How did Organic Merchant begin?
I started practicing as a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist in 2005. I worked in an integrative medical practice alongside some amazing doctors, nurses and other allied health practitioners where a majority of the patients I saw were being treated for complex conditions. Blending therapeutic botanical infusions was a natural extension of my clinical practice. I originally created my first range organic teas in support of their treatments. I believe that simple pleasures such as consuming pure organic herbal infusions is one of the most nurturing and nourishing daily practices. Witnesses this in people’s lives, empowering and educating them to become the most abundantly healthy, vibrant and pure version of themselves, is what generated and continues to generate the momentum of Organic Merchant. I formally launched the Organic Merchant brand in 2011 with 12 infusions, since then the O|M range has expanded to over 35 different blends and growing.
What is your favourite tea and why?
At present I am drinking a lot of the Mother Nature and Mother Nurture Teas as we have just welcomed our daughter Isolde into the world! I’m also drinking the restful tea to help calm and sooth my nervous system and assist with new mommy sleep deprivation. I’m also totally loving the Spicy Chai or the Rooibos both amazing with milk and honey during the day. That and the Lemongrass and Ginger Tea, such a simple tea, but I find it so restorative. To be honest I love all the teas, and “favourite” depends on the moment I’m in. My personal tastes are quite wide and varied, but I lean toward the stronger flavours, tart sour blends, bitter sweet blends and also spicy teas.
Other than tea making, what are some of your passions and inspirations?
As a mother of 2 beautiful little souls, my passions have naturally changed from a personal focus. Previously I used to spend hours practicing yoga, meditation and chanting, as well as reading, researching and keeping abreast with the latest in alternative medicine.
With the birth of my son Gabriel, I stepped out of clinical practice to concentrate on O|M, and as any new parent knows I have had a lot less time to devote to myself! My little boy suffered terrible eczema from birth till 9 months, is allergic to eggs, intolerant to gluten and sensitive to dairy. So over the past 2 years my inspirations and devotions have revolved around food for my growing boy; egg free, gluten free and dairy free food, but all the while being wholesome, organic, nutrient dense and full of goodness. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen or hearth as it is traditionally called – the hearth really is the heart of a home and over these past years from my homes heart has come the inspiration for many a new blend, some already available and some amazing new blends awaiting to be released. That said, I still delight in taking opportunities for yoga, meditation or reading whenever they present themselves!
How do you make the perfect cup of tea?
The ‘perfect’ cup of tea is a moment in stillness. The thoughtful selection, preparation of the teapot, the inhalation of the top notes as you pour over the boiling water, the visual glory as tea infuses its natural colourful hue and life force into the water, the lesson in patience it takes to wait 5 minutes till properly brewed and the joy that first sip a washes over you.
This being said my ‘perfect’ cup of tea has normally been sitting on the bench brewing for over an hour and has gone cold. We live in a modern world where perfect is living in the moment that life gives you and my lesson is learning the surrender to it. Lucky I designed all my teas to taste awesome both hot, cold and all the stages in between!
And finally, where do you hope to see the Organic Merchant in five years?
It is my vision to create a centre, a herbal hearth, store front and treatment space where all my passions can come to fruition in the one place, inspiring health and wellness in all that enter. Hopefully it will be sooner than 5 years though!
For more information on Chalimah, her qualifications and philosophy of treatment please view