Tea Time With Kate Dalton
They say there’s not much a good cup of tea can’t fix. Cue Kate Dalton. The founder of local Byron brand Mayde Tea dedicates her time to concocting therapeutic blends of organic tea with the best of nature’s nutrients. Informed by her knowledge of naturopathy (and beautiful taste in design), Mayde Tea’s brews are more than a good cuppa, they’re a ritual and a remedy – ones much loved by the Auguste team.
Get the kettle on and read our interview with Kate below.
Tell us about Mayde Tea. What inspired you to start the business?
Mayde Tea was born almost 5 years ago when I was 23, somewhere amongst a double university degree and a full-time café job! What a whirlwind that was! While I was learning about herbal medicine at uni, I was creating herbal blends for my own health issues – for digestive symptoms, insomnia and anxiety. I was so excited about the results I was getting, I started to feel the best I ever have! All of a sudden, random people started asking to buy the blends from me! At this point I was a full-blown tea addict with a stupid amount of tea in my collection, and I was always on a search for a tea brand that was not only organic, handmade and sustainably produced, but also looked beautiful when it was lined next to my perfectly placed kitchen appliances lining my bench! This was surprisingly hard to find, so I made a mission to create it! I started the business with a whole heap of knowledge about the medicinal properties of herbs, and I definitely knew what packaging 'looked pretty.’ I had next to no knowledge about running a business though, so that was an interesting learning curve, but it’s been the greatest journey!
Arriving to Byron felt like coming home - the community here is just so beautiful. I feel like the small businesses here really work together, and help to lift each other up, and that's one of the most beautiful things about this area!
How important is tea when it comes to health?
This should really not be underestimated! The first thing I love talking about is the actual act of making a loose-leaf herbal tea. Being able to take time out for yourself is so important, even if it’s for five minutes a day while (consciously) making a cup of tea. Mindfully boiling the kettle, admiring the beautiful different vibrant herbs going into your teapot, and waiting the couple of minutes for it to steep (and forcing yourself not to multitask).
Then of course, the herbs we use in our organic tea blends have different therapeutic components that can help to improve the function of all body systems: digestive, nervous, endocrine(hormones) and immune. An example is the active component of peppermint, menthol, is a volatile oil that has a relaxing effect on the intestines, lessening spasms and cramps. Calendula, also known as Marigold, has active components called flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Can you tell us about your process when it comes to creating blends?
So I basically create a product ‘avatar.’ This means I have a potential client and their symptomatic picture in mind who is in need of this blend. For example the newest blend called Nursing is for a breastfeeding mum. The tea is formulated with the mum’s needs in mind – it helps to support her digestion, has a calming effect on her nervous system and helps to encourage healthy milk production. These benefits are passed through her breastmilk, supporting the baby’s digestive processes, reducing colic, and helping them to relax. I do further research on the herbs after coming up with which ones I'd like to include, just to make sure I have addressed all of the client’s needs. We then do a few rounds of recipe testing, tweaking until the flavour profile is right.
You’re originally from Jervis Bay. What keeps you up here on the north coast?
Jervis Bay is a stunning area on the coast, 2 hours south of Sydney. After school so I moved to Sydney to start to work on my career. I dabbled in the corporate world for a little too long, then swapped it for study. As Mayde Tea started growing at a rapid rate, I needed a warehouse, and Byron Bay was somewhere I visited often, but I only ever dreamt of making it my home. I’m pretty spontaneous… I had a week left of uni holidays at the time, and that's what helped me leave! I packed my tiny car and drove up.Arriving to Byron felt like coming home – the community here is just so beautiful. I feel like the small businesses here really work together, and help to lift each other up, and that's one of the most beautiful things about this area!The warmer weather and surfing at The Pass has helped to keep me here, too.
What’s your average morning look like?
I always wake up and meditate for 10 minutes. This isn’t a long time, but I find it hugely effective! I then make sure I get outside. I usually go to the dog beach with Molly and have a dip – it’s the best way to start the day! I’ll then either go for a long walk with Molly or do a class at the gym. I find if I get the blood flowing early, I’m bound to have a productive day! I have a big brekky of eggs, greens, avocado and whatever else I feel like (sometimes followed by sourdough and a banana because I’m starving in the morning!) and then I get to work, which is either in my clinic in Burleigh, in the shop in Byron or in our home office.