Nespresso has made life easier for coffee-lovers the world over, but what about all the tea fanatics out there who are looking to get a fantastic brew – complete with all its many health benefits – in record time? Enter Lify Wellness, a fantastic new way to enjoy tea at home or in the office.
We had a chance to speak w/ the founders of Lify Wellness, Mazing Lee and Connie Lee, to find out more about the innovate tea machine, how they formulate the blends and their personal thoughts on health.
Hello! Please introduce yourselves to our readers – who are you and what do you do? 🙂
Mazing: I’m Mazing, CEO and co-founder of Lify Wellness, and I take care of all business-related activities in the company.
Connie: I’m Connie, CIO (Chief Innovation Officer) and co-founder of Lify Wellness and I’m in charge of all the innovations, product design and brand building behind Lify Wellness.
What are your respective backgrounds?
Mazing: My background was in luxury retail, brand management and partnerships. I studied Business Administration at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked for luxury brands in Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2013, I joined my sister Connie’s design consultancy and we started “The Contact Store” – a lifestyle experience centre featuring “Taste. Live. Travel” at Hong Kong Science Park and Milan, Italy.
Connie: I am a practicing industrial designer, with my product design education obtained from Design Academy, Eindhoven in the Netherlands. I work across different design disciplines, from consumer goods to lifestyle electronics and strategic design consultancy for corporations who are looking for innovations, including Sony, The Target Store, illy Coffee and Biomega bikes etc. I have a strong passion in integrating various cultural elements and technologies into tangible products and solutions that enhance people’s well being and quality of life.
What is something not many people know about you?
Mazing: While I am passionate about being mindful (having completed a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) certificate course), I also enjoy contemporary and hip-hop dancing with good vibes.
Connie: Besides design products, I love creating spatial experiences that storytell my vision on how design helps make a better living. The first Lify Wellness Bar showcased at the premium furnishing outlet in Wan Chai – Colorliving Store was one of the works I envisioned. I also enjoy gastronomy a lot as I think it draws similarities with the creative design process – mixing and matching ingredients (the technologies and materials available), bringing out its best essence and creating one-of-a-kind dishes (the end products).
How did you come up with the idea for Lify Wellness?
Mazing: We wanted to create a wellness solution that is accessible for everyone to stay healthy in different stages of life. At one point, I was having hormonal problems and pursued a TCM for Women’s Health course to find out what works for my body to restore balance. Then I realised there are so many treasures in ancient herbal wisdom which are way too complicated to be comprehended by most people. I, therefore, brainstormed with Connie to come up with Lify Wellness – the world’s first smart wellness solution that delivers functional beverages with an APP providing drink recommendations on our APP based on your body conditions within seconds.
Can you elaborate more on the East meets West concept?
Connie: We wanted to demystify the Eastern wellness and herbal wisdom with the means of technology, via a data-driven App and a user-friendly device that delivers solutions effectively and efficiently. In terms of product innovation, we have a team of Chinese Medicine doctors, herbal scientists and tea masters from both East and West to validate our product and formulations so that we can maximise the benefits of each ingredient we use.
How do you come up with and formulate the blends?
Connie: We first conducted in-depth consumer insight research of the major markets including Hong Kong to come up with a number of wellness goals (ie. Sleep, Stress, Detox and Immunity) that are the most desirable among our target audiences. We then dove deeper into how we can formulate our products to answer these needs, while balancing its flavour. It is also important that we take into account each natural ingredient’s herbal profile according to the TCM theory ie. warm and cold nature while we formulate the blends. We produced our tested formulations in a pilot run and collected further customer feedback before we officially launched our products.
What are your personal favourite Lify blends and why?
Mazing: I love ME-TIME, a caffeine-free hibiscus herbal blend that smells refreshing and has relaxation properties with chamomile and white hibiscus flower. We all deserve some “Me-Time” to recharge and stay zen for the next challenge in life!
Connie: My personal favorite is REVIVE, a twist of traditional formula mixing the almighty Lingzhi mushroom, aged dried tangerine and Pu’er – the all-time healing companion after a big feast! Its soothing and digestive function is purely magical, while also serving as a blend for family chit chat as it’s a widely accepted formulation even for my parents and grandma!
How many cups of Lify tea would you recommend someone drink per day?
2-3 cups per day to feel the overall effect on the body and mind.
Is Lify just for tea lovers or coffee lovers too? And if so, how should they mix and match?
Not at all! Lify is designed for all and targeted for different wellness needs such as better SLEEP, RESTORE, BOOST, YOUNG (antioxidant properties with collagen), CBD DAY (Focus & Energy) and CBD NIGHT (Calm & Recover). Coffee lovers could give it a try with our ENERGY blend, an uplifting blend of black tea with turmeric and cinnamon as their caffeine alternative to power through the day.
How do you personally stay healthy (besides drinking tea/Lify)?
Mazing: I pursue a balanced and nutritious diet, and drink soup almost every day. I’ve also just started to pick up dancing again (after giving birth half a year ago) and try to stretch regularly. On weekends, I love to arrange family outings for Vitamin D and fresh air.
Connie: I was trained as a competitive basketball player and I love all sorts of team sports where I can give and take energy from my fellow teammates, while staying healthy as part of my routine. I also love working on smaller passion DIY projects on weekends like furnishing home interiors that makes me feel refreshed It is always satisfying and almost meditative seeing beautiful works done by myself!
Favourite healthy eateries in Hong Kong? Or recipes?
Mazing: Black Chicken Coconut Soup, which is so warming and nourishing for women’s Qi.
- Cut the coconut into half and save the juice.
- Peel the coconut skin and cut the flesh into small pieces.
- Blanch the black chicken and add 500ML water into a pot, together with the coconut and juice.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 hours.
Connie: Japanese Tea Over Cauliflower Rice, a home recipe using one of our Lify ginseng blends – BOOST.
- Cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Use a food processor to grate the cauliflower into rice-like small pieces. Set aside.
- Sprinkle some salt on the salmon. Pan fry until cooked, Remove the skin and shred into small pieces.
- Bring BOOST Formula to boil. Add bonito powder, soy sauce and mirin.
- Put cauliflower rice and salmon into a small bowl. Pour the soup. Add green onion, seaweed, wasabi, furikake, bonito flakes, and enjoy.
Any wellness rituals that you practice?
Mazing: Mindful eating. I take food slowly and don’t watch TV during dinner time. Plus, spiritual reflection at night with God before I sleep.
Connie: I try to reflect on ‘what I’m grateful for today’ daily to stay positive and to end my day right by feeling content!
Finally, what is your personal definition of ‘healthy’?
Mazing: Healthy is being mindful of your body and emotions, a balanced state where you feel at peace, and happy.
Connie: Healthy is doing things that are good to yourself, inside and out, and finding inner happiness even in the smaller things in life, then spread and influence those around you.
Learn more about Lify Wellness at lifywellness.com