Tips for success with Sarah Holloway!

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We recently had the honour of having brunch with Sarah Holloway. Our intention to tap into her mindset and learn from one of the most influential women in business. After all, Sarah is our long-time Entrepreneurial woman crush.

Sarah is best known for her impressive role as Founder of Matcha Maiden & Matcha Mylkbar. We found Sarah to be humble, kind, intelligent and intuitively wise. Her powerful message to those trying to make a break in the business world: be confident & eliminate self-doubt.

As we devoured a delicious lunch at Matcha Mylkbar, Sarah elaborated on how she sees doubt kill more dreams than failure ever will, especially in women. ‘Self-doubt is quite a natural feeling’ she said ‘but can also be quite self-destructive. Often people let that feeling of self-doubt get the better of them and give up before even trying.’

Sarah’s tip:

When you feel that pang of self-doubt, take it as a sign you are doing something new and a little scary, but never let it stop you. There is nothing you can’t learn or figure out.

‘The first step to success is believing you can actually get there. If it doesn’t work out never let it be because you didn’t try’.

Now by no means are we as wise as Sarah, but our message…Girl, you got this! Take a cup of motivation, mix with a bucket load of determination, a generous sprinkle of persistence and top it off with the right attitude and you are good to go and make your mark on the world. The world is waiting for you!

Another insightful piece of advice we received from Sarah on the pursuit of success was: surround yourself with the right people.

As Sarah puts it: ‘you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with’. You need to have people around you that believe in what you are doing and believe that you can achieve your goals. These are the people that will pick you up when you are feeling down. All the successful people you see out there (even Oprah), didn’t do it on their own (even if sometimes it looks like they did). Everyone who succeeds has a network of supportive people around them reinforcing that they can do it. We believe you deserve to have the same. Spend time with people that understand you, motivate you and truly believe in you.

When we asked Sarah how she felt about her success, she replied with an incredibly humbling, and yet quite often overlooked, answer ‘success is such a personal thing. The grass is always greener where you water it’. To one person, success may look a certain way. But to someone else, it may look completely different. So when you look at success, it is always important to understand what the success looks like first. The only person that can decide what your success looks like, is you. Don’t be influenced or misguided by other people’s opinions of success. Be true to yourself.

Needless to say, we left our delicious brunch with Sarah feeling incredibly motivated and utterly impressed by the hospitality, honesty and openness that Sarah shared with us. If you are looking for someone to add to your list of inspirational women in business, we would strongly suggest Sarah Holloway, Founder of Matcha Maiden & Matcha Mylkbar.

A day in the life of Those Girls

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Are you two sisters? Are you the original Those Girls? Were you on Shark Tank? These would have to be the 3 most common questions we get asked. So, along with the answers, you’ll also find out what a day in the life of Those Girls is really like!

1) No, unfortunately we aren’t sisters. We say unfortunately because we really really really… really wish we were. We have been best friends for most of our lives, we spend 90% of our time together, we wear each others clothes, we know what the other is thinking and we can finish each other sentences. But we don’t share the same DNA. If it wasn’t for the nucleotide patterns on our double helixes, we would totally be sisters 🙂

2) Yes, we are the original Those Girls. And it makes so incredibly happy and proud to be able to say that.

3) Yes, we were on Shark Tank. Everything is going well with Steve, thank you for asking.

While we get asked these questions on a daily basis, there is a whole bunch of other questions that beautiful people like yourselves ask us. So we thought we would take this opportunity to share what a day in the life of Those Girls is like. Are you ready for this?

5:45am: SNOOZE! … 6:00am okay, time to get up. While the life of an entrepreneur looks glamourous and fun, it is also a lot of hard work, and that includes early mornings. But if you are not a morning person, never fear, it also involves many late nights. The most exciting part about the late nights is that you never go home alone. You normally wind up taking an articulate, well groomed, intelligent & charismatic pile of work home with you. You thought we were going to say something else then didn’t you? Mind out of the gutter here guys, we’re trying to tell a story :-p

In all seriousness, while our days are long, they are never boring. Because we personally run every aspect of our business, every day involves something different. Our day can include any (or all) of the following: meetings, emails, marketing, design, operations, HR, logistics, PR, brewing, sales, admin, cleaning, photo shoots, business development, interviews, accounting, research, social media, recruitment, recipe creations, décor styling, carpentry & customer service. Not exactly what you were expecting hey?

