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Ode to Mrs C

health benefits of tea

The importance of our Mums (my lovely Mum pictured above) in our lives has been brought to forefront for me this month.  Of course it is the month when we celebrate Mothers day and acknowledge all the things that our Mums do for us. 

Sadly, it was also a time I had to say goodbye to a special lady in my life, Mrs C.

Mrs. C was the Mum of one of my dear friends.  My friend and I met when we were 17, and so Mrs. C had been in my life for quite a number of years.  Whenever I went to her house, Mrs. C was always there with a big hug and a nice cup of tea… loose leaf of course!! And Mrs. C was an avid baker, and no visit was complete without a tasty sweet treat!! Over the years, she imparted lots of words of wisdom to us girls.  Many hours were spent drinking tea with us and teaching us how to make perfect scones. In fact, her scones were infamous, and I still use her scone recipe today!!  

Have you ever noticed that when you hug your Mum, or any special woman in your life, you get overwhelmed with feelings of love, warmth, and wellbeing?  This is due to the release of a hormone called ‘Oxytocin’. This hormone not only plays a key role in the relationship between a mother and her child, it also has a vital role to play in the functioning of our brain and nervous system.  It effects on day to day emotions is well documented, and low levels have been associated with anxiety and depression, among other things.

In his article “How to increase Oxytocin levels in the brain”, Jordan Fallis writes that research suggests that increasing our levels of Oxytocin, can benefit us by:

  • Increasing our feelings of calmness and security, thus reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving our mood and feelings of contentment
  • Reducing the release of our bodies stress hormone Cortisol
  • Reducing inflammation and stimulate healing
  • Increasing our pain threshold
  • Increasing positive personality traits, such as empathy, trust, and openness

So, apart from hugging lots of women, how can we ensure that we keep our Oxytocin levels high?  In his article, Fallis outlines 25 steps by which we can naturally increase our levels.  A couple of them are of particular interest to me.  The first is caffeine.  Fallis states “researchers have found that caffeine significantly increases the release of oxytocin”.  He talks about drinking coffee, but of course, tea also contains caffeine, especially black tea, which contains nearly as much caffeine as coffee.  

Drinking Camomile tea is another way of increasing your Oxytocin levels.  This medicinal herb has long been used for its calming properties, and as Fallis says, it “contains substances that act on the same part of the brain and nervous system as antidepressant drugs”.  It is of little wonder that having a cup of tea can make us feel relaxed and calm.  

It is of no surprise that touch is a quick way to boost your oxytocin levels.  We all know how good it feels to hug the special people in our lives.  From his research, Fallis has discovered that “a 10-second hug every day can help boost your immune system, fight infection, increase dopaminereduce depression, and lessen fatigue”.   And this effect extends to cuddling our pets as well!!

So what do we need to do every day to keep our oxytocin levels high?

  • Drink tea
  • Hug our Mums or other special people 
  • Cuddle our pets

Sounds perfect to me!!

Happy Sipping!

Crazy Tea Lady



  • 3 cups SR flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 230° c
  2. Beat butter and icing sugar. 
  3. Add egg, then flour and milk alternately until the mixture becomes soft. 
  4. Divide into scones.  
  5. Bake 10 minutes.

To read the full article “How to increase Oxytocin levels in the brain” by Jordan Fallis 30 March 2019, go to:

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Back to Basics

tea facts about tea plant

For years, I never knew that white, green and black tea all came from the same plant!  I thought that they grew three types of plants, in order to provide tea lovers with the different tea varieties!  And I was amazed to learn that tea comes from a bush that is a cousin to the Camellia plant, Camellia japonica regularly found growing in gardens around the world!   It wasn’t until I began my Crazy Tea Lady journey, that I began to discover some amazing facts about my favourite beverage!

The tea tree is an evergreen that grows to a height of 5 to 15 metres.  Its leaves measure between 5mm and 25cms are characterized by a shiny upper surface, with a lighter matt underside.  The plant is cultivated, not for its fruit or seeds, but for the bud and two new leaves below it.  The bud and new leaves are plucked regularly, making up the harvest.

There are two main varieties:

  • Camellia senensis sinensis
  • Camellia senensis assamica

They are mostly grown between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.  The plant itself requires temperatures of 10-30 degrees centigrade, and 1000-1250mm rain per year.  This means that most of the tea production in the world occurs in China and India, but also Japan, Africa, South & Central America, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.   Australia does have several tea growing regions, in Queensland and Victoria.  And yes, we even have tea grown right here in WA, at a plantation in Northcliffe near Manjimup.  And I am lucky enough to be a stockiest of this beautiful green tea.  

