Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Beau-Tea! Xen Tan

I recently bought Xen-Tan Face Tanner Luxe 80ml and just started trying it today!  I know it seems off-topic, but i've been meaning to look at cosmetics and beauty products that have tea as an ingredient in them!

This seems like a good start as I noticed on the label it says it has Green Tea antioxidants in it.  Not everyone likes self-tanning but with the Green Tea it may keep you looking younger for longer, as opposed to being out in the sun and getting too wrinkly hehe!  

Aside from the green tea aspect, i'm hoping to have a bit of a glow this Easter despite all the snow!!  I chose this product in particular because it's paraben-free and doesn't have that strong 'fake tan' smell that some do.  I've also found myself looking a little 'tangoed' before so i'm hoping for a more natural look this time.  Not that it will be a secret now i've put it on the internet!

As you can see, this one is for faces so i'm glad it's oil free as i don't want to look all greasy.  It's also a gradual one that you can put on daily and build it to the level you're after.  Fingers crossed it works well!

I've joined up with the online shop Feel Unique where you can buy these Xen-Tan products, so stay in touch for news and offers!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lapacho Tea

Following on from my previous post, i've found an even more adventurous tea in the name of 'Lapacho' from the company Equalitea!  Lapacho Tea is a Herbal Tea/Tisane made from the inner bark of the wild Lapacho Tree.  People say it has many medicinal properties, such as antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal to name just a few.

There's some rather different brewing instructions too.  I put a teaspoon into 250ml of cold water and brought it up to heat in a saucepan.  The instructions then say to leave it to brew for 15 minutes - wow i'm glad i'm not in a hurry! 

This is my Calabash Gourd and Bombilla i bought from Eteaket a few years ago.  Although i've only used it with Yerba Mate tea so far, i thought it would be great with Lapacho Tea as i could brew the leaves in a bit longer. 

What an interesting Whole Leaf Tea! I think i could have made a stronger brew as it wasn't mega rich or particularly dark coloured, but it had the expected woody taste with a surprising liquorice or aniseed flavour!  Perfectly enjoyable and with its health benefits, definitely one i'd like to try again.

I have a few of Equalitea's Teas to try and am glad I came across their range as recommended to me by a friend on Tea Street's facebook page!  I love the style of their packaging, which reminds me of the importance of lovely tasting teas that are both Organic and Fairtrade.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Himalayan Oolong Tea

You are: Amongst beautiful tea gardens high up in the Nepalese Himalayas.
Drinking: Chateau Rouge Organic Oolong Tea 

Tender Autumn leaves

"Sorry, Oo-what?"  Yes I'm sorry to say I'd previously been dragging my heels when it came to trying Oolong Teas.  Having just got to grips with the many different types of black, green and white teas, I just didn't know if I was ready to venture into this new tea world that people raved about!

For newcomers like me, it's worth noting that Oolong means the tea leaves are semi-oxidised after picking, compared to Green or Black Teas, which are either unoxidised or fully oxidised (world of extremes).   Therefore, the claims that Oolong is a compromise between Black Tea and Green Tea are probably quite fair.  A tea like this can balance the rich flavour found in a Black Tea with the freshness and some of the antioxidants found in a Green Tea.  With my previous resistance in mind, this might have actually been a great start to the world of Tea!

Notebook: As with all adventures, I'm glad I persevered.  Most Oolong Teas come from China or Taiwan, so this Chateau Rouge Nepalese version is out of the ordinary and described as 'Darjeeling-styled' because of its origins in the high peaks of the Himalayas.  Tea connoisseurs might like to know this tea is made entirely by hand and you can appreciate loose leaves that are large and twisted.

With all that in mind, I still wasn't prepared for how much like Darjeeling Tea this would  taste, with its smooth texture and naturally sweet, floral flavour.  However, I'd say this Himalayan Oolong had a fuller, earthier taste, compared to a lighter first-flush Darjeeling Tea I'd tried before.  I can only wonder if this is to do with these rich Autumnal leaves or because of the vegetal taste a less oxidised Oolong tea might bring?  I certainly would like to explore this further.  

Chateau Rouge, as usual, manage to mix Fairtrade with luxury and also recommend afternoon tea cakes, cream cheese or chocolate with this particular Tea.  Not one to argue with any of these suggestions, I'm happy to sit and enjoy this lovely version of Oolong Tea for a while...


Monday, 4 March 2013

Rose Petals with your Tea?

I haven't had the pleasure of visiting &Tea's shop and tearoom in Bournemouth yet, but some family were kind enough to bring me back a packet of &Tea's Rose Petals to try!

It says to infuse one teaspoon per person along with black tea for a delicate flavour, something i haven't done before.

So, i added a couple of tsps to a pot of Afternoon Tea, which gave it a welcome Rose flavour and a lovely fragrance to match. 

It's very pretty as well and let's face it - girly, so it would make a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea with Mum on Mother's Day, or for your charity Afternoon Teas, such as the Eve Appeal this month.  Really show off the look of it as well and get out your vintage teaware and glass teapots.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sipping Tea at Nirvana Spa

Nirvana Spa

I'd driven passed Nirvana Spa in Berkshire several times, so was very excited that i could finally visit!  It's a lot bigger than we expected, with six pools filled with pure Spring water, sauna, steam rooms and a Tepidarium suite that has heated ceramic loungers, circled around a fountain - er, relaxing! The water quality definitely felt different, i found it easier to float and left feeling invigorated without the smell of chlorine on me all day!

Click here for English Breakfast Tea

As an excitable tea-ny bopper, my favourite bit was sitting on a sun lounger around the pool with my magazine, little table, and on it a pot of tea and cake.  Can you imagine anything better!!  I got so comfortable i found it hard to drag myself away!  In the pot was a Clipper English Breakfast tea (Organic alert!) and even though i have it at home, i was surprised how tasty it was without milk as well.  Hadn't thought to try it straight-up before.

Brilliant afternoon all-round and we highly recommend Nirvana Spa for a relaxing treat or occasions such as Mother's Day, which is coming up.  I hope there's another 'tea/sun lounger/pool' moment in my near future!  

For the tea, don't forget it's Fairtrade Fortnight, so there's 20% off orders at Ethical Superstore!