While it can get overwhelming at times, the great part about being an entrepreneur is that everything we do is done with an immense amount of passion, and with a bigger picture in mind. So when we go to a meeting we don’t just see the topic of the meeting. We see what that topic leads to, what it creates and how it will help Those Girls grow and expand. When we are in the kitchen, we don’t just see the hot apple cider or iced tea we are brewing at that moment. We see the smiles on the faces of the people who drink it, the raving reviews they give to friends and family, and their plan to visit us again at our next event. When we are at HQ doing piles of paper work, we don’t just see an endless mountain of forms to be completed. We see the festivals and events that they take us to, the interactions we get to enjoy with our customers and the feedback we receive that can help us create better processes. We could go on all day here but you get the picture. Growing a business is like a game of chess; we see what is directly in front of us but are always planning 12 moves ahead. Seeing, and more importantly, creating opportunities is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. But perhaps the most important part is to act on those opportunities and turn them into realities.

We absolutely love what we do but it takes a certain mindset to be able to do it. Our brains don’t have an off switch, we dream about serving iced tea and our social lives get compromised. But we wouldn’t change a thing because no matter how many challenges we face, there are 10 times more happy moments to celebrate. Not a day goes by without an outburst of joyous laughter. We experience moments that turn into heartfelt memories that will keep us company for the rest of our lives. We get to experience the strongest of learning curves that will turn into wisdom with age. We get to interact with a sea of astute people that we would have otherwise never had the privilege of meeting. And we get to go to work each morning with our best friend by our side.

Jim Rohn once said ‘enjoy what you have while pursuing what you want’ and that is exactly what we plan to do. Never stop following your dreams oxo

NEW Those Girls SmartCup

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You may have noticed that we recently released our very own special edition Those Girls SmartCups. But the best bit about our SmartCups is that they come with free hot apple cider!

Did someone say free hot apple cider? Yes, you heard us correctly, FREE hot apple cider! Every SmartCup purchased comes with 5 free refills. ‘What’s the catch?’ we hear you asking. There isn’t one! We won’t fill your inbox with spam, make you disclose your credit card details or make you promise to name your first born child after us. We like you, that’s all. So we want you to be happy and help us fill the world with smiles. All you have to do is bring your special edition Those Girls SmartCup to any event we are at and we will fill it for free with our delicious hot apple cider for you to sip at your own leisure or guzzle down to stop the cravings, whichever option you prefer.

So what makes our SmartCups different to any other eco-friendly cup on the market? Well, we wanted to make sure we gave you only the best so we joined forces with a very humble and clever man known only by his alias Frank Green. Frank Green has dedicated years of his life to creating not only a beautifully designed reusable cup, but also an incredibly practical one. Amongst its many great features is the new CafePay technology that allows secure cashless payments from your SmartCup along with offering discounts and loyal-tea programs. These SmartCups are so smart they can even play the role of ‘Wing Man’. Say what? The CafePay technology allows you to gift purchases to others. So next time you find yourself crushing on someone but don’t know how to approach them, you can play it cool and gift them a cup of hot apple cider to break the ice. Once they know you have such great taste in beverages, they will be begging to go on a date with you 😉

Frank Green has done a great job in leading the way for Café Technology worldwide. But that’s not the only thing we love about him. He first grabbed our attention when we noticed that not only was he environmentally sustainable but also 100% Australian made. How could we not like him when he has such charming characteristics? We understand that Green is Queen so when we saw the opportunity to share such a great product that supports the environment we knew it was one we should take in the hope that you would love it as much as we do and join us in taking a step towards a more environmentally sustainable future. As Martin Luther King said, ‘you must be the change you want to see in the world’ and that is why we are proud to align with a brand that is not only a market leader but is also in full support of our precious environment.

