New Teas for August!


At Mama Tea HQ, for August,  we have decamped to the beautiful isle of Ibiza…

Mama Tea Day Spa

Normally a massive party place at this time of the year, we have been over on the quieter side of the island…all long beach walks and dreaming of sweet herbs…

I firmly believe in the holistic power of herbs and flowers and no-where does it feel more natural to create new tea blends than on this lovely island. Inspired by the beautiful tanned fit people I see everywhere here, I felt inspired to create some iced teas that are not only tasty but also good for your beauty, fitness and detox regimes.

BERRY BLUSH | Iced Tea

First up is Berry Blush which I created specifically as an iced tea.

berry blush tea

Spare your blushes with this glamorous beauty berry tea. We have blended the pinky red cranberries with green apples, hibiscus and soft white vanilla to create a beauty tea like no other.

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Cranberries are a super fruit; a powerful antioxidant, they are an incredible ingredient for your skin. With such strong antioxidant qualities, they help the skin to get rid of free radicals with contribute to the aging process, leaving you with youthful looking skin.

The high percentage of Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5 and antioxidants in this fruit makes it useful in shielding our skin against any harm caused due to environmental factors.

Vitamin C, one of the amazing components contained in cranberry juice, is essential for the formation of hydroxylisine, hydroxyproline, and amino acids required by the body to produce collagen. Oxygen and other important nutrients are responsible for keeping the skin firm and soft. They also make the skin look radiant and young. The collagen present in the cranberry juice helps to serve this purpose.

Cranberries also should be consumed daily, to help avoid dental problems like cavities and plague. This is truly the art of beauty by prevention.

RUBY RHUBARB | Detox Tea

Next up, is the delightful RUBY RHUBARB Detox Tea

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Get fit this summer with our Ruby Rhubarb Detox Tea. Whether it is running along the beach or in the park, sip this pink beauty of a tea to aid your fitness routine and overall detox regime.

Packed with fitness beauties like elderberries, hibiscus blossoms, apples and Rhubarb, this is an energising detox tea that hydrates as well as energises.

Imagine the sweet aroma of freshly baked Rhubarb Pie as you sip this ruby beauty.

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PINEAPPLE PAMPER | Iced Tea

Last up, is our fruity Pineapple Pamper Iced Tea

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Feel pampered at the Mama Tea Day Spa with this tropical citrus tea! The freshest pineapples have been cut up and blended with full round lemons for the ultimate refreshing iced fruit tea.

Think of a warm day on the beach in Ibiza, with the heat of sun on your skin and the taste of lemon on your lips. Pineapple sweet surfboards, boho blueberry bikinis and golden tanned skin.

The Mama Tea Day Spa is right on the beach, so that you can relax, watching the ocean with the scent of lemons in the air…

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Mama Tea is a Marketing Winner!


mama tea marketing winner

Here at Mama Tea we’re delighted that, on Thursday 30th May, we won the Marketing award at the prestigious Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

The awards dinner was a beautiful and sparkling event held under the chandeliers of the newly refurbished Assembly Rooms on George Street, Edinburgh. The evening commenced with a drinks reception in the West Drawing Room and Ball Room followed by dinner in the Music Hall. The dinner and award presentation was hosted by Hardeep Singh Kohli.

There were twenty awards handed out on the night, one of the highlights being the Outstanding Achievement in Food and Drink Award that was awarded to Paul Grant MBE of jam makers Mackays.

mama tea award

The Mama couldn’t stop smiling!

Caffeine and Pregnancy – the threat of Miscarriage and why you should go caffeine-free


Why is Caffeine so bad for Pregnancy?

When I started Mama Tea, it came from an idea I had during my pregnancy. I had struggled to come “off the bean” and forgo caffeine before getting pregnant and in-between pregnancies but I managed it during my pregnancies by drinking lots of herbal teas. However, the problem was that a lot of herbal teas just didn’t taste very good, hence my business idea for Mama Tea. I also suffered three miscarriages in-be-tween having my two children, so I believe the information below is important reading for any ladies who sadly have gone through the same terrible heartache.

