Indulge in Life

Musings from the co-founder of Tielka.

Cold Brew Iced Tea

Rebecca Domorev - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tielka Fairtrade organic cold brew iced tea

I'm racking my brain trying to remember the moment when I was first enlightened to this new / not-so-new anomaly that is cold brew iced tea. I know it happened sometime over the Christmas break while my brain was in creative overdrive but was there an aha moment when I stumbled across this phenomenon? Perhaps there was, but it's gone now. Perhaps because I discovered it was so simple I couldn't really believe it and expected to spend hours researching and testing before working it all out and mastering the process, so I forgot altogether.

The outcome is, I have discovered cold brew iced tea. I'd like to bottle it if I could, but until I can, I'll be sharing it so the world can enjoy it and if you, or someone else you know is a tap-water-only-drinking-cafe-customer that can't find an appealing drink in any good cafe menu, a new light of joy will be dawning.

You may have already heard about my niggling frustration when I go out for "coffee" aka drink of some description. You see, I love going out for "coffee" and I even love the taste of actual coffee, but for me drinking coffee is like playing Russian roulette. Sometimes I drink it and I'm the same happy person I was before I started. Other times I'm on edge for the next few hours and may as well write off the rest of the day. And if I wait too late for a coffee, I'm awake until an ungodly hour chiding myself for giving in to the temptation. And I never order tea, let's face it, I'm spoilt at home with a limitless supply of Tielka and I'm yet to come across a cafe that serves a better brand of tea. Even the endless options of smoothies, juices, soft drinks isn't often appealing as I find they're either too filling, highly processed, or so super sweet that I usually settle with a bottle of mineral water or tap water. Not very exciting, but I REALLY like going to cafes, I love being served food, just the drinks department is often lacking for me. (Actually, this isn't entirely true. I like wine. Wine is good. And I really wouldn't mind a nice glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir if anyone is offering?)

The other day I was at home enjoying a nice cup of cold brew (Tielka) tea with some friends (after celebrating the beginning of the new school year and our newfound freedom as parents with no more little ones at home woooohooo!!!) and they both echoed similar sentiments - about the drinks, not the kids (or maybe about that too?). Being a sugar-free, health conscious family, the cafe drinks fridge is off limits for them and they lamented the lack of attractive drink options. They were intrigued by the cold brew I offered them and the Tielka Breakfast went down a treat.

So I'm going to change this culture, at least I'm going to write about changing this culture, publish a bunch of posts, pics and hope that Aussie cafes take this on board and the world will become a better place with new cold brew tea culture.

It's so simple. Cold Brew Iced Tea. Yet it sounds super fancy and exciting and it's already been hitting the USA and UK over the last couple of years. While it's still in its infancy in Australia, no doubt it's going to get bigger.

How do you make it?

Put tea leaves in a jug, add cold water, sit for a bit, put in fridge, brew overnight, strain and serve. Seriously, it's that simple. I'm not kidding here, that's all you have to do. No special equipment, no complicated university-degree-or-equivalent-training-required, no overgrown beard, large glasses or tattoos required. The only trick is choosing the right tea for the job. Not all teas make nice cold brew. Especially teas that aren't Tielka tea, you can just wipe them of your list straight away for all the obvious reasons and also because an organic specialty tea will always make a better cold brew.

I've been experimenting the last couple of weeks and here are my three favourites - the ones I keep brewing again and again.

  1. Lady Grace Oolong Tea (think deliciously fresh nori sheets)
  2. Tielka Breakfast Black Tea (SO smooth and refreshingly sweet)
  3. Limonada Rosa Herbal Infusion (OMG PING!!!)

I also quite like Earl Royale and South Cloud Chai on milk, but these are my next faves.

Because a bunch of you have scrolled straight to the end of this blog just to find the damn recipe, I'm going to write it out in recipe style so you can find how to make it too:


Makes 1 litre (4 servings)


  • 15 grams of tea (around 7 teaspoons)
  • 1 litre of cold filtered tap water
  • Ice


  • Put tea leaves in jug
  • Pour cold water over tea leaves
  • Allow to sit on the bench for around 30 minutes
  • Put in fridge and let brew for around 16 hours (some say 10-12 hours, I like my brew a little more feisty)
  • Strain into different jug
  • Serve on ice

If you're pushed for fridge storage space, brew the leaves in half the amount of water, then when it comes time to serve, fill the glass half full with brew and fill up the remainder with ice and cold water.