Purchase your special edition Those Girls SmartCup through our website or in person at one of our stalls for $34.95

Those Girls enter the Shark Tank

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Since filming Shark Tank, Those Girls have received some great business insight and mentoring along the way. We’re excited to share our progress with you since filming Shark Tank so that you can know exactly what we’re up to!‘Yes! Yes, one thousand times yes!’ In utter disbelief and entirely overwhelmed with excitement, we accepted Steve Baxter’s offer with the pure pride, joy and honour. In fact, we don’t even know if there are words to describe just how good it felt.  It is a once in a lifetime, incredibly special moment when you realise a multi-multi-millionaire and business genius believes in you, your product and your vision.Were we dreaming? No, it was reality & for a split second there, we felt like we had made it in the world and done something big with our lives. But then we realised it was just the beginning. We had just stepped up into the next realm of the business world. And it turns out this is much more exciting than thinking you have made it. It meant we now had a new world of opportunities and business knowledge available to us. It felt like we had just broken through the barriers to Disneyland for the first time with no queues at any of the rides and endless fairy floss on offer. And so the journey began…

Since filming Shark Tank, we have changed our focus and the way we want to grow our business. We are going to postpone bottling our iced tea, which was the reason we initially applied for Shark Tank. But don’t worry, we have received far too many requests from our fabulous customers (a.k.a. you) to ignore. So, we still plan on bottling our iced tea at a later stage, but for right now, are focusing on bringing Australia more freshly brewed, homemade & utterly delicious iced tea. And that means more stalls in more cities. So look out Australia!

As for our health range and subscription boxes, they too have been put on hold so we can focus our full attention on expanding our current pop up model.

We have also recently launched our winter range of hot apple cider, which is best described as apple pie in a cup and has been going absolutely crazy at the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market. This means we can now trade all year around instead of just over the warmer months. It also means that we drink about 1 tenth of our profits because it is so damn delicious!

We are constantly working on new and exciting things that we can’t wait to share with you, so stay in touch with us via social media so we can give you updates on our progress. But overall, our plan is to make sure that everyone who comes in contact with Those Girls through any channel has a positive and enjoyable experience. We understand that Those Girls is nothing unless we have your support so we want you all to feel special and share in the love <3

We have embraced every single moment since hearing Steve say the words ‘I’m going to make you an offer’.  We have learnt so much in that time that it would be impossible to fit it all in this blog post. But in short, we are so glad that Steve Baxter is on our team. Yes, we can now officially say we are business partners with Steve Baxter (which we thinking is pretty exciting). For all of you who are wondering what Steve is like in person, he is exactly as he appears on Shark Tank. He is indeed a ‘straight talking boy from the bush’. But more importantly he is a brilliant business mind. He is supportive. He appreciates and respects the knowledge we have for our brand & product. He is honest and he believes in us. It is with open arms and huge smiles that we welcome Steve Baxter to Those Girls.

Hot Apple Cider by Those Girls!

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Step aside coffee, there’s a new winter drink coming to Melbourne and it’s delicious! Introducing the New York inspired, non-alcoholic Hot Apple Cider by Those Girls!

Who hasn’t day dreamed about walking around New York’s Central Park looking as fabulous as Blake Lively and sipping a delicious, cosy hot beverage? We won’t lie, we day dream about it too… quite a lot 🙂 But, as fun as it is to imagine being under the falling leaves of New York’s many parks and being surrounded by the embellished New York accent, the airfares are far less exciting.

We first fell in love with New York 5 years ago when we travelled there on a last minute mini escape to reclaim our spontaneity. While we had an amazing adventure, it turns out we lost a piece of our heart to New York. New York was stuck in our head like Brittany’s first single “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. And since then, we have never been able to get it out.

As glamorous as it would be to fly to New York several times throughout the year and indulge in all the bespoke characteristics it offers, we aren’t Richard Branson and we don’t have the luxury of owning our own air line! So, like the clever girls we are, we decided to get creative and bring New York to us. We thought long and hard about the things we missed most from the Big Apple. With the world of online shopping as immense as it is today, we didn’t need to bring the shopping over. And being Melbournians, we are already well adapted to fine food and extravagant dining. Then, it hit us! The thing we missed most from New York…that we couldn’t get here in Australia…was the Hot Apple Cider! As the name implies, the Big Apple, is big on its apples.

