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Elixr creators, back from left, Jade Dent-Bowering, Brooke Samuels, and Natasha Otto, and front left, Imogen Bjerring and Fairven Harris. Photo: SUPPLIED

Hauraki business students find their cup of tea

Entrepreneurial Hauraki students have brewed up a tea just in time for the winter season.
Jade Dent-Bowering, Brooke Samuels, Natasha Otto, Imogen Bjerring, and Fairven Harris, from Hauraki Plains College, have created Elixr, an environmentally-friendly, vegan, organic and cruelty-free blend of tea.
The business venture is part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, a national programme in which students set up and run a real business.
Imogen Bjerring, the enterprise’s chief executive, told The Profile the tea had its official launch this week.
“It’s definitely becoming more of a trend to eat healthy, especially with Covid; people are more conscious about their health,” she said.
“Our product is completely environmentally-friendly, and that’s also become a popular subject.”
Elixr’s first tea blend, Health and Wellbeing, contains hibiscus flower, manuka leaf, lavender and lemon balm.
Imogen, 17, said the ingredients were high in antioxidants and good mood-balancers.
“In the future, we’ll definitely be making blends that are more specific to certain things, like mood teas or teas just for digestion, or just for skin.”
The herbs were “100 per cent” organic and locally sourced, she said.
“We as a group did a lot of research into different herbs and their properties and what would taste nice together.
“I ordered them in, and I was quite lucky with testing the ratios. Lavender is quite strong, so I didn’t want as much of that, and manuka is sweeter, so I wanted more of that,” Imogen said.
“It’s a floral, herby tea, but it actually tastes very fruity.”
The business is currently accepting orders through its Instagram page. In a pack, customers get 15 servings of the tea blend, plus two reusable, hand-made tea bags.
“We’d done research into other reusable tea bags, and everyone recommended cotton as the best because it was reusable for a little while, and then after a couple of months, it was biodegradable,” Imogen said.
“We really didn’t want to leave any carbon footprint, so all the fabric we’ve sourced we’ve upcycled from second-hand stores.”
The biggest challenge was constructing the string of the tea bag to make it sturdy. To solve the issue, they added a wooden bead at the end of the string and avoided using plastic. The only plastic in the students’ product was the lid of its coffee cup, which was recyclable, she said.
For pricing, information and pre-orders, check out the business on Instagram: @elixr_naturaltea. By KELLEY TANTAU