What's so good about cold brew?

For some reason, the cold brew method stops any of the astringent flavours from being extracted from the leaf. The sweetness is heightened and only around 1/3 of the caffeine remains.

PS You can try rebrewing the once-brewed leaves for 24 hours for yourself to enjoy later on - yum!

Happy brewing!


Rebecca Domorev - Thursday, August 11, 2016


I've been writing a few things on what make me happy at the moment. Well here are a few more:

My Keep Calm and Carry On Magnetic Calendar - The Whole Month of August, 2016

Keep calm and carry on calendar

I have this vintage style letterbox-red metal all-purpose any-year calendar that hangs on the wall just above my kettle and Hario Tea Dripper in the kitchen. It's a nifty little device. Every day you move two dark magnetic strips along one spot to coincide with the correct weekday and date of the month. Once a month, you get to move all three, but this is another story of great excitement meant for another day.

As the days of the week start (on this calendar) on a Monday and the date starts with the number one, the day and date almost NEVER line up neatly. And oh the frustration when a month starts on a Tuesday! For the whole month, the date magnet lags just one step behind, almost there and sadly never quite catching up.

But not August 2016! That's right - every day this month, the two little magnetic strips under the day and date line up perfectly. Monday was the 1st, Tuesday was the 2nd, Wednesday the 3rd, Thursday the 4th - you get the idea. On that first Monday, when I realised with great excitement the impending daily unbridled joy of uninterrupted perfectly lined up days and dates for the next 31 days, I called out to my somewhat perfectionist, occasionally OCD son to deliver the news. We high-fived, relishing the thought for a few moments and went on our happy way.

Early Morning Walks with Alison

Sunrise at Agnes Water main beach

I never thought I'd say this, but I like getting up early. Now before your head goes into a spin and you write me off as someone completely untrustworthy to write on the topic of anything-at-all, I'm not talking about that ghastly chasm of eternity that exists somewhere between hearing that first beep of the alarm, realising with great horror that you will have to part ways with the comfort of your cosy pillow and arriving in a foggy haze to the bathroom door. It's what comes after.

I've started morning walks with Alison and I LOVE IT. Three mornings a week, we're up at the crack of dawn, rushing to the beach to make it before the sun pops up, catching a few happy snaps to later post on Facebook (sometimes mulling over the curious thought that we are doing something quite frankly the majority of the population only imagines possible) and enjoying a leisurely stroll home.

But there's much more to it. The buzz lasts a couple of days and I still haven't figured it out. You see, I've tried morning exercise before, in fact I've tried exercise in general, but it has this way of leaving me in a state of painful depletion, of head-throbbing exhaustion while I pathetically try and convince myself that someday I will reap the benefits of hours of relentless pain. Not this time. I arrive home with a bounce in my step and I am ready to take on the world.

New Harvest Cupping

Tea cupping Tielka Fairtrade organic loose leaf Jade Mist green tea

Yesterday a little package of new harvest Fairtrade organic tea samples arrived in the mail. It's hard to believe it's that time of the year again. Now I hesitate to tell you how I am relishing in the blissful new harvest when you have to wait at least another month for it to arrive by sea, but nevertheless, here I am relishing in my cup. Actually I'm sitting on our back deck under a large black umbrella surrounded by hundreds of golden cane palm fronds, blue skies and sunshine, relishing in my cup, but I really don't want to receive hate mail, so let's stick to the brief. The new harvest Fairtrade organic tea samples are fabulous as always. I am not disappointed, but you'll have to wait to hear more on that.

Indulge in Life!

Rebecca Domorev

Tea Lists :: From The Beginnings of Tielka

Rebecca Domorev - Monday, July 25, 2016

Tielka Fairtrade Organic Tea ListTielka Fairtrade Organic Tea List

I remember very well the first time I fell in love with tea. So well, in fact, that I can still picture with remarkable accuracy the vivid burgundy walls of the little café in Kielce, Poland where my love affair with tea first began. Wesoła Kafka was the name of the little café, a name based on Polish word-play translating to both “happy little coffee” and “happy jackdaw”. For those drawing a blank, a jackdaw is a little black bird from the crow family and while that doesn’t sound particularly appealing in English, I am assured in Polish it’s quite an endearing name.