While we were in New York, we’d go out of way to get the non-alcoholic Hot Apple Cider up to 5 times a day. It was so incredibly delicious, like drinking hot apple pie in a cup. It warmed us up on the chilly autumn mornings and made us smile on countless occasions. Not only was it heaven on our taste buds, but it gave us some unforgettable memories of our Fall spent in NYC. We felt like Thelma & Louise when we had the Hot Apple Cider in our hands.

After our epiphany hit us, it was on to the recipe trials. One of the things we loved most about the Hot Apple Cider was that it was hard to get, and we all want what we can’t have! 😉 Hot Apple Cider was only available in Fall when the first season’s apples would fall from the trees. It was those ruby red balls of goodness that would be brewed with an array of herbs and spices to become liquid gold to the foodies of New York.

And so, the baton was passed on to us, and we knew we had some big shoes to fill. We tried every combination of apples, spices and special ingredients we could think of. And after 2 months, we had the winner! Our newly developed recipe was more precious to us than a pair of limited addition Louboutins, so we locked it in a vault. Okay, it was more like a really really good hiding spot, but you get the idea. Now that we have realised the true beauty of this stunningly delightful drink, it would be a crime not to share it with the people we love.

So, it is with great pride and inner foodie that we have decided to share our Hot Apple Cider with you and introduce it into the Melbourne food scene. And, just incase you don’t love it on the first sip, we’ll throw in a scrumptious apple cider dough ball to make the experience that little bit more exciting.

But in all seriousness, with every cup of Hot Apple Cider we serve, we share a small part of our heart just like New York did with us. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Lauren & Elena
oxo

Tea is the new coffee

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Is tea the new coffee? Yes, and here’s why.

Tea rules! Coffee is so passé.

Are you the kind of person who can’t function in the morning until you’ve had your caffeine buzz? A whopping 83% of adults drink coffee at an average of three cups a day, per person. If you’re not the coffee addict yourself, chances are you know someone who is.

But hang onto your hats people – a new trend has begun and coffee now has a mighty competitor – tea! 

With coffee prices doubling last year (as a result of poor environmental conditions and their effects on plantation growth), the world has started turning to tea, and a whole new (and tea-licious) industry has started to flourish as a result – Tea Houses.

People have also started to lean towards tea for its health benefits, which has prompted massive growth in a large variety of teas including green and white tea. More recently, kombucha, a fermented tea served cold, has become a trendy health alternative. This search for a healthy and great tasting alternative has fuelled the tea industry for the past decade and it has now started to grow in a new and exciting way.

The rise of the Tea House
In the UK, over 165 million cups of tea are consumed daily. That’s twice the amount of coffee. 

Yet, compared to coffee, only a small proportion of tea is consumed outside of the home or work place! This is because the coffee industry has capitalised on its market by offering a variety of ways of serving coffee, such as mochas and frappaccino’s, while the tea industry has remained pretty much a one trick pony. Having a coffee has become a whole experience of sitting in a café, relaxing with friends, having a momentary break from life and the perfect excuse for a daydream.

But that’s all starting to change. While tea has been widely available at cafés and supermarkets for a long time, specialised shops, stores, tearooms and tea houses devoted to the leaf are sprouting up all over the place now (and we couldn’t be happier!). Companies such as Starbucks, who revolutionised the way we drink coffee, are now trying to do the same with tea. In America, Starbucks has opened its first “Tea Bar” in New York City, with plenty more on the way.

Even supermarkets are expanding their tea offering, with some in America adding kombucha stations where customers can fill up on their favourite flavoured fermented tea. (Source: The Fiscal Times).

Some names to watch out for
Here’s a look at some of the newest spots around the world where tea drinkers are getting their fix:

Chaitime
Singapore’s first Indian chai cafe opened in 2012. Its teas include Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri and Sikkim, but its specialty is the Spicy Masala Chai Latte, a blend of Assam black tea with cardamom, ginger, black pepper and cinnamon.

