Tag Archives: Tea

Mint Flower Tea

I can never keep mint happy, I fail to prune it correctly when it is in hydroponic and I fail in general at growing it in containers but I am going to try again. I have it growing hydroponically and I am testing by taking all of my trimmings and I am sticking them directly into a container of dirt I have outside.

The hydroponic light keeps it flowering inside and I have to keep the indoor pollen count down so about once a week for the past few weeks I have enough flowers to make a small pot of mint flower tea which is delicately minty and floral.

Masala Chai

A lot of people are unaware the word chai literally means ‘tea’ so ordering a ‘chai tea’ is essentially ordering a ‘tea, tea’ but what you get is ‘spiced’ tea or ‘masala’ chai.

Generally in the winter I switch from drinking coffee to drinking spiced tea. I have a really hard time finding a place that serves a good chai. I really enjoy Bangalore Rose Chai from Enjoyingtea.com but alas I ran out. I also enjoy a good sweet coconut ginger tea with vanilla and coconut milk. Instead of reordering I got the chance to ask the magical question…

Can I make my own?

The answer is yes.

What is in chai? Some, but not all of these things:

Core ingredients:

  • water
  • milk (I find milk alternatives blend better with the flavors)
  • sugar or maple syrup
  • black tea
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • black pepper
  • cardamom
  • ginger

Additional ingredients I found and tried

  • nutmeg
  • mint
  • lemongrass
  • fennel
  • star anise
  • vanilla
  • rose petals
  • corriander

Recipe? Well now. That’s a bit harder, your nose and taste buds will tell you.

There are so many ways to make spiced chai, because people all have different tastes so dont be afraid to experiment and write your own recipe.

It doesn’t matter if you have the whole or powdered version of the spice or some of both, that is completely ok. Using the internet to look up dozens of Masala Chai recipes let’s call the following ingredients the core of the recipe, nearly every recipe I looked at had these ingredients, the quantities and extra additional ingredients surrounding them can change drastically from recipe to recipe… but we have to start somewhere? right?

Actually that lead me somewhere interesting but I wasn’t the right place, not all chai is the same… I went back to square one and looked at the ingredients list of the chai I drink the most and make up amounts of those ingredients, and then tried mixing them around until I was happy with the result.

Instruction:

Using your smallest sauce pan start with about 2.5 – 3 cups of water brought to a simmer and three tablespoons of loose leaf black tea. or a few tea bags. If like me your smallest sauce pan is being used then you may do this via the microwave in a pinch.

My base chai recipe:

2.5 cups water

3/4 cup Almond milk

1.5 Tablespoons black tea (Behora Assam)

1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon

10 black pepper corns

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

2 thin slices ginger

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon corriander

3-4 tablespoons sugar, white granulated

Ok, you could totally stop there if you feel lost but for the adventurous spice users. I find smelling the steam and then smelling the individual spices helps me decide what to add. Once you decide then add in small amounts and taste your way to the correct amount but make sure to write it down.

Let the spices and the tea simmer for about 5 minutes add 1 or even 2 cups of milk, sugar/maple syrup/ vanilla once removed from the heat. steep for a few brief minutes.

Pour though a strainer (or maybe a coffee filter for powdered recipes) to separate the tea and spices.

Good luck in finding the perfect spiced tea!

Tea Herbs And Lavender Creations

 

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Adding Lemon Balm, Lavender and Chamomile to steeping water, I am still sad my mint did not sprout with these others and I am using dried stuff. Here’s what I’ve been making as iced tea’s this week as I’ve been trimming up my garden.

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Fresh Lemon balm chamomile tea

2/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves

1/4 cup Chamomile flowers

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1.5 cups of boiling water removed from heat.

Pour over herbs and steep for 5 minutes

 

 

Lavender Mint Tea

1 teaspoon lavender flowers

2 teaspoons dried mint

1.5 cups of boiling water removed from heat.

Pour over herbs and steep for 5 minutes

 

 

I’ve also remade a few things I ran out of so I have a fresh batch of Lavender & Cedar Shaving Cream, Lavender Lip Balm and a Lavender & Tea Tree Foot Balm. In a few more days I will be able to start picking and drying wild lavender on my walks, I can hardly wait.