I digress. You see, it wasn’t just the quaint burgundy walls and tiny little nooks where one could hide with a cuppa and a book of Wesoła Kafka that captured me, it was an exhaustive tea list included in the pages of their menu. The descriptions told stories simply with a brief origin label and list of ingredients. Thinking back, had that tea list not been so thoughtfully presented, I could have been won over by the common latte or flat white, but I wasn’t. In that moment tea captured my attention and it still hasn’t let go.

Tielka Fairtrade Organic Tea ListTielka Fairtrade Organic Tea List

As a result, since Tielka began gracing cafes and retailers across Australia, providing tea menus (or tea lists as we now call them) to cafes and retailers has been such a central part of Tielka tea culture. It was never just about the tea itself, even though this alone is incredible. The taste lasts a few moments, but the story, the origins, the harvest, ingredients all enrich that moment and continue to live on, which is why this is so important to me. And with our new branding refresh and introduction of new tea varieties, I am so pleased to be able to start sending out new customised tea lists to stores and cafes where Tielka is being brewed.

Indulge in Life.

Rebecca Domorev

Tielka Fairtrade Organic Tea List

Lightly Boozy Mulled Christmas Tea

Rebecca Domorev - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I created this recipe quite by chance just last week. After watching an educational clip on wine tasting with my husband, I had a sudden urge to splurge on a few bottles of wine to teach my taste buds a thing or two about wine and an unscheduled trip to Bundaberg facilitated what I shall call an educational stop-off at the local liquor store.

For those of you who don’t know, we live in the picturesque, but somewhat remote locale of Agnes Water, QLD and while the two local bottle shops aren’t too shabby, it’s not quite the same as what the big smoke has to offer, which is located a meagre 90 minute drive away.

After choosing a selection of curious looking bottles of vino for my basket, I couldn’t help pass the section on fortified wines to add a bottle of port. And what was my logic to add port, I hear you ask? It was only $7.50 and dropped the average bottle price in my basket enough to make me feel good about my entire purchase.

That evening, on brewing some of Tielka’s limited edition Mulled Christmas Black Tea with honey, I looked wistfully at my recent wine purchase, keen to try something new, and with my tea already in front of me, I felt justified to open the port and throw in half a shot. Of course it wasn’t enough, so another half shot followed.

It was nothing short of tea-wine bliss, I tell you. I was thrown back to my travels in Poland where we often enjoyed a glass of Grzaniec (that’s Polish for hot mulled wine) during the heart of winter, but sadly could never quite reproduce the same taste back home. Alexei insisted that I write down the recipe to share with the whole tea world, so here it is. 

For your enjoyment. Indulge in Life!

Lightly Boozy Mulled Christmas Tea

Makes 2 servings (250ml)


8 grams (4 level teaspoons) Mulled Christmas Black Tea
2 shots port
2 small teaspoons honey
400ml boiling water


1. Brew Mulled Christmas Black Tea in boiling water for 3 minutes
2. Pour tea into two fancy cups
3. Add port and honey to each cup
4. Stir well
5. Enjoy!

Secret Place

Rebecca Domorev - Friday, August 28, 2015
Every morning after school drop off is my favourite time. I arrive home, make myself a cup of tea, go to our back balcony, sit under our umbrella, turn on my Spotify playlist and indulge in this life. I call it my secret place. It's my place of safety, where I can hide, where I have permission to allow my heart to feel and wait on that quiet voice that calms every storm.

After a rather tumultuous day yesterday, of a great high and low, this morning I sat again under the umbrella. The first half hour my mind was a flurry of activity, of frustration, of hurt. It clouded some of the best news I had received in quite some time. My plans to put things right, to fight back consumed my mind and I was ready to get into action. Then a little voice inside prompted me not to start work yet but make a cup of tea, sit and gently let things go.

I've been sitting here for almost two hours this morning, a little longer than normal, but that's ok. I'm now at peace and know that everything will work together for good. Those two hours are probably the most valuable time I will spend this day.

Indulge in Life.