Nana’s Green Tea Café
Established in 2001 in Tokyo, Nana’s likens itself to a “Japanese Starbucks.” It sells Japanese teas, matcha lattes and tea-based sweets, including the Matcha Shiratama Parfait, a dessert with a layer of jelly made from a seaweed extract called kanten, as well as matcha syrup, vanilla ice cream, cornflakes, red bean paste and whipped cream.

Tsujiri Tea House
The store has more than 20 outlets in Japan and Taiwan and gets its matchas from Uji, a major tea-growing region in Kyoto. Its specialty: maccha ice-blended floats and shakes, topped with ice cream.

Maccha House
Owned by Create Restaurants Asia, Maccha House’s Singapore specialises in Iced maccha lattes made with freshly brewed maccha and milk.

MatchaBar
This is New York City’s first café dedicated to the trendy green tea variety matcha. The tea is very popular among health conscious people for its high antioxidant content and power to impart a non-jittery, long-lasting caffeine boost.

Tea down under
In Australia, we have a few tea houses around in the major cities, but nothing like the frequency of a designated coffee shop. So how long will it be until you can just stroll down the street in Australia and come across a tea house? The way things are going, the wait won’t be too long, and we’re over the moon about that!

Over to you
Are you a tea or a coffee fanatic? Or do you enjoy the best of both worlds? We’re tea girls of course

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Iced Tea – Your Perfect Summer Drink

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There’s no denying it – tea make us happy! And Iced Tea on a hot summer day makes us even happier.

Iced tea came into vogue sometime around the late 1700s when people discovered that adding ice to tea could further enhance the pleasure of drinking it. This is a trend that continues to this day, and one that we’re very grateful for!

An iced tea hits all the right spots on a hot day – it hydrates, it cools, it refreshes, it’s delicious and depending on your choice, it’s probably doing wonderful things for your health. An unsweetened iced tea, whether it’s black, green, white, oolong or herbal is a smart beverage choice. And for those who have trouble drinking enough water, especially during the hot summer months, the great flavour helps you keep up your fluids.

Brewing a cup of perfection

We like to make iced tea all summer long, and you can do it yourself at home too. Boil a large pot of water and toss in some tea bags. You can choose anything you like, and can even mix different flavours together. A great combination is green tea with some herbal fruity teas.

Make it strong in flavour so that when you add ice, it doesn’t become watered down. Make a big batch, pour into a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator. When you want a cup, fill a glass halfway with the tea and add ice and a garnish of your choice. So simple and so refreshing!

How can you jazz up your tea?

A cup of iced tea on it’s own is pretty awesome, but if you want to make it sensational, there are a few ways you can dress it up.

  • The simplest way to enhance the taste of iced tea is to add a small amount of sugar or honey. Sweetened iced tea is a favourite drink in many countries of the world, but go easy on the sugar from a calorie point of view. It’s meant to be healthy!
  • Try adding a slice of lemon. Just before you drink your chilled iced tea, squeeze the lemon into it. You can also crush the lemon rind – essential oils from the rind add a nice citrusy flavour.
  • Make it healthy and refreshing by adding some grated ginger to the hot water when you’re making your tea infusion. Ginger, honey and lemon iced tea is simply delicious, and has some incredible health benefits.
  • If you like mint, crushing a few leaves into your plain iced tea will give an uplifting and energising taste.
  • When heating the water, add a few pieces of chopped lemon grass to give the flavour of lemons without the sour taste. Add a dash of sugar and ice and you have a drink that soothes you and gives you wonderful health benefits at the same time.
  • If you don’t like your tea too sweet, try adding a tiny pinch of salt. Yes, trust us! The taste is different and after a hot day out in the sun, salted iced tea can help to restore the body’s electrolyte balance.
  • A pinch of cinnamon or crushed cardamom is another way to add taste and flavour to iced teas.
  • Try crushed strawberries and raspberries to add a unique taste to iced tea. You can even add pomegranate juice, orange juice or peaches to your iced tea for something cool, different and delicious!

Iced tea and summer – the perfect combination

Summer isn’t over yet so there’s still plenty of time for you to experiment with your iced teas and stay cool and hydrated.