Go to and check out the pictures of this beautiful plantation!

locally grown green tea

Types of Tea

There are three main types of tea, all derived from the Camellia senensis plant.

  1. White

This is the least processed and oxidized.

It is withered and dried immediately after plucking – which prevents oxidation

Because the leaves undergo the least processing, they are the most delicate of all.

White tea is high in antioxidents, as it contains high levels of polyphenols that stop free radicals

  • Green

The leaves are steamed or fired (dried) after plucking to prevent oxidation, then rolled. 

  • Black

The leaves are heavily processed, which includes withering, rolling, and oxidation.  The result is one hundred per cent oxidized leaves, with the characteristic black colour.

Processing and Caffeine Levels

Although white, green and black tea originates from the same plant, their caffeine levels are considerably different.  The more processed the leaves, the greater the caffeine level.

Caffeine Per 250ml Serve
White Tea
30-55 mg
Green Tea
35-70 mg
Oolong Tea (between 25% and 75% oxidised)
50-75 mg
Black Tea
60-90 mg
Coffee100 mg

It is interesting to note that your average chocolate bar contains approximately 10 mg of caffeine!

However the caffeine in tea acts differently from coffee

  • It is not as fast releasing
  • You don’t get that sharp high
  • The caffeine interacts with the amino acids in tea, so that when it hits our brains, it sends us into relaxation mode!!

It is little wonder that it is the second most consumed beverage in the world!

Happy sipping!

Crazy Tea Lady

Reference: “The Tea Drinkers Handbook” by Francois-Xavier Delmas, Mathias Minet and Christine Barbaste

green tea Western Australia
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A cuppa and a chat with HTWH

One of my favourite things to do (besides drinking tea!!) is to talk to people who have followed their passion, and find out where it all began for them. Not only do they inspire me, but also motivate me to keep going on my own journey!

This month, I sat down and had a cuppa and a chat with Amy, one of the directors from our tea suppliers High Tea with Harriet.  Based in Victoria, this artisan tea company has been creating beautiful teas since 2013. 

1. Amy what, or who inspired you to start a tea business?

After a decade of working in Television production, I really needed a change. I was passionate about tea and really wanted to start a business creating a tea range of fresh, truly interesting, unique and high-quality teas, served in elegant, vintage-style, decorative packaging. I had a shelf full of old Twinings tea tins which had sparked my imagination to create a tea company that really celebrated the old English tradition of the lovely ritual of tea – taking time for tea and always having tea with a slice of cake!

2. Where did the name “High Tea with Harriet” come from?

Harriet is the person you’d imagine you’d love to have High Tea with. We imagine Harriet as an exciting, eccentric, extravagant aunty who’s travelled the world and seen amazing places and has wonderful stories to tell. The Harriet in my life was my dearest Grandma.  She was the person I loved to have a cup of tea with. Whenever I’d visit my Grandma, we would always have 5 cups of tea and a bikkie, chatting all afternoon.

3. For you, what is the best thing about owning a tea business?

I love having something that truly belongs to me, something that allows me to be creative in untold ways and keeps me interested every single day.

4. In regards to the cafe culture, what would you like to see changed in regards to how tea is presented?

I would love to see cafes take as much care with their tea service as with their coffee. Honour your tea lovers just as much as your coffee lovers by serving them premium teas, full of flavour, that are brewed perfectly – not, as is so often the case, serving weak tea that tastes just like tepid water. Cafes are missing out on tea drinker loyalty as well as extra income. Teabags are a no-no as well (of course). Customers really do not want to pay $4.50 for teabag tea. As we know, teabag tea is lower quality tea and one teabag is not enough tea to fill a cafe teapot with full-bodied flavour. Cafes who serve premium tea and take great care to serve their tea properly (as well as promoting their tea menu to their customers), will reap the rewards many times over. Here’s to being able to get a great cup of tea when eating out!

5. What’s your ultimate tea break?

My ultimate tea break is having a moment alone to ponder the universe, looking out at the sea and drinking tea, without my dearest 4 year old chatterbox demanding all my attention. Sounds like bliss to me, can we make that happen? Please? Haha 🙂

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Tea is LOVE

tea gifts perth


There are times when one of the hardest things that I have to do is find the perfect gift for my loved ones.  How do you convey just how much someone means to you in one simple gesture? 

It is no secret that I LOVE tea, but can the humble leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant compete with red roses and cute bears with hearts?

Why tea is the perfect gift of love

I don’t think that I could have said it better than this exert, taken from “For the love of tea” written by Adeline Teoh Australian Tea Cultural Seminar 2019.

