Indulge in Life

Musings from the co-founder of Tielka.

Stockist Profile :: Nutmeg Cakes and Cookies, East Gosford, NSW

Rebecca Domorev - Monday, September 25, 2017

Tielka Fairtrade Organic Tea at Nutmeg Cakes and Cookies

Shop 2, 54 York Street, East Gosford, NSW 2250


Jenni Darwin

When did you start your business? 

What inspired you to start your business? 
A passion for creating pretty things in sugar, starting with my kids birthday parties and then it just grew until finally the dream cake shop serving gorgeous cakes and lovely tea.

What do you love about your business?
Cakes bring people a moment of joy - from a simple treat to a celebration of a life event. I love being part of that. Plus the creative side - every cake is a new challenge, a new design - so its really rewarding when it turns out well.

What's your favourite menu item?
Caramel fudge cupcake with praline shards and a salted caramel drizzle - YUM!

What little thing in life gives you joy?
The ocean, a hug, hearing people's stories when they come into our little shop.

How do you recharge your batteries?
Surfing, ski paddling, running, swimming - anything outdoors, near the beach and active.

What's your favourite Tielka tea?
Honestly, it's the Tielka Breakfast Black Tea - I love it - soft and fragrant with no after taste. I always have a pot on the go whilst I'm making cakes.


  • Fairtrade Organic Tielka Breakfast Black Tea
  • Fairtrade Organic Earl Royale Black Tea
  • Fairtrade Organic South Cloud Chai Black Tea
  • Fairtrade Organic Peppermint Leaf Herbal Infusion
  • Fairtrade Organic Rose Moscato Green Tea
  • Fairtrade Organic Limonada Rosa Herbal Infusion

Sea Changing Traffic

Rebecca Domorev - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Mornign Traffic in Agnes Water

10 hours a week. 40 weeks a year. Dedicated to the blessed carpark that was Melbourne traffic. And that was just on school pick ups and drop offs alone. Then there were the daily trips to the post office (5 hours a week), shops, work, friends places, other errands (at least 30 minutes a piece) and the time spent navigating through each space. I struggle to comprehend the amount of life that were whisked away by the "convenience" of living in a big city.

It didn't really dawn on me until a month or two after we'd moved Tielka and the family from Melbourne to Agnes Water, QLD. For those that don't know, Agnes Water is a tiny beach paradise located 5.5 hours north of Brisbane and 1 hour 20 minutes from the bustling beverage locale of Bundaberg. We moved there three years ago.

It dawned on me one morning when I had to make a trip to the local Centrelink office before work. I dropped my son off at school and headed straight there. I was mentally prepared and I knew I had the whole morning available to deal with Centrelink. What a surprise it was. First there was the three minute drive to the local school to drop off my son, followed by a two minute drive to Centrelink (probably only 45 seconds, but there's time spent getting in and out of the car and finding a park). I walked into Centrelink (the office here also provides all the local government services to our small town), went straight to the counter and a friendly face greeted me. She took my wad of documents and asked me to collect them the following day. Two minutes from arriving I was already out the door and three minutes later I was home. 10 minutes total. TEN MINUTES!!! Consider the gravity of these two words. That's a school drop off AND a trip to Centrelink. I was in shock for the rest of the day.

I'd like to take you back a few years earlier for a similar but slightly different experience I had in Melbourne. One morning, I had to make a trip to the local Centrelink office. I dropped my son off at kinder and headed straight there. Luckily there was a car park near the front of the office. I only had to drop off some documents so the 2 hour parking limit would be more than enough. I walked in the door but didn't get far. The queue ended almost where I entered. A friendly face greeted me and asked what I needed. I explained I needed to drop off some documents and she wrote down a few notes and said it wouldn't be too long. I waited. And waited. And waited. Around forty five minutes later I made a query and was assured it wouldn't be too long. Some time after that a lady called out my name and escorted me to her desk. Finally. She could take my documents and I could go on my happy way. But I waited while I was poked and prodded with question after question, trying my best to answer as correctly as possible but feeling like holes were being poked in the honesty of my application. After what felt like a slightly shorter version of eternity, it was over. Frazzled and completely spent, I walked to my car only to find a parking fine stuck to my window. I think I lost it at this point. 4 hours total. FOUR HOURS!!! Consider the gravity of these two words. That's a school drop off and a trip to Centrelink AND a parking fine.

Don't get me wrong, I love Melbourne. I love my friends and family that are still there. I love the cafes, the hustle and bustle of the city, the crazy weather. I love to VISIT.

But there's nothing like home, living and keeping Tielka thriving in Agnes Water. I love my friends and family that are here. I love the five minute round trip to school and back, the 25 minute walk from home along the beach, around the shops and back home again. The 20 minute trip to buy milk at Foodworks because I bump into this friend or that. The six minute drive to 1770 for lagoon swimming paradise in case the palms around our balcony are not enough to remind me the beauty of where we live. And the 20 second walk to the Tielka warehouse. Because in small towns, there's no shortage of space to set up business, live life and enjoy the traffic.


