Food and Drinks
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Wellness drink creator Amy Tsien recently launched “functional recovery soda” Eve. Photo: Eve

All about Eve, ‘functional recovery soda’ and wellness drink just launched, and how its creator overcame sexism and scepticism

  • Amy Tsien left her job in the wellness industry to create an all-in-one ‘functional recovery soda’, energy drink, mood booster and cocktail mixer
  • The caffeine-free drink blends Japanese pear, monk fruit and turmeric, sourced from initially sceptical producers in Japan, with vitamins and minerals

Planning a wedding during the coronavirus pandemic, juggling a day job in health and wellness, and playing chef and chemist in the kitchen at night – it’s what entrepreneur Amy Tsien has ploughed through over the past year.

She launched samples of her new product idea, Eve, a “functional recovery soda”, at her wedding banquet in June.

“But the batch that I made for it, I felt like the taste was too herbal. So two days before my wedding, I went to brew again,” she laughs. “I brewed to the very last minute to make sure it was right, because it just means so much to me. It’s my baby.”

Eve launched soon afterwards in its finished form, in bright yellow cans to suggest vibrancy and rejuvenation. The drink is formulated with a blend of Japanese pear, monk fruit, black pepper, turmeric and a cocktail of vitamins and minerals including C, B6 and B12, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride.

Eve recovery soda contains vitamins and minerals and is free from sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Photo: Eve

The idea for Eve was sparked during Tsien’s many work trips to Japan, where she would speak directly to producers and suppliers of the ingredients that went into health and wellness products.

Among them was a turmeric producer based in Okinawa, who initially turned Tsien away, unconvinced that her idea for Eve was a viable business.

I’ve made sure that the three main minerals in our drink are those that leave our bodies the most when we exercise
Amy Tsien

“I would say that this was one of the biggest struggles, because I’m very particular in terms of where I want to source my ingredients and which type of ingredients.

“To be very honest, it was a very difficult journey to try to convince them,” she recounts, highlighting how cultural, gender and language differences made it all the harder.

“I heard some pretty intense responses back then. Things like ‘this would never work’, ‘no one would ever want that’, ‘no one has ever done that’. Initially, they were like, ‘do not associate yourself with me’.”

8 of Hong Kong’s best boutique bean-to-bar chocolate makers

She persevered, using every opportunity she got to talk, text or email to persuade a producer, often receiving “brutal” responses in return.

“Maybe it was Google Translate, but the words that came out would be very blunt sometimes. It would be something like, ‘this is foolish’. But as hard as it was, it made me realise how much they care about their product. It also gives me more faith in their ingredients,” she says.

It took Tsien three months of back and forth to finally convince the turmeric specialist to work with her, and it paid off.

“Having a difficult start, I feel like it helps me feel stronger about the product and about the next steps,” she says. She also credits her mother, who works as a trader in finance, for instilling in her a sense of ambition and being unafraid to push through in Japan’s male-dominated industry.

Tsien was originally going to make Eve an alcoholic drink, but it ended up being a functional recovery soda. Photo: Eve

Deciding to name her product Eve was no coincidence, either, with its reference to the biblical first woman – and a clever way to position the drink as something to be had on the eve of a celebratory occasion.

Tsien had originally envisioned Eve as an alcoholic libation with added health benefits, but the desire to create a more inclusive product resulted in the all-day, functional recovery soda – a hangover prevention drink, mood booster, energy drink and potential cocktail mixer all in one.

Tsien’s penchant for exercise also played a part in Eve’s development. “I’ve made sure that the three main minerals in our drink are those that leave our bodies the most when we exercise, which are magnesium, potassium and sodium,” she says.

Eve is not just for sports enthusiasts or those nursing a hangover, she stresses. From day to night, it’s going to hit differently depending on what you need. “We’re a functional drink. It’s for all kinds of recovery,” she says.