In the burst-office we can not imagine life without our daily steaming cups of tea. It is like fuel for our creativity!
This is only one of the reasons we love tea! Other reasons we drink tea include:
- Tea doesn't have any calories.
- Tea speeds up your metabolism.
- Herbal tea doesn't contain caffeine (and yes, that is a good thing!)
- Tea helps you sleep at night.
- Tea is high in antioxidants.
But not only is tea good for your health, it also assists in creating friendships and building relationships.
About a year ago we had the privilege to meet Lara Alexander (the mastermind behind Mightea Fine) while sourcing products of our shop, Burst&Co. We soon realised Lara is a force to be reckoned with - she is creative, strong willed and building a unique business she is really passionate about. Doing her PhD on honeybush tea, she is very knowledgeable on the subject! So who better to get your next cuppa from?!
We asked her a few questions to get to know her and her amazing products a bit better:
From where the idea of sourcing and selling your own brand of honeybush tea?
I've been involved with honeybush research since late 2013. I have always loved tea and to be honest I didn't really know what I wanted to do anyway, so I accepted a temporary research position working on South African herbal teas. Soon they offered me a MSc bursary and one thing kind of led to another. I'm now doing my PhD on honeybush tea. Starting my own brand was sort of a natural extension for me. I'm a creative person and I had a fair amount of tea expertise at my disposal. The business world is a bit new to me, but it's great to be able to share my passion for tea with people.
From where and how do you source your tea to ensure a top quality product?
My background as a food scientist has really been useful in the last couple of months! Being so involved in the honeybush industry for the last 4 years has also given me a good understanding of the product and the industry. I have been involved in the development of several quality control tools for the honeybush industry, which has given me great insight as to what constitutes great quality honeybush. My teas are sourced from agriculturally responsible farmers who grow honeybush native to their specific areas. I screen the products personally to ensure that the tea is of the finest quality available.
What makes honeybush tea so unique?
Honeybush tea is a proudly South African product. The industry is still quite small, but provides opportunities for community and small-scale farming in the Western and Eastern Cape. Like rooibos, it is an indigenous fynbos plant that has been used to make herbal tea for centuries. Honeybush is naturally sweet tasting and has a unique fynbos, fruity, and sweet-associated aroma.
Tell us more about the health benefits of drinking honey bush tea?
It's great that people are becoming so aware of their food choices. Herbal teas are commonly associated with health benefits, although people should not be tempted to consider them as medications. Honeybush is free from caffeine and high in phenolic compounds which provide antioxidant and various health promoting bioactivities. One of the best things about honeybush is that it already tastes sweet. This is great for people who need to avoid adding excess sugar to their diets. Honeybush extracts have also been shown to have anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects, although a cup of tea will not replace your medications or healthy lifestyle choices.
You have 3 products or different types of honeybush tea on offer - what is the main differences between your products?
One of the main differences between rooibos and honeybush is that rooibos tea is produced from only one species of rooibos plants. The honeybush industry isn't as widely commercialised, and thus makes use of a combination of honeybush species to produce honeybush tea. However, individual honeybush species differ to a great extent in terms of natural growth regions, leaf shapes, flavour and aroma, and even bioactivity! Think of it in terms of white wine. White wine isn't just generic wine! It can be of a variety of cultivars - sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, viognier, chenin blanc, etc. Each has its own character and just because you like one doesn't always mean you'll like another as much.
Mightea Fine is the first to offer you a selection of three separate honeybush species. Fleurtea hails from the Western Cape Overberg region and has characteristic fynbos and geranium floral aroma notes. Our Frutea is prominent in typical apricot jam and fruity-sweet aromas and is sourced from the Southern Cape coastal region. Finally, Artea comes from the Eastern Cape Langkloof and has a rich earthy fynbos aroma. Our teas are all 100% natural and contain no flavourants or additives.
We love your packaging! Can you tell us more about the designs and the inspiration behind them?
Here I can take no credit. The packaging designs are the sole genius of my creative mastermind bestie, Este! Her expertise with all things design (and technologically related) has saved me from certain demise. To be honest, none of this would have happened if it wasn't for her!
Where can burst readers get hold of your products?
We are hoping to set up our own online shop, but at the moment Mightea Fine products are available for sale online at www.realtea.co.za<http://www.realtea.co.za>. You can also keep an eye out on our website, facebook or instagram for any updates on where you can buy our products in store.
And, we can't help but ask: What is your favourite way to enjoy honeybush tea?
Honeybush makes the most amazing iced tea, but with the freezing cold temperatures these days I have become slightly obsessed with my honeybush mulled cider recipe (http://www.mighteafine.com/post/163130145150/a-cool-drink-for-a-cold-night). Keep an eye on our website and you might catch some new recipe ideas coming soon!