Rebecca Domorev

Warm Winter Chai

Rebecca Domorev - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's feeling rather frosty here in sunny Queensland. This morning I woke up with what felt like snow biting my nose, not at all impressed my wake up call was what seemed like the next world war breaking out in the kid's bedroom. Someone stole someone's Lego and it all went downhill from there.

My trusty weather app provides no comfort or hope for warmth, proclaiming it is currently 8 degrees outside. Now for those if you in more southerly states, you may be smirking at my Queensland softness right now, so believe me it felt like -5 degrees outside. 

My morning tells me it's time to head down to the Tielka warehouse and get some business action happening but the distinct lack of heating screams "Stay away!!! For the love of your freezing toes, brew some tea, take some pretty pics, post them pics on Instagram and sit on the couch!!!". So this is my blessed attempt to make my morning productive while enjoying the heating of our blissfully warm Queenslander.

South Cloud ChaiSouth Cloud ChaiSouth Cloud ChaiSouth Cloud Chai

The productiveness of this morning's cold-avoidance comes in the form of my old time favourite chai recipe and I thus name it "Warm Winter Chai"! It's simple, delicious and naturally only tastes this good when you brew it with Tielka's South Cloud Chai. Here it is:

Warm Winter Chai 

(makes 300ml)


1 tbspn (6gm approx) South Cloud Chai
1 tspn honey
1 tiny pinch (1.5gm approx) freshly grated ginger
160ml boiling water
150ml frothed milk

1. Scoop South Cloud Chai into brewing vessel (teapot / jug with lid)
2. Add fresh ginger
3. Pour boiling water over chai, cover
4. Brew for 3-4 min
5. Heat and froth milk
6. Measure honey into serving jug
7. Strain chai brew into serving jug, mix with honey
8. Pour over frothed milk
9. Serve and enjoy!

Tea and Butter Biscuits

Rebecca Domorev - Friday, March 27, 2015

A couple of days ago I had an unusual urge to dust off my baking equipment and put a little tea in something, unsure of what the result may be. I googled a recipe for biscuits and decided that adding a dash or two of super-strong brewed Earl Royale Black Tea would be a good idea.

I can tell you the mix before I added the flour what no less than heavenly. A mix of butter cream and egg with a divine whisp of Earl Royale. Yum! I could have finished off the whole lot, but was determined to complete the mix. The flour somewhat lessened the tea kick and I thought to add more tea leaves to the brew next time I baked. Nevertheless, the biscuits were lovely and I think I polished off five or six before I walked away from the tray.
Here's the recipe - enjoy! x

Tea and Butter Biscuits

100gm butter 

1/2 tspn vanilla 

1 egg 

2 cups SR flour 

1/2 cup sugar 

4 tspn Earl Royale Black Tea brewed in 100ml boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. 

2. Brew Earl Royale Black Tea in 100ml of boiling water (covered) for at least 5 minutes (the longer the better!).

3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Add egg, Earl Royale Black Tea brew (no leaves!) and mix until well combined.  

4. Sift flour over butter mixture. 

5. Using 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll mixture into balls. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Using the heel of your hand, flatten biscuits slightly (allow room for spreading). 

6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, swapping trays over in oven after 10 minutes, or until light golden. Allow biscuits to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

7. Serve with Earl Royale Black Tea and enjoy! 

Order Earl Royale Black Tea now. 

Indulge in Life!

Honey, Lemon & Fresh Mint Iced Green Tea

Rebecca Domorev - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Homemade for me, thanks!

I’ve never been a fan of those sugary, mass produced, mass marketed bottles of iced tea that are buoyantly advertised on commercial TV with colourful dancing and an endlessly supply of energetic pizazz. 

And while I’ll gratefully accept a half-glass at a party or friend’s place, it’s really not something I hope to be served at a cafe or restaurant.

This week, while enduring what seems like the gazillionth consecutive week of Queensland’s blissful, non-stop hot summer weather, waiting impatiently for the cooler weather to really enjoy a hot cup of tea, I decided to bite the bullet and finally brew some proper iced tea, homemade style.

Some of my favourite ingredients were close at hand - Jade Mist Green Tea (of course!), fresh mint from the herb and salad farm just out of town, a zingy lemon and some locally made honey. It’s hardly surprising, really - beautiful ingredients treated with the right care will almost always produce a beautiful final product. Enjoy!

