Posted on Leave a comment

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

xx

MRS C’S SCONE RECIPE

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups SR flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ cup water
Method:
  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:

https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/25-effective-ways-to-increase-oxytocin-levels-in-the-brain

Posted on Leave a comment

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 🙂

https://highteawithharriet.com.au/

Posted on Leave a comment

Tea is LOVE

tea gifts perth

T

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