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Words: Georgie Abay

Most mothers can’t start the day without a cup of tea, but when you’re expecting or breastfeeding, it’s important to drink a brew that’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. “I had a few friends who were having babies, and were struggling to find a medicinal tea that also had that luxurious feel and tasted beautiful,” says Tessa Bontempo, founder of the luxurious tea house The Seventh Duchess and self-confessed tea-fanatic on how she came to launch her Goddess Organic New Mother’s Tea. Made especially for mothers, Goddess is a unique blend of anise myrtle, fennel, fenugreek and raspberry leaf, is rich in iron, manganese and magnesium and comes encased in a feminine floral tin. While this might be the most elegant tea on the market – Bontempo commissioned an artist to draw the botanical illustration – it’s also incredibly medicinal. “These ingredients aid in strengthening uterine and pelvic muscles, promoting the supply of breast milk, easing morning sickness and soothing digestion for both mother and child," explains Bontempo. "It’s ideal for the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and the first year following birth."

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Bontempo is certainly a woman who knows her tea. “On an average day, I’d have about five cups of tea. In the morning, I'll usually indulge in our Imperial China green tea or our Grace Beauty tea. During the day, I’ll sip on a warm cup of Queen Victoria English Breakfast. At night, I wind down with our Peace Relaxation herbal tea. What can I say, I’ve always been a tea-fanatic!” she says. Before launching The Seventh Duchess, Bontempo spent a year travelling the globe exploring the tea rituals of different cultures. “On this journey, I discovered Anna Russell, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford and confidant of Queen Victoria. She was a socialite of the highest inner circles who created the ritual of afternoon tea. On each occasion, she would share with her guests teas sourced from the Far East, imparting knowledge about each blend, their origins and techniques of brewing.” And so The Seventh Duchess, a range of luxury, loose leaf teas for contemporary tea drinkers was launched. “This discovery inspired me to encourage women to enjoy the ritual of tea the way our female counterparts of yesteryear did.” While the health benefits are myriad, Bontempo sees tea as one of life’s little luxuries. “Life should be all about the little pleasures. When you’re expecting, or a new mother it’s nice to sit back and enjoy a luxurious cup of tea.”

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