Started with a simple love of tea and brewed with the idea of providing people with accessible, affordable and healing herbs, Love Tea is founder Emma’s gift of wellness to the world. We feel so lucky to have chatted with her in the lead-up to our Melbourne Autumn / Winter Finders Keepers Market – at a time where so many Melbournites are heavily tea drinking to stay warm! Put the kettle on and get comfy!
Turning a tea obsession into a full-time project is an amazing thing! Tell us a little about the Love Tea journey and why your tea is so special.
When Love Tea first started, I was 22 and in my second year of University studying Natural medicine. I fell in love with the idea of providing people with access to herbs, and helping them improve their health in an accessible and affordable way. I was disappointed with the teas on offer at that time, and so I started blending my own. When I wasn’t studying, I was working on developing recipes and making batches of chai tea. The trial and error was ongoing until I found the right balance, and this blend is still a top selling line today: Original Chai.
I met my partner Damien Amos at the same time that I was tinkering with tea, and I shared my vision with him. He was super supportive and with his upbringing on a biodynamic farm and his extensive understanding of the natural environment, his passion for organics and Fair trade and his experience as a barrister in cafes, he seemed like a super employable guy (haha!)
As I started taking the product to stores and receiving positive feedback, the juggle of starting a business and studying full time at university, became quite challenging. At this point Damien decided to step up with the business and basically took the reins for me. I focused on product development and getting sales, and he dealt with all the fun stuff (haha!) From the accounts, book keeping, importing, and logistics, to packaging, sourcing, certifications, you name it, he was doing it all. I completed my studies and became a Naturopath and we continued to grow the business.
We had our first daughter, Arrabella the year that I finished Naturopathy and we began juggling parenting and running a business. Fast forward 9 years, and we have 3 beautiful children and we work with a wonderful team of 8, from a warehouse and office space in South Geelong, and the business is continually evolving.
We supply a number of stores across Australia, and we have now expanded to Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the UK. It was a long-term dream for us to have Love Tea available on a more global scale, to enable people to have access to certified organic wellness teas, and to have a positive impact on their health.
Each Love Tea name sounds so beneficial! From Skin Glow to Digestive and quite simply Sleep – we are already hooked! How do you start the process in creating new tea blends?
The vision for each of our Wellness blends came from my days working as a Naturopath in clinic, where I would see clients time and time again, present with the same conditions and weaknesses within the same systems. Poor digestion, high stress, poor sleep, and skin issues were common complaints and I found it frustrating that I could only help people one on one, via a consultation. I started thinking how great it would be to help more people treat these conditions and to provide them with access to the amazing herbs that could offer support for these conditions ongoing. We developed our wellness range with a great deal of care, focussing on natural herbal formulas to support these common conditions. We used names that were straight to the point, to avoid confusion and to simplify our products for the consumer, in an often-confusing world of packaging.
Can you share some Winter rituals with us and how they might differ from other seasons? What’s your favourite tea for winter revival?
I think that it is really important to pay attention to the seasons and allow ourselves the time to make the necessary changes to our diet and lifestyle to ensure we remain in harmony with nature, working with it and remaining connected to it.
There is a great stillness at this time of year which allows us the time and space to turn inwards and listen to our true essence, to embrace a slower pace and nurture ourselves.
We tend to focus on wholesome, nurturing warming foods, rugging up and getting outdoors to embrace the elements, and enjoy slow living and a more restful time. Our Immunity tea and our Turmeric tea are my top picks to help you through the cooler winter months. These warming and grounding blends have been designed to help support immune function, digestion, circulation, and vitality.
Design is obviously also very important to you, with your teas living in such beautiful packaging. Tell us about your thoughtful design decisions and what you wanted to communicate from the outside – before people help their insides!
We put a great deal of time and energy into our packaging. We partnered with a very talented design company in Melbourne, who carried Love Tea through an extensive re-brand a few years ago. This process striped the brand right back and focused on the core values and true essence of our why. We wanted to honour the botanical ingredients which are the real hero of the product, and strip back any noise and distractions from the packaging, allowing a feeling of space and calm. By using photography to capture the botanicals and by placing them front and centre of the pack, the copy takes a back seat and reflects our authentic focus on natural ingredients.
What can we expect from Love Tea at the Melbourne Finders Keepers?
We will have our extensive range of loose leaf tea and biodegradable pyramid tea bags available for purchase, including our super popular new Vegan chai and a range of ceramics and tea accessories to support your tea making experience.
We also have a range of gift packs which are a great gifting idea, with 5 different packs to choose from.
We recently launched a new range of Sample Selections which offer a variety pack containing biodegradable pyramid tea bags available in individual sachets. These make a beautiful gift or a trial pack for yourself. We look forward to seeing you all there!