Little China Teas are a range of Traditional Chinese Medicine tea tonics. Organic medicine-grade herbs are used and all teas are caffeine free. The company began when Justin was talking to his friend Peter (a TCM practitioner) about coffee alternatives and from there started to create blends, which serve to be really uplifting and hydrating. All the herbs serve for an effect, and are not just there for flavour. I think of them as a fabulous way to integrate TCM into your diet and life.
Justin sells the teas at Marrickville markets on Sundays, and on Saturdays I've begun to help by offering tea samples at About Life health food shop in Bondi and Rozelle, alternating weeks.
This is what the set up looks like at Marrickville markets. There are 7 teas in the range, some of which include Uplift (really rehydrating and energising), Clean Out (a mild detox), Women's Balance (to help with abdominal bloating and hormonal regulation) and Slimming (gets metabolism moving). I must say even though Slimming is my favourite blend (it has ginger & ginseng, giving it a lovely kick), it's a difficult tea to sell..."would you like to try this, it's nothing personal!"
Something else we're working on and have started to sell are these TCM bites. They're a sugar free energy snack made with TCM ingredients, all serving a purpose. The ingredients include medicine-grade goji berries, shredded coconut, apricot kernels and millet (which helps bind them together). There is also a secret ingredient; I'm sneaky like that. I also added some grated cinnamon and ginger for different flavours.
It's super fun developing recipes and trying out new ingredients and flavours and hearing some great feedback from customers, which is what it's really all about.
Studying nutrition and being half Chinese myself, it's an awesome experience to be able to talk to people about the teas and learn more about TCM. And luckily the teas actually taste nice, I very much enjoy drinking them! These are the ingredients in the Uplift blend for example. The green herb is Bo He, which is a type of field mint and really refreshing. There's Zi Su Ye, known as purple perilla which is mood boosting, as well as Dang Shen, a type of ginseng. Gou Qi Zi are medicine-grade goji berries, which are very high in antioxidants and expand in the tea, giving it a beautifully sweet flavour.
In my keepcup, I've actually started to take a pinch of this to uni and sip on the tea during lectures, because it's just so uplifting!
I have seriously been considering studying TCM or herbal/oriental medicine lately, it's just so fascinating and based on 3000 years of experience...can't argue with that ;)
Marrickville Organic Food and Farmers Markets
142 Addison Road
Addison Road Centre
You can visit the Little China Tea website if you like (here)