Caffeine and Pregnancy

So, if you are pregnant, can you still drink coffee or not? Some of the evidence is a little contradictory or rather it doesn’t present the whole picture. Whilst the NHS advises pregnant women to limit caffeine during pregnancy, stating that  “You don’t need to cut caffeine out completely, but you should limit how much you have to no more than 200mg a day“.  The Food Standards Agency states “Pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to 200mg a day” and also states that tea and coffee manufacturers do not have to state the amount of caffeine in their products. Interestingly the British Coffee Association also has a section on Pregnancy . They quote the Royal College of Midwives – “There is no definitive evidence to show that caffeine in moderation has any adverse effects during pregnancy”.  They do list some studies OTHER than ones like the ones I have listed below, which seem to support this advice, which is fine but doesn’t seem to be the whole picture to me.

I think there are two main problems with this advice: first of all, it is what this advice DOESN’T tell you that is worrying.

Caffeine and Miscarriage

Miscarriage is one of the most devastating things that can happen. It is awful. If you are a pregnant women who has suffered previous miscarriages, you want to do everything and anything you can to prevent it happening again. The medical advice is often you cannot do anything to prevent it which I do believe. However, if I had known about the undernoted information before I suffered my miscarriages, then I would never have gone near caffeine the whole time I was trying to get pregnant. The advice above is FAILING the many women who sadly suffer such a sad event and loss. So little is known about miscarriage but if we know these facts, then we should act on them. These women need to know these facts and they are facts. These are all medical studies that have been proven and are listed in Stephen Cherniske’s brilliant book, “Caffeine Blues”:-

The simple fact is that the developing fetus cannot process caffeine in the same way that an adult can, which means that the caffeine is extremely toxic. It is simply not worth the risk. Much as I loved my cappuccinos, it simply wasn’t worth it but no-one warned me. The information simply wasn’t there.

Measuring consumption of caffeine during pregnancy

The second problem with this advice is that it is really hard to measure the amount of caffeine that you drink (and eat) in one day. What is “moderation” as indicated above? Is the 200mgs a day ok? If you have drunk a lot of caffeine BEFORE pregnancy, this amount seems to be below 163 mgs (see note above). Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, decaffeinated tea and coffee, green tea, cocoa, soft drinks, medications and chocolate. Most coffee shops automatically serve double shots of coffee in cappuccinos and lattes and as shown in this article by the Telegraph, some cups of coffee on the high street have as much as six times their rival chains! Those involved in the caffeine industry do NOT have to list the amount of caffeine in their products. Why not? It is a highly addictive drug that can be very harmful to pregnant women and their developing babies. I love the odd cappuccino like everyone else but at least force the industry to give us an informed choice.

Is it time to change the advice?

The summary seems to be that this is not as cut and dried as stick to the 200mgs a day and you will be ok. It is much more complicated than that, as we have seen above. If we now know that there is a definite link between caffeine and miscarriage then why do organizations like the British Coffee Association and the Royal College of Midwives not include this information as a “full picture”, so that a pregnant woman can make her up her own mind? If you go over the “2-3 cups” or if you have had miscarriages before, or indeed if you have drunk a lot of caffeine BEFORE pregnancy, the advice above is simply not correct and could be downright dangerous. Why can’t the advice be to avoid the caffeine if you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or have suffered a miscarriage and are trying again rather than take the risk? If I was having a Dan Brown moment, I would suspect that it might not be in the interests of the “caffeine industry” to do so…..

I fully recommend the following book to anyone who is interested in reading more about caffeine and its health implications: “Caffeine Blues” by Stephen Cherniske, M.S. .

If you have suffered a miscarriage or are threatening miscarriage, please go to The Miscarriage Association  for support and advice and a special prayer to you.

Take care

Anna Louise Simpson
CEO and Founder of Mama Tea

Mama Tea Recipes and Pinterest Competition


Mama Tea recipe competition

We love food….and we love drinking Mama Tea, so we came up with the idea to combine the two and have some fun with our customers – a competition to come up with the most interesting recipe using one, or more, of the Mama Tea teas.