And if you’re keen to try out some of our herbal goodies, you can find us all over Melbourne in the coming weeks. View our festival guide.

Over to you

Have you brewed up some summer delights lately? Let us know your favourite flavour combinations!

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Hibiscus Iced Tea

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WE LOVE IT & YOU SHOULD TOO!

It tastes great, it’s packed with antioxidants and health benefits, and it’s refreshing on a hot summers’ day. What could be better?

We’ve always known that hibiscus tea rocks! Although technically, it’s not a tea, it’s a tisane. Thankfully, others are realising this too, and hibiscus tea has been gaining popularity over the past few years. As the state flower of Hawaii, the hibiscus not only looks pretty, it tastes amazing and is packed with health and detox benefits.

What exactly is hibiscus tisane?

As the name suggests, hibiscus tea is made from the hibiscus flower. The hibiscus plant grows in tropical areas and produces stunning red flowers that have been used for centuries for their medicinal purposes.

Dried calyces from the hibiscus flower are steeped in hot water until they release their colourful and flavourful essence.

Why we love it

With its crimson, ruby-red hue and herbal fragrance, hibiscus tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Of course, we love it icy cold, served over plenty of ice with a few sprigs of fresh mint. It’s delicious and refreshing to sip on a hot summers’ day and the beautiful mix of colours brings a smile to our face.

Its sharp and tangy flavour is a bit like cranberry, and can be lightly sweetened with a dash of honey. Not just an iced tea, it can also be used as a great base for fruit punches, sorbets and iced tea cocktails. Yum!

And while you’re cooling down with your delicious hibiscus iced tea, you’re inadvertently doing something positive for your health!

Health benefits of hibiscus tea

Research shows that hibiscus can help regulate blood pressure, relieve fluid retention, is packed with antioxidants and is high in vitamin C.

Could this drink get any better? Well actually, yes it can! It also:

  • Lowers cholesterol – hibiscus tea contains bioflavonoids that help to prevent plaque building up on the walls of your arteries, which lowers your cholesterol and helps ward off a number of other serious diseases.
  • Reduces blood pressure – drinking just 1 cup, 3 times each day will help keep your blood pressure under control. Hibiscus tea is natural, so there are fewer noted side effects than prescription medications.
  • Helps rid you of the common cold – this tea is packed with vitamin C that can help to prevent the common cold, flu and other infectious illnesses. Drinking a few cups a day will also help you get over your cold faster.
  • Has anti-ageing properties – How could you not love this? Hibiscus tea has been used for centuries in places like Egypt and China and to prevent aging. It’s full of antioxidants that eliminate free radicals in your body, effectively slowing down the aging process.
  • Helps with weight loss – hibiscus is a natural appetite suppressant, and drinking just 1 cup each day can help you to eat less. The tisane also slows down fat absorption, acts as a mild diuretic to help flush impurities from your system, and keeps your digestive system clean.
  • Helps with digestion – drinking hibiscus tea can help improve the overall function of the bowel and bladder. It contains natural anti-spasmodic effects that also help with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Has anti-depressant properties – those who suffer from mood swings and depression will find that drinking just 1 cup of hibiscus tea each day will significantly improve those moods. Its vitamins and minerals offer a calming effect on the nervous system.
  • Can prevent cancer – recent studies have shown that hibiscus tea can prevent pre-cancerous cells from growing. This means that it can effectively stop the growth of cells that will eventually cause cancer. Again, it’s filled with antioxidants that can kill free radicals in the body.
  • Reduce heart disease – hibiscus tea is widely used to help lower the risk of heart attack and other heart diseases and can help to decrease symptoms.
  • Help with diabetes and liver disease – this tea is used in India to treat both types of diabetes and has shown amazing results. It’s also used widely in Eastern medicine as a treatment for liver disease and to cleanse the liver.

Hibiscus iced tea is awesome

We’ve always known this! It tastes fabulous, is cool and refreshing, and gives your body a health a boost from the inside out!

Over to you

Has drinking hibiscus iced tea regularly improved your health at all? Or do you just drink it because it’s delicious? We’d love to hear all your hibiscus stories and experiences.

MELBOURNE MADE  ESTABLISHED 2013

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