In part four of our series on South Australian tea makers, we meet Belinda Hellyer of Brewed By Belinda, who uses her arts background to make tea for creative souls.
When Belinda Hellyer was a little girl, she and her sister ran to the door when their dad got home from work.
“He was a builder and he’d take a thermos of black tea with sugar with him. We’d race to his van to drink the last of it. He had an aluminum teapot every morning with proper tea leaves, too,” she says.
Her nana drank traditional English white tea in ‘proper cups’.
“I fell in love with the ritual really early on.”
Belinda went on to work as a performing artist and producer, and tea was part of her creative process.
“I’d work with a pot of tea. They went hand in hand for me.”
After the birth of her sons, a burning desire to make her own tea range grew too strong to ignore.
“It suddenly hit me that I could use the arts as an inspiration point and bring those two loves together.”
During a blending course with Australian Tea Masters, she made her first blend called Opening Night Nerves. That was December 2015.
I fell in love with the ritual really early on.”
She’s since added Director’s Notes, Chookas Chai, Perfect Composition, Jazz Hands, and Warm Up to the range. Standing Ovation won gold in the national 2017 Golden Leaf Awards.
“It is a premium white tea from the Fujian province in China. I’ve blended the buds with organic rose petals. Just two ingredients – I hit a balance.
“Often when you’re blending tea, you get tempted to add too much in and then it tastes awful. I kept it simple and I love it because it’s very pure and clarifying.”
Balancing motherhood, a day job with Restless Dance Theatre, and building a brand hasn’t been easy.
“I followed something inside me. It was really scary – packaging, branding, deciding what to call your business… it’s an interesting process.”
Portraying her sense of humour through the blends is deeply fulfilling.
“It’s been something really true to me. My sleep tea is called Blackout. My calming tea is called Opening Night Nerves. I wanted to create teas with artists in mind, so I created a tea called Creativitea.
“I found this herb called gotu kola that the monks used to use when they meditated to help them still the mind and body – so I used that in the mix.”
I followed something inside me. It was really scary – packaging, branding, deciding what to call your business… it’s an interesting process.”
Belinda also runs Brew In workshops and creates custom blends. Most of all, she loves to drink it.
“The process of brewing in a proper pot, sitting, serving, and talking about it. It’s so communal – it brings people together.”
Got a favourite tea spot in South Australia? A tip for brewing the perfect cuppa? Let us know in the comments, below.