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

Joy II

Rebecca Domorev - Friday, August 05, 2016


I woke yesterday morning with an unusual dose of bounce, life and gusto. With great theatrics, I skipped into the kitchen flipped on the kettle, threw a bunch of Jade Mist Green Tea leaves into my brewing vessel, splashed water from a great height and waited my ritual three minutes for a morning dose of joy. With tea, music, headphones and a basket full of sunshine in hand, I ventured out to my little possy on the back deck and considered with great enthusiasm my next blog entry. Only now, realising what was a knowing, mischievous inner voice, a striking thought was thrown into my mind “now what on earth could spoil a day like today!”. Yes. Indeed.
And then the email arrived. And oh how it arrived. A ridonculously time-sensitive super-duper valuable document I had sent a couple of days earlier that had been marked as delivered with a smile, was nowhere to be found. I think my insides resembled a washing machine at that moment.
Ha. So much for my blog entry. So much for any form of productiveness whatsoever. My blog entry was shelved to the following day (that’s today!), my to-do list was seriously revised to remove any creativity-demanding / being-nice-to-people-skills related tasks and replaced with cutting up tea menus and packaging tea. Strangely, I don’t mind packaging tea on occasion. It’s brainless, monotonous and therapeutic.
I know myself well in these circumstances, the usual “the world is coming to an end!” takes over and it’s a downward spiral from there. But this time I decided to take a step back and actually let a little objectivity play a role; after all, I had done everything in my power to solve the problem, I was now playing the waiting game. I thought I might even do something crazy like let wisdom influence the moment. It’s an opportunity in disguise! Or a setback, a chance to stop, to consider my response and take a different path! And what if this moment was specifically orchestrated to prepare me to have the capacity to deal with bigger and more complicated difficulties? A new calm decisiveness started to direct my thoughts and I even managed to enjoy chats with a few clients.
I’m not saying these thoughts stopped my stomach from churning entirely, and certainly the relief when I received the email that the document had been found was indeed, great. But there was a little sense of inner pride when I realised I hadn’t responded too badly, that just because difficulties in the past had sometimes seen me spiral into anxious oblivion, it didn’t mean this would always be the way and perhaps I may even have the capacity to deal with greater things.
And there’s one thing I know for sure, that the road to greater things is always mottled with crisis - and joy if you’re ready.




Rebecca Domorev - Thursday, July 28, 2016

There are a few things I really like at the moment. Actually, I quite like them pretty much all the time. Here they are:

Not having to make dinner

Last night we went to my parent’s place for dinner. As in true grey nomad style, they’re staying up here in Agnes Water for the winter and recently they relocated from their tiny caravan to a spacious residence at the back of the local Baptist church. Mum was pleased to have some space for guests and I was stoked to be invited for dinner. Not just because I quite enjoy their company, even while sitting through a game of Rummy Gummy (I won last night, by the way), but because I didn’t have to make dinner. That’s right. It didn’t just make my evening that much more fabulous. My whole day yesterday was filled with little pockets of joy each time I remembered with great delight that I didn’t have to think about making dinner. It’s like that little space which opened up every couple of hours that usually requires dinner-thinking-then-making-energy got replaced with a big fat ray of sunshine. There’s not much that will beat that.


Meet Bertie

I discovered Bertie a couple of months ago. One day when sitting in my back balcony over my usual morning cuppa and quiet time, I noticed a khaki-coloured cricket sitting on a palm frond near the back railing of our balcony. And then the next day he was there, and the day after and the day after that. In fact, for two weeks, I noticed he was there every single day without moving an inch. After two weeks had past, I put some energy into considering this little fella on my back palm frond and concluded he must be dead and his little spiky legs had fused themselves onto the frond. Not so. One day I actually got up and walked over to Bertie (as I later named him) and as I approached, he moved very slightly. He’s alive! I realised with a pinch of excitement. And ever since then, when I sit down with my cuppa, I glance over to Bertie’s frond and for some reason, seeing him still there warms my heart. It’s nice to drink a cuppa with a friend, especially a friend who’s quite happy to sit quietly without requiring anything of me while I drink tea in my little secret place.


It goes without saying, really. This morning after my fabulous evening of good company, not having to make dinner and winning a game of cards, I brewed another round of Persian Mint Chai and went out to check on Bertie. My new addition chai blend has turned out to be quite the dark horse. Only yesterday I discovered (after creating it last year and releasing it in May) that I like the second brew even better than the first. The brew becomes quite crisp and clean the second time around. The mint and cardamom still keep giving, which is a great quality to have – not unlike good ol’ Bertie and that feeling of not having to make dinner.