Honey, Lemon & Fresh Mint Iced Green Tea

2 teaspoons Jade Mist Green Tea
2 tablespoons honey
3 slices of lemon
200ml hot water (70 degrees)
2 sprigs of fresh mint, torn

1. Place Jade Mist Green Tea, honey, mint leaves and lemon slices in jug.
2. Add hot water (70 degrees).
3. Brew for 3 minutes (it can help to poke the lemon slices for a little extra zing). 
4. Add ice to double water quantity.
5. Allow to stand until brew is icy cold.
6. Pour through strainer into cup.
7. Serve with ice.
8. Enjoy!

Order Jade Mist Green Tea now

Is that a teabag?

Rebecca Domorev - Friday, September 05, 2014

My husband and I were recently out for lunch at one of our favourite local cafes. It was the sort of cafe that was busting with delicious local produce, beautifully made homemade cakes, Good Food Guide recommendations, coffee and of course, Tielka Fairtrade organic tea. The tables were gorgeously displayed with our new Tea Tasting Notes and I felt a surge of pride when I saw our very own tea tins displayed behind the counter.

We had not long sat down to eat when two older couples sat down in the table alongside us. No doubt escaping the cold south to soak up the Queensland sun, who could blame these cheery grey nomads, as they call them up this way?

I wasn't paying particular attention to what our grey neighbours were up to until something startled me. A moment after they were served, one of the ladies reached into her handbag, pulled out a scrunched up teabag and dropped it into the pot of plain hot water she had requested. I let out an audible gasp and immediately felt embarrassed, wondering if they had not heard me but secretly hoping they had. 

Now before I jump up on my high horse and proclaim that I have never done such a terrible unsightly thing, I must admit I have been guilty many a time of brewing Tielka tea in a cup of hot water at McDonald's (I'm not excited about paying for supermarket variety Lipton teabags when at a cafe). 

Nevertheless, it took me a moment to gather my thoughts and understand the inner turmoil I was feeling. For the last five our six years I have been dedicating my time opening up a new world of tea to everyone I meet. I have loved watching the faces of people as they have experienced Tielka specialty teas for the first time and sensing they finally understood what they have been missing all these years; that the sacred teabag is nothing more than the equivalent of a cup of instant coffee and a world of tea is yet to be experienced. And if brewing loose leaf tea at home was daunting, at the very least, people could begin to experience this in a cafe setting.

And as I sat there, I sat perplexed as to why anyone would choose, in such an environment, a little bag of floor-sweepings when they could have a gorgeous pot of handcrafted tea-bliss. Why, oh why?!

Humpf. Ah well. I promptly got over myself, left, vowed I would write about this little experience and later regretted not ordering a pot of Tielka tea for our lovely neighbour.

Next time I see someone brewing their own teabag in a cafe, I promise to put things right.

Indulge in Life!

Rebecca Domorev

TEA PAIRING: English Breakfast

Rebecca Domorev - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fairtrade organic English Breakfast Tea

Every time I brew this beautiful breakfast blend I find myself wondering why I’m not drinking it by the bucket. And here I am once again drinking it straight out of my glass jug (one teacup is never enough!), after all a glass jug is much more fancy than a bucket and there’s no such thing as too much tea. But there’s something missing to finish off this smooth moment and my tastebuds are searching…

Tielka’s Fairtrade organic English Breakfast is quite unique – a keemun congou style black tea from the Hubei Province in China, these unique flavours can be enhanced and brought out with some clever pairing.

So what should you serve it with? 

It’s an obvious choice to serve this with any breakfast (no milk please, this one’s too delicate!), but here are a couple of other ideas you may not have considered:

Cheesecake + English Breakfast

This one is a match made in heaven, nothing can possibly go wrong. I’m itching to get into the kitchen to see what cheesecakey goodness I throw together. Again, no milk – there’s enough milky goodness in the cheesecake to balance these flavours.

Vanilla + English Breakfast

Let’s take this a step further and throw in some fresh vanilla bean. Vanilla bean cheesecake, or how about a vanilla bean crème brulee? Happy times!

What else would you like to pair? Let us know and we’ll get some ideas brewing.

Indulge in Life
Rebecca Domorev

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