Once you’ve come up with a recipe, email us (info@mamatea.com) the recipe and some photographs of the finished product,, we’ll publish your recipe here on our blog and on our Pinterest board,  a winner will be chosen and they’ll win a copy of “The Great British Bake Off, How to Bake”.

mama tea competition

Your recipe doesn’t need to involve baking, it could be using mama tea as a stock for something, it could be using the herbs from a teabag for seasoning, be as inventive as you want to be and have some fun!

Benefits of Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea.


New year, new you- it’s a slogan we see on the cover of numerous magazines at this time of year and while most of us don’t overhaul our life quite as radically as becoming a whole new person, we do think about changes that can be made to improve our life and one of the areas that is common to many new year resolutions is health and healthier living.

rooibos tea

Replacing your daily cup of tea or coffee with a healthier drink seems like quite a simple step to take in the attempt to improve one’s health. Two of the much touted healthy hot drink options are green tea and rooibos tea. Both are high in antioxidants which are known for their cancer and disease fighting properties making them an appealing healthy option.

The key difference between rooibos and green tea is that rooibos is naturally caffeine-free whereas green tea contains caffeine.

Rooibos (or red bush) tea is brewed from the leaves of the rooibos plant that grows in the Western Cape, South Africa, it is often classed as a herbal tea although many people in South Africa drink it with milk and sugar in the same way many of us drink black tea. Green tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that black teas are made from, explaining why green tea is caffeinated.

Here at Mama Tea we maybe biased as we sell rooibos tea, our lovely glowing mama, but if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your usual cup of tea or coffee we would definitely recommend rooibos over green tea as you get all the benefits of the antioxidants but none of the negatives of caffeine.

Mama Tea’s Morning Sickness Tips


Morning sickness is one of the classic signs of pregnancy, for some women it is the first sign of pregnancy. So what can you do to relieve the unpleasant symptoms?

Drink Morning Mama

mama tea morning mama

The mama, of mama tea, created morning mama with nausea and morning sickness in mind. She worked with a master tea blender and a medical herbalist to blend a gentle and delicate ginger and chamomile tea. The tea is a blend of ginger, chamomile, lemon balm, lemon peel and orange peel. Ginger, chamomile and lemon balm are all used to combat vomiting and in eastern traditions orange peel is used for morning sickness. Even better is that, as well as being a blend of herbs with lovely properties, it tastes great and can be enjoyed any time of the day. To buy morning mama click here (we can sell worldwide from our website).

Eat Small Frequent Meals

Despite any urges to stay away from food for fear of nausea and sickness, doctors recommend that you eat regularly and drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Even when you’re feeling delicate a little bland food is thought to help ease the nausea rather than aggravate it, stay away from foods that make you cringe and eat your comfort foods. It is generally thought that fried and fatty foods are not a good idea and are more likely to aggravate than settle the stomach but listen to your body as we’re all different.

Rest and Exercise

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Put your feet up and treat yourself to some me time whenever you can and do your best to get enough sleep every night. Similarly exercise within your comfort levels, whether it is a walk in the park or a gentle run, exercise can increase your general feeling of well being and help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.

Avoid Hot Environments

Hot environments increase the feeling of nausea and discomfort, cool fresh air is preferable. Carry some unscented baby wipes so you can freshen up whenever you need to.

Acupressure Bands

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Some women find acupressure bands worn on the wrists help with nausea. They work using the same theories as acupuncture. Acupressure bands can be used for any sort of nausea not just morning sickness.

Do you have any tips on how to ease morning sickness?

Herbal Tea is not just for drinking!


mama tea cupcakes

We have been experimenting with baking Mama Tea cupcakes and it’s got us thinking of other things we could make with herbal tea for, so here’s a run down of some of the ideas we’ve had.

Herbal tea ice cubes

herbal tea ice cubes

Really simple to make; brew some tea (you may want to make it stronger than usual as the flavour dulls when cooled), allow to cool a bit then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. To make the ice cubes even more special how about freezing some mint leaves or strawberries or lemon slices in them.

