Tea Recipe | Mint Julep with a Twist

It’s summer people! Whether we like it or not!

Living in Florida has its perks: Disney, beaches, Miami…you name it! But the one thing you gotta know is…..FLORIDA IS HOT. Really hot. Starting early March through almost Christmas.

So we Floridians like to think of new ways to keep cool during the summer and I got the idea to make a tea-inspired mint julep.

with Rooibos.

oh yeah!

rooibos mint julep

Just as nutty, caramel-y and creamy as bourbon, Rooibos is a great alternative when making a lovely chilled glass of mint julep!

How to make Rooibos Mint Julep
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Muddle mint with one spoonful of sugar. Top the glass with ice. Pour freshly steeped Rooibos tea over the ice.

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Add a sprig of mint as garnish. Enjoy!

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You may notice that this drink doesn’t have alcohol. But who’s stopping you?! Go ahead, add a splash or two of your favorite bourbon to the rooibos!

Keep on steeping, my fellow tea lovers!

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Tea Review | MoxTea’s Viking Moxie Tea

I’ve been anxiously waiting to try this special tea for months now and it’s finally here! I have to tell you the story before we even get to business here:

I purchased this tea during our recent move into a new house and the good ol’ US Postal Service gave this sweet company a run for their money by not properly forwarding packages to us. It took poor MoxTea 3 tries to get it to me, hence why I’m plain giddy to finally try this! I mean seriously, one doesn’t simply withhold tea from me.

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I digress…

MoxTea is a Canadian based company that sells 2 main teas: the Chai Moxie (recently released last year) and the Viking Moxie (their “bread-and-butter” tea).

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What makes the Viking Moxie tea so special is that the #1 ingredient is Rhodiola Rosea. It’s not very well known here in the states (well, at least I haven’t seen it anywhere) but it’s an ancient herb used in the Old World for boosting energy, focus and alertness.

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Initially, the scent of the cinnamon and cloves really hits you in the nose. It tastes very earthy and there’s definitely a spicy kick from the cinnamon!

Aroma: 7/10 cinnamon and cloves
 
Appearance: 6/10 whole cloves, bits of cinnamon and rose petals. some broken tea leaves.
 
Flavor: 7/10 earthy, spicy
 
Color: 7/10 rich honey and deep amber color
 

Benefits: 9/10 energy booster from the rhodiola, alertness from the cinnamon, stress reducer from the rose petals.

Overall experience: 7/10 I’m really intrigued by this tea! It strikes me as a kind of tea to drink when you want to reach that elevated level of energy, not necessarily a tea that you steep to sit and talk over. Does that make sense?

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Overall, I totally dig this tea! Now that summer is officially on the way and the kids are home from school, I forsee this tea being my secret weapon in order to keep up with the kids!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tea review of MoxTea’s Viking Moxie tea! Definitely check out their website and this tea!

http://www.moxtea.com/products/natural-energy-boosting-herbal-moxtea-tea

Keep on steeping,

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Herbal Tea Feature | Chamomile

Unless you’re allergic, who doesn’t love Chamomile tea? It’s the quintessential comfort tea…perfect for a serious dose of R&R. Just the earthy, floral scent of chamomile already starts working on loosening those muscles and releasing tension.

Chamomile is one of the 9 sacred herbs of the Saxons; and it’s pretty safe to say that tea afficionado and amateur alike have enjoyed a cuppa comfort.

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This calming tea goes beyond just busting stress. It has many other uses and benefits that you may or may not know.

HISTORY

Called “ground apple” by the ancient Greeks, Chamomile has several varieties but only 2 are really used medicially: the Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and the German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). They possess the same benefits and uses and are harvested around the world.

TASTE

Chamomile tea is a naturally sweet tasting tea with a rich, warm floral taste, and notes of apples. If you do want to sweeten it, try it with a touch of honey or a slice or two of a crisp red apple!

Chamomile also pairs well with other herbs if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. Common combinations are chamomile with lavender, rose petals or rose hips. More sassy blends include apples and peppermint!

BENEFITS
The range of its uses goes beyond just a calming tea. Chamomile has many other benefits:
  • soothes upset stomach and nausea
  • skin softener (great for a bath soak)
  • antibacterial uses for skin irritations
  • gentle muscle relaxer
  • beauty enhancer

USES
drinking tea for its healing properties
eye packs for depuffing and soothing (soak 2 tea bags in hot water and allow to come to body temperature. gently press them into eye lids and relax for 15-20 minutes)
bath soaks (2-3 tea bags or a handful of dried chamomile in a nylon stocking or extra large tea strainer)

a chamomile rinse can add natural highlights to blond hair


STEEPING TEAS
Using freshly boiled water, steep a tea bag in your favorite mug for about 5 minutes. The longer it steeps, the more bitter it becomes so play around with how strong you like the bitters.

If using loose dried chamomile flowers, use one generous teaspoon of chamomile per cup of tea.

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Suffice it to say that Chamomile is a general crowd pleaser with many uses and benefits. Steep a simple tea bag or get creative with the loose chamomile and blend it with other herbs! Tea is an art made to smell, taste and enjoy just the way you like it!
Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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Herbal Tea Feature | Fennel Seed Tea

Fennel tea doesn’t seem like the common kind of teas we get at a tea room, or Starbucks. But if you get your hands on this puppy, you’ll be in for a surprise!

