Salmon Arm, Thompson-Okanagan
The Canadian Barley Tea Company
Salmon Arm, Thompson-Okanagan
We make mo'mugi, the first and only barley tea in Canada! mo'mugi is made with the finest local organic BC barley and is a delicious and healthy everyday drink for everyone from kids to adults. mo'mugi is free of caffeine, sugar, carbs, and calories. It's the only Canadian drink that provides antioxidants, hydrates and increases circulation better than water, and helps prevent tooth decay. We were inspired by Japanese mugicha, the #1 daily healthy beverage there for over 500 years. We want Canadians to enjoy their own local version. As we love to say, "Bye bye bubble, move over matcha, katch ya later kombucha...it's time for mugicha!"
In Business Since 2019
What motivated you to start your business, what challenges did you overcome?
We discovered barley tea when we lived in Japan, stuffing our suitcases full of it on trips back home because we couldn't live without our new favourite daily drink. Then we thought, "Hey, why can't we make a Canadian barley tea? Canadians are missing out on this awesome drink!" On top of that, we knew Japanese babies start drinking barley tea from age 6 months, and we realized that since Canada has a high childhood obesity rate, our local barley tea could replace sugary drinks and help kids and the whole family be healthier. And so we decided to make the first Canadian barley tea brand ever, using the finest local organic BC barley. The biggest challenge was that since barley tea has never been made in Canada we had to start at the beginning and spent months researching and perfecting the roast and taste. We're proud to say our barley tea is smoother than Japanese barley tea and more multilayered which lends itself to various flavour profiles from light to dark, depending on the brew time. That's due to our unique barley and roasting technique. Although we struggled to find eco-friendly compostable teabags and packaging, we didn't give up. Our award-winning compostable teabags are free of plastics and adhesives, and our pouch packaging is non-landfill recyclable through Recycle BC. We launched mo'mugi at 2019 Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur, where we won the Green Award and placed as a finalist. Community support has been vital to our success and although 2020 was very challenging, we found pivoting and focusing on new ideas helped us move forward.
Why do you deserve to win the Best Innovation award?
We believe Canada needs a local, delicious, healthy everyday beverage for everyone from kids to adults that is free of sugar, caffeine, and calories and provides functional health benefits. mo'mugi checks off all these boxes and more, because it is the only innovative daily drink made in BC with local organic barley, and barley tea has never been introduced to Canadians before. As we expand and create new mo'mugi flavours we can highlight more local amazing BC ingredients and share them with the rest of Canada and the world!