Throughout the ages, camellias have been used to represent everything from desire to steadfast love across different cultures. Pink camellias are supposed to indicate longing and red camellias passion or desire, whereas a combination of red and pink camellias expresses romantic love.

Enough about the flower, what about the leaves we all brew and love? Some of you may have heard of the five languages of love, which can all be expressed through tea:

  • Words of affirmation: Instead of ‘going for coffee’, ask someone on a date by saying “Let’s share some tea”. Or, if you’re happily partnered, offering tea or praising a good cuppa is just as loving.
  • Acts of service: Making someone a cup of tea, need I say more?
  • Gifting: Give tea or teaware. You can go the extra mile by finding something personal – a rare tea, a custom blend, a special accessory.
  • Quality time: Tea up an extra long sipping session with your loved one. You know it’s not just about the tea but time you share.
  • Physical touch: They say a cup of tea is like a hug so if your love is long distance, tea is a potential substitute (if you’re hugging in real life though, don’t do it with a hot cup of tea in your hands).

This Valentines Day, or any day, the perfect way to say ‘I love you’ is right in front of you!!

Happy Sipping!

Crazy Tea Lady

wedding tea - the tea of love
Wedding Tea – the tea of love
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Proudly Supplying Southern Forest Sencha Green Tea


We are now the proud stockists of the only teas grown right here in WA! And it is one of the sweetest green teas around!

Meerup tea Estate is a family run farm, and they do it all – from growing and processing to packaging the tea. Originally cattle and avocado farmers, they embarked on their tea journey in 2007. After patiently nurturing the tea plants, and finding the right processing plant, they finally started selling tea for the first time in 2016.

They are committed to zero use of pesticides, herbicides, fungisides and all the things that are put in food to prolong its shelf life.

The Southern Forest Sencha green tea has a slightly sweet, astringent, grassy flavour. It has all the freshness of WA, and the more you drink the tea the sweeter it begins to taste.

Available now, we have 100gram packets of this wonderful loose leaf tea for $12.50.

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Gardening, tea and other things!

Well tea lovers, I have spent all day in my garden today. Mowing the lawn, weeding, and planting new plants.  Call me crazy, but there is something peaceful and calming about pottering around in the garden.  That sense of grounding, of being close to ‘Mother Earth”.  It is as there is nothing else in the world except me and the greenery that surrounds me.  At the end of the day, I sat there with a pot of my favourite tea, fulfilled and at peace.

In this crazy busy full and hectic life that we live, there are not many places that we can go to recharge our batteries, and to re connect with ourselves and the earth.

Tomorrow, the Bedfordale Bush Markets (@bedfordalemarkets) are celebrating ‘sustainable gardening’.  Come down and say hi, chat to other like-minded gardeners, and pick up some supplies for your garden!

The markets are on from 8-1pm.  Hope to see you there!!

Crazy Tea Lady x

“The glory of gardening:  hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body but the soul”  Alfred Austin

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My first Blog Post

Hi there tea lovers!

Well this is my first blog…ever!! It is something that I have wanted to do for such a long time, as I have so much to say about tea, and all the wonderful things about having tea in my life.

And I desperately wanted it to be perfect!   So have kept putting off starting it, because it wasn’t the right day, I was not in the right frame of mind, the weather wasn’t right!  However, I have now realised that all of those things are never all going to be all in line, because life simply isn’t like that.  And if I keep waiting, I will be missing out on doing something that makes me happy.  So… goes!

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting some lovely women at an afternoon tea for International Women’s Day.  Many of them had faced adversity in their lives.   I was blown away by their determination and strength to be the best people that they can be, in spite of what life had thrown at them.  At the centre of all this was their ability to count their blessings daily, to highlight the positives, and to be grateful for the good things in their lives.   And they did not sit and meditate for hours upon end to do this, but simply incorporated gratitude into their normal daily activities.

I have been told by many people that they simply do not have time to use loose leaf tea to make their daily cup of tea, and that tea bags are quicker and easier.  I agree.  Tea made from loose leaves does take more time.  You have to measure out the tea, place it in an infuser or pot, and allow time for the leaves to unfurl and steep, so that the full flavour of the tea can be appreciated.  However, it is during this time, that I practice my daily gratitude.  In that five minutes, I step out from the madness of my day, breathe in the freshly made tea, and mentally acknowledge three things that I am grateful for.  Sometimes this is not easy to do, especially if the day isn’t going so well. And I would say that this is when I need it the most!  The making of my cup of tea allows me to stop, relax and refocus…..the ultimate mindfulness!!!  And I get to enjoy a lovely cup of tea afterward, which always makes me happy!

In our crazy world today, anything that gives you a few minutes just for YOU has to be a good thing!!

Happy sipping

Crazy Tea Lady x