I grew up on Fennel tea in Brazil (it’s called Erva Doce in Portuguese…literally, sweet herb) and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s very calming like chamomile, has a lot of digestive benefits like peppermint and it’s so naturally sweet, you don’t need to add anything to it.

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Fennel is a bulb vegetable that belongs to the carrot family. It grow feathery dill-like leaves and yellowish umbrella-shaped little flowers. the seeds look like teeny tiny, thin, ribbed pistachios. That’s the best I can think of!

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Warning: If you’re allergic to carrots or celery, don’t drink this tea. Proceed at your own discretion.

We’re about the get a little technical here, so if you’re looking for an overview, skip down below. But if I’ve intrigued your inner chemistry nerd, then let’s go:

Anethole is a compound essential oil found in Anise and Fennel (it’s also one of the main ingredients in Absinthe and found in ouzo. Opa!).

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The chemical compound for Anethole, found in Fennel and Anise alike!

I actually had a hard time figuring out if Erva Doce was Fennel or Anise. Even Google Translate couldn’t figure it out. I had to look up the Latin. Oy.

(Left is Fennel Seed, Right is Aniseed)

Believe or not, Fennel and Aniseed are keenly similar in both taste and the look of the seed. Fennel is not as strong as Anise, however. You could see why one would get easily confused!

HISTORY

Found primarily in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian regions, the Fennel has been naturalized in many parts of the world. It thrives in drier soil in sub-tropical climates.

Fun Fact: the name “Marathon” comes from the greek word for fennel!

TASTE

sweet, chamomile-like but more grassy than earthy. Extremely similar in both look and taste to Anise.

BENEFITS
rich in manganese, calcium and iron
cleanses the digestive system, blood, kidneys, urinary system
eye health
relieves fluid retention, bloating
antibacterial

oral health

USES

Fennel tea is most popularly made from the seed. That’s the only one I’ve tried, although I’ve seen recipes for fennel tea that use the leaves and the bulb itself.

Drink Fennel seed tea for its healing benefits but also can be used for topical treatments and a cotton ball compress for the eyes and a gargle for gum health and bad breath.

STEEPING TEA

ready-made tea: pour freshly boiled water into your mug of choice and pop in your tea bag. Steep for a couple of minutes depending on your taste. Enjoy!

fennel seeds: crush a teaspoon of Fennel Seeds in a mortar and pestle for each cup of tea, depending on how strong you like your tea. Pop your fennel seeds into a tea infuser or strainer and pour freshly boiled water over the fennel seeds. Steep for a couple of minutes and remove seeds. Enjoy!

Fennel Seed tea may not be the most popular tea at a local grocery store, but if you haven’t tried it yet, I urge to find some! whether you buy ready made teas in-store or online…or even make it yourself with the seeds!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tea feature on one of my favorite simple teas!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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A DIY Mother’s Day Tea Bath Salt

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching!!! Some of our moms love practical gifts, and some don’t want the at-home spa pedicure contraption (those things take much more work to use than meets the eye). They’d rather have something “pretty” like jewelry or a fragrant gift.

At times like these, we wonder if we’re getting her something she’ll really love. But there’s something to be said about a homemade gift made with care and love.

This easy DIY gift is something any momma would love to get! It’s all about rest, relaxation and tea! Something everyone could use more of!!!!

But this doesn’t have anything with actually drinking tea…..

oh no.

YOU BATHE IN IT.

This is a tea-inspired bath salt made with epsom salt, loose leaf tea, and lots of love!

side note: how cool would it be to have a teacup-shaped bathtub like this??? #wishlist

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Though not an actual salt, Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate, and extremely beneficial for muscle relief, de-stressing, relaxation and eliminates toxins from the body.

The tea will add a lovely warm aroma to a bath. Depending on which kinds of teas or herbs you add, your skin can also benefit as well! I listed some beauty-benefiting teas for whatever suits your fancy!

What’s great about these ingredients is that we typically have them in our homes so hopefully you don’t have to go out of the way to buy these.

INGREDIENTS

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  • epsom or coarse sea salt
  • loose leaf tea
  • mason jar or other cute container
  • essential oils (optional)
  • ribbons, stickers, or other decorations (optional)

For my bath salt, I’m using fresh mint, dried hibiscus and a touch of Bergamot essential oil!

DIRECTIONS
  1. In a bowl, combine the epsom salt, your tea/herb of choice and any essential oils (optional).
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  2. Give it a good mix so you reach a homogeneous mixture.
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  3. Slowly add it into your mason jar or container.
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  4. (Optional) label and decorate!
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See? Easy breezy!

If you have enough ingredients, you can make one for yourself or another special mother-like figure in your life!

TEA & HERB RECOMMENDATIONS
For relaxation: chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, eucalyptus
For skin health: peppermint, green tea, black tea, cinnamon, calendula, rooibos

For hair: chamomile, black tea, rosemary, sage, cinnamon

Share a photo of your unique combination and creation on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with!

As always, keep on steeping my tea-loving friends…and Happy Mother’s Day!

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