the Mother Nature and Mother Nurture Teas as we have just welcomed our daughter Isolde into the world this week!  I’m also drinking the restful tea to help calm and sooth my nervous system and assist with new mommy sleep deprivation. I’m also totally loving the Spicy Chia or the Rooibos both amazing with milk and honey during the day. That and the Lemongrass and Ginger Tea, such a simple tea, but I find it so restorative.

To be honest I love all the teas, and “favourite” depends on the moment I’m in. My person tastes are quite wide and variable, but I have a tendency toward the strong flavours in the tart sour blends, bitter sweet flavours and also the spicy blends.

4. What is your best selling tea?

It tends to vary with the season, with spicy teas like the Spicy Chai popular in winter months, and the refreshing blends like the Moroccan Mint Green Tea and the Lemon, Lime & Bitters Iced Tea doing better in summer. That said, the floral teas like French Earl Grey, the relaxation focused teas like the Restful Tea and invigorating teas like the Energy Tea and the Lemongrass & Ginger Tea prove popular all year through.

5. Other than tea making, what are some of your hobbies?

As a mother of 2 beautiful little souls, my hobbies have naturally changed from a personal focus. Previously I used to spend hours practising yoga, meditation and chanting, as well as reading, researching and keeping abreast with the latest in alternative medicine.

With the birth of my son Gabriel, I stepped out of clinical practice to concentrate on O|M, and as any new parent knows I have had a lot less time to devote to myself! So over the past 2 years my hobbies have revolved around food for my growing boy; food, food and more food, wholesome, organic, nutrient dense and full of goodness, and I now spend most of my time in the kitchen or hearth as it is traditionally called – the hearth really is the heart of a home and over these past years from my homes heart has come the inspiration for many a new tea flavour, some already available and some amazing new blends awaiting to be released.

That said, I still delight in taking opportunities for yoga, meditation or reading whenever they present themselves!

6. How do you make the perfect cup of tea?

The ‘perfect’ cup of tea is a moment in stillness. The thoughtful selection, preparation of the teapot, the inhalation of the top notes as you pour over the boiling water,  the visual glory as tea infuses its natural colourful hue and life force into the water, the lesson in patience it takes to wait 5 minutes till properly brewed and the joy that first sip a washes over you.

This being said my ‘perfect’ cup of tea has normally been sitting on the bench brewing for over an hour and has gone cold. We live in a modern world where perfect is living in the moment that life gives you and my lesson is learning the surrender to it. Lucky I designed all my teas to taste awesome both hot, cold and all the stages in between!

8. And finally, where do you hope to see the Organic Merchant in five years?

It is my vision to create a centre, a herbal hearth, store front and treatment space where all my passions can come to fruition in the one place, inspiring health and wellness in all that enter. Hopefully it will be sooner than 5 years though!