Fehreen Ali is an Ayurveda practitioner devoted to the art of botanical healing.
It was Fehreen Ali’s grandmother – “a luminary spice-blender of her time” – who first introduced her to the magic of spices. “The legacies of her culinary formulas and remedial ceremonies have cascaded through generations,” says Ali, who founded Tea Coup to share the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu medicinal practice that promotes balance.
Ali’s lineage is Indian by way of Fiji, tracing back four generations and “rooted in the heritage of Indian indentured labourers,” she explains. Away from their ancestral homeland, her grandmother’s spice blending and herbal remedies “thrived as a daily practice and held great significance”.
“Tea holds a special place in my heart, rooted in my Indo-Fijian heritage. In my upbringing, tea was interwoven into our traditions and family gatherings. The blend of spices in our chai, the gentle infusion of herbs and the way it united people fascinated me. It was more than a drink – it embodied hospitality, warmth and connection,” says Ali.
Brewing chai with her grandmother was particularly special. “The aroma of spices swirling in simmering tea, shared laughter and the comforting love remain vivid. These moments inspired me to create a place for others to craft their own cherished tea memories.”
Ali soon realised that tea went beyond a comforting beverage, however. “Exploring the diverse world of tea, I discovered its cultural richness and potential health benefits. The idea of Ayurvedic tea intrigued me as more than a personal interest—it became a potential calling.”
Three decades later, the Ayurveda practitioner is now devoted to the art of botanical healing through Tea Coup, which she founded in 2010 “to blend my heritage and creativity”, combining the art of tea-blending with her expertise in Ayurveda, plant medicine and tea rituals.
Her favourite tea is an Ayurvedic chai, which she will showcase at AUSTCS’s Brisbane seminar (10 September). “Participants joining the Ayurvedic Teaology event will receive a comprehensive grounding in the elemental fundamentals of Ayurveda,” she notes. “By taking a dosha test, you'll gain insights into your individual body constitution.”
These time-tested formulas and recipes can play a pivotal role in your personal healing journey, she says. “Uncover the art of integrating Ayurvedic teas into various seasons, learning their adaptability and effectiveness and explore the potential benefits of widely recognised Ayurvedic herbs when harnessed correctly.”
But tea is not just medicine either – there’s an inherent cultural value in what she shares. “Tea, for me, is more than a drink; it harmonises people, cultures and ancestral wisdom.”
Fehreen Ali will host an Ayurvedic tea-blending workshop as part of the Brisbane AUSTCS seminar (10 September). Tickets now available.