You know we love our tea at GMB, and we’ll admit we’re kind of tea snobs. From chocolate tea to a brand with an organic tea bar, there’s something special for every kind of tea drinker here, all approved by our Nutritionist Melissa Fine.
1. Governor’s Estate
Tea is the flagship product of this artisanal food company, who is all about providing quality teas at more affordable prices – so we all can get a taste of the good stuff. Our pick is their Soursop Green Tea; not your average green tea, the addition of the tropical fruit soursop provides a mix of strawberry and pineapple flavours, sour citrus notes and a creamy mouth-feel thanks to the fruit’s underlying coconut-banana flavour…can you say yum! Even non-green tea drinkers may be converted.
2. kkao Co.
I discovered this loose-leaf chocolate tea at the GMB Wholefood Markets last year, and let’s just say I’m onto my fifth bag of the stuff. While some dessert-themed teas sound good in theory, but taste a bit meh or fake, kkao Co. is an exception; made entirely with cacao husk (the shell of the roasted cacao bean), I swear this tastes like chocolate!
My favourite variety is the Mexico – with smooth, rich caramel and cacao notes, I like mine brewed strong with a dash of full cream milk…like a healthy Milo! Did I mention wholefood cook Kara from team GMB is the brains behind kkao Co.? This girl knows her chocolate.
3. Bodhi Organics
We love that Bodhi is a family-run company, renowned Naturopath and Herbalist Lisa Guy’s family for that matter! Lisa has combined her passion for herbal medicine with her love for herbal tea, with Bodhi’s teas being sourced locally and internationally from organic tea farms.
Props to Bodhi for using reusable glass jar packaging for each carefully crafted loose-leaf tea variety – really pretty packaging too if you’re after a gift for a tea-drinker. The Masala Chai is our pick if you’re after a black tea blend; Lisa suggests adding a fresh Medjool date to the pot while brewing this for some natural sweetness – love this idea! Bodhi also has a caffeine free tea for whatever you need - from the fresh mint and soft orange VitaliTEA for a little lift, to the TranquiliTEA for sleep, with herbs like valerian and passionflower.
On the pricier side but one jar gives you 45 cups; good value considering the cost of a cup of coffee these days.
4. Little Wildling Co.
Along with the usual tea suspects, we love the tea powders in this range: The Minty Matcha and I am Golden (Turmeric Latte) powders make great coffee substitutes if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine. You don’t even need a milk frother to make one of these babies, so you can enjoy at home or in the office. The Minty Matcha is great for those brain fog days, and the I am Golden (just turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, ginger) is like a warm hug for an upset stomach.
5. Life of Cha
This Aussie company is all about real tea: premium, natural, loose-leaf and made not to be on-trend but to support a healthy lifestyle. I have to mention what I call their ‘Harry Potter’ Crystal Tea; this naturally bright blue tea turns purple when you add a squeeze of lemon! The blue hue comes from butterfly pea, a South East Asian herb with a violet flowering, and a long history of being used as a natural food colouring.
Tastes as magical as it looks, thanks to citrus-y lemongrass (also nice and soothing for a sore stomach), and the sweet leaves of the Asian pandan plant. Great iced, too.
6. The Chai Room
Fatema, The Chai Room’s owner and founder, knows her chai: “I grew up in a home where the smell of hot chai always mingled with the noise of chatting friends and family, or soothed away my cares when delivered with a hug from my mother.” After moving to Sydney from the UK in 2008, Fatema started brewing her own chai for a piece of home.
Now we can have this organic, hand-blended chai experience in our own homes, thanks to The Chai Room’s Original Masala Blend, or one of their twists on the original, like the Turmeric & Honey Masala Blend. If you haven’t tried sticky chai yet (where the leaves are soaked in honey), do yourself a favour and get your hands on one of these babies! The flavour is like no other.
7. Endeavour Tea
The joined forces behind this Canberra-based brand are Certified Tea Blender Matthew Petrucci, who also has a culinary background, and art director Jasmin Wong. From preparation to packaging, these almost too-pretty-to-drink loose-leaf blends are created by hand – and this is after a complex tasting and cupping process!
Endeavour takes great care in preserving the flavour of the base tea for each blend, combining them with ingredients like herbs, spices, botanicals, natural flavours and organic stevia leaf - so that they don’t need to add artificial flavours or sweeteners, and we won’t want to add sugar! The brand knows tea-drinkers are very particular, and so they embrace traditional teas (Early Grey for me please!), along with new fun blends – think Cherry Sour and Tropical Slice.
8. The Rabbit Hole
This organic tea brand also has two tea bars in Sydney; you’ll find The Rabbit Hole in Redfern and at Barangaroo…now that’s my kind of bar! The fun starts with their original teas; think Turkish Delight with pink rose petals and cacao nibs, and caffeine free Tiramisu – with energising yerba mate and coffee beans. Moving on to the hot tea lattes, which you can make ‘dirty’ with a shot of coffee for the best of both worlds.
I’m also dying to try the tea-infused menu; think toast topped with Matcha Honey and Butter, and Chicken Salad with White Tea, Lime, Peanut and Coconut Dressing. Wash this all down with a Fresh Tea Infusion like the Turmeric, Lemon and Honey; the perfect post-meal digestive.
9. Cuppa and Co.
‘Natural and nasty free’ tea is the motto of the brother and sister team behind Cuppa and Co. Coming from a long line of tea drinkers, the duo’s loose-leaf teas show that sometimes simple is best. I like that their blends are more about tasting great, while being functional rather than fancy; take their Belly Blend, which has nothing but soothing green tea and licorice-tasting anise, a well-known ‘carminative’ – a herb that reduces gas and bloating.
Are there any other awesome tea brands that we shoud know about?