Herbal tea stock

We haven’t quite got this idea figured out yet but, working on the theory that where ever you use water in recipe you could potentially consider using tea for an alternative flavour, we feel there could be potential to use tea instead of stock when making soups. How about carrot soup made with a morning mama stock (ginger and chamomile) or sweet potato soup with a glowing mama stock (rooibos and elderflower)?

Herbal tea sorbet

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Similar to the ice cubes and stock, replace the water content of your sorbet recipe with brewed herbal tea.

Herbal teabag eyemasks

cool mama

We think Cool Mama would be particularly good for this one, spearmint to cool and chamomile to soothe. After enjoying your cup of Cool Mama place the teabags on your eyes and relax!

If you want to find out more about Mama Tea or buy our teas, go to www.mamatea.com.

3 reasons that Caffeine affects Women more than Men……..


Introduction

I am a woman. And I drink caffeine. I am also the Mama of Mama Tea, therefore I drink a LOT of Mama Tea herbal tea. Accordingly, my caffeine intake has gone down substantially, however I now experience more noticeable effects of drinking my regular Starbucks/Costa/Caffe Nero coffee. I get flushed, hot, clammy, and my heart races. I suffer headaches and feel a bit jittery. As a result, I only drink one cup of coffee a day. However, I thought it would be interesting to look at a few of the facts about caffeine and women.

Caffeine affects women more than men.

Wow – really?? I hear you ask. Well, you might be surprised to find out that “roughly, 75% of the human research into caffeine has been conducted on men”  – {p225 – “Caffeine Blues” by Stephen Cherniske}.

Research shows that caffeine affects women much more than men. Why?

Reason 1 – Slower detoxification

Women detoxify caffeine much slower than men per se. However due to the fluctuations of hormones during a woman’s cycle, the “HALF-LIFE” of coffee (i.e. the time it takes the body to eliminate one half-dose of a dose of coffee) can change, varying from 5.5 hours to 7 hours depending on the stage of the cycle {M.J.Arnauld. “Metabolism of Caffeine and Other Components of Coffee” in “Caffeine, Coffee & Health”}. 

All of this means that by the time you are hitting your second or third cup, your body still has not recovered from the first cup. if you want to detox, try cutting down your coffees as the first step!

Reason 2 – Caffeine zaps your iron levels

Caffeine reduces your iron levels. The reason why this is so important for women is that women often suffer from iron malnourishment. Up to 30% of women will suffer anemia until they stop menstruating, just because it is so difficult to get iron from food. {L. Hallberg, “Iron” in “Present Knowledge in Nutrition”, 5th ed.}.

“Depending on the composition of a meal, a caffeinated beverage can reduce iron availability by a whopping 50 percent” {p235 “Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske}. 

That’s a lot!

Reason 3 – Caffeine makes you stressed

Stress generally affects women much more than men – women’s stress hormones increase more rapidly than men’s when faced with conflict. {J. Ferri, “Under Pressure”} 

What does caffeine have to do with this? Well, caffeine increases the “Stress Response”. Caffeine has numerous effects on the body. One of these is is that it disrupts the function of the “ADENOSINE RECEPTORS”. 

What on earth does this mean? Well, Stephen Cherniske sums it up better than I could:

“Have you ever inserted the wrong key in a door and found that the key fits just fine but it wouldn’t unlock the door? That’s what caffeine does in a adenosine receptor. It fits, but does not perform the adenosine function……when caffeine plugs an adenosine receptor, an important biochemical message that was supposed to be sent to the cell is not delivered…….When caffeine inactivates this control mechanism, your neurone circuits keep firing, and you feel alert. The problem is, your circuits keep firing, and firing, and firing……”

This uncontrolled neuron firing creates an EMERGENCY RESPONSE in the brain – it activates the whole flight-or-fight flight stress reaction, flooding the brain with the stress hormones. And it keeps on doing it, over and over!

Combine this with the fact that women suffer stress more acutely and you can see that this fact alone is a reason for women to wean themselves off more than your one cappuccino a day!