 

Lavender Lip Balm + Foot Balm Recipe

.5 oz beeswax

.75 oz Coconut Oil

.25 oz Cocoa Butter

15 drops Grapeseed Oil

10 Drops Vitamin E

20 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

 

Add Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and Grapeseed Oil to a double boiler and melt gently until all ingredients are dissolved.

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Remove from heat and add Vitamin E and Lavender Essential Oil, Stir and pour into lip balm container.

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I took the second half of this lip balm recipe and I added 15 drops of Tea Tree and 10 drops of peppermint and poured the remainder into a container to cool. Now I also have a foot balm.

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Lavender Lotion for Sensitive Skin

Everything in this recipe was measured by weight… by volume it will fill two 4 oz or one 8 oz containers and you will have a few tablespoons left over, I usually make a sampler with the leftover bit.

I like to infuse oils for recipes because I like the scents I get from them much more than using Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils. For this recipe I used a combination of Infused Oils, Brewed Tea and Essential Oils, overall the result was still a very mild scent, which is exactly what I was going for. If you do not want to trouble yourself with tea and infusion just using Essential Oils will also work.

First you want to make your tea. You will need 1 heaping tablespoon of both Lavender Flowers and Chamomile Flowers. You can get them in specialty shops that sell herbs or tea or you can all of the ingredients I am using here from places like MountainRoseHerbs or Brambleberry. If you don’t have Chamomile flowers for this recipe you could also use Calendula Flowers.

In a sauce pan with lid add the herbs and about 1 1/2 cups of Distilled Water (do not use regular tap water or bottled water). Bring this to a gentle boil and then remove from heat. Leave the pan covered and set aside to cool for a few moments. You could also use a teapot that strains out loose leaf tea that might be a better easier option.

In a double boiler melt the following:

.45 oz Shea Butter

.4 oz Emulsifying Wax

.15 oz Stearic Acid

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While those ingredients are melting strain the lavender/chamomile tea through a coffee filter or cheese cloth to remove the flowers. Measure out 6.5 oz of the liquid and add it into a mixing bowl, you will want to use this tea while it is still fairly hot  so that it is easier to mix into the oils.

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Once the contents of the double boiler is melted to a clear liquid remove from heat and wisk while adding:

.2 oz Lavender Infused Oil

.2 oz Chamomile Infused Oil

Strain the oil though a coffee filter if it still has the flowers in it like mine.

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(or substitute with a .4 oz of a light sensitive skin friendly oil I would recommend Jojoba Oil, I used Sunflower Oil because that’s what I used for my infusions.)

This will cool the oils so you want to mix it until it is completely liquid again. Once it is clear slowly pour in the tea while mixing constantly. It will turn from clear to creamy white. I guess I’ll never get a good picture if this part of the process because I am too busy whisking. Continue to mix for a moment before adding:

1 oz Aloe Vera Juice

.1 oz Honey

.2 oz Meadowfoam Oil

.2 Oz Tamanu Oil

.1 oz Oat Extract

.1 oz Vitamin E

Wisk for another minute and let sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk for a minute and let sit again. Do this 2-4 times until all ingredients are well combined. You do not want any green foam on top from the Tamanu and to ensure the Honey doesn’t try to clump at the bottom. Then Add:

3-4 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)

Preservative (preferably not optional)of your choice. No, Rosemary or Vitamin E will not suffice, I used Optiphen ND for this one. Be sure to follow all instructions indicated by the manufacturer about their products. You can carefully keep track of the accuracy of the weight of this recipe or you can reweigh the recipe at the end for an exact total but be sure your numbers haven’t changed when calculating the amount of preservative to use.

Before the mixture cools enough to thicken, pour it into the container(s) you have prepared, this also prevents air pockets that you get from transferring a thickened lotion, additionally it’s just a heck of a lot easier. Leave the lids off of the containers until the lotion has cooled to room temperature. This will ensure you do not end up with a bit of condensation on top of your lotion.

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Enjoy!