This week Melissa Fine sat down with Corrine Noyes, the founder of Madame Flavour, to find out more about the creative genius behind the delicious teas in this month’s GoodnessMe Box. We love knowing the story behind our products and took Corrine’s advice to indulge in a cup of the Lemongrass Lime and Ginger for ten minutes after chatting to her, she is right a cup of tea can be a mini-meditation and we suggest you do the same!
I had worked in large companies for many years and wanted to do something more personal, more special and that allowed for creativity. As a foodie with a French mother, sourcing and blending teas, herbs, flowers and spices to create wonderful aroma’s, visual canvas’s and flavours was perfect. My parents met and married in Sri Lanka, so going there regularly to oversee the production brings with it a wonderful family connection.
I wanted a brand that felt personal and had meaning. Madame means ‘married woman’ in French, I liked the idea of her having life experience and wisdom. Flavour is so important to me – I love food and drink. I relate to the blends as recipes and put enormous energy into finding interesting combinations, subtle improvements to classics and using Australian local herbs.
I think the fact that we are available quite widely in supermarkets but that we are actually a very small business, with a team of six including me so there is a lot of care, a lot of love and it is personal. This shows in the quality of our teas and the blends. We choose tea from particular favourite estates, use only leaf tea grades and envelope them in biodegradable pyramid infusers, so that the contents can be seen and enjoyed.
Longer leaf tea retains more of the essential oils than the very small pieces used in paper teabags, which gives greater subtlety of flavour. We use the pyramids as these have been designed to perfectly infuse the longer leaf; and they allow you to see what you are drinking, to enjoy the visual experience again, like in the days of the pot; but with the option to make in your own cup.
It is a creative process, like if you were coming up with a food recipe. I think about which flavour work together. Which shapes and colours look good together. Which ingredients smell great. And then I do a lot of experimenting at home, before finally taking a sample to Sri Lanka. Some blends come together very naturally, others take much labour J. I love Australian native herbs and spices, so always look for opportunities to incorporate them, as with Aniseed Myrtle which we buy from near Balina, and which I’ve found the perfect place for in our newest herbal blend Luscious Licorice.
We have from day one used only biodegradable pyramids, these are derived from cornstarch, versus the industry standard which is nylon. There is only one company in Japan that produces this material and it costs more but is important to me.
I’m loving our new herbals; the Lemongrass Lime and Ginger is proving our most popular blend ever; it is soothing, warming and a little invigorating – all without caffeine. I’m also experiencing a Sultry Chai revival with my daughter Sienna – we’ve been doing it old school – leave sin a saucepan with water and milk, honey and we add fresh ginger. Yum. A creamy spicy comfort drink and great alternative to chocolate or coffee.
Elements that are important:
For black tea, infuse the leaves around 3 minutes (longer than a paper bag), for green tea taste at 2 minutes, for herbals leave the pyramid in your cup to allow the flavours to develop.
Give yourself a window of at least 10 minutes to really enjoy the making and drinking experience, to do it consciously, it becomes a mini meditation, a replenishment.
Family. Creativity. Community.
To find out more about Madame Flavours divine tea selection visit madameflavour.com