It’s Day 5 of this countdown! That means that there are 20 days until that big day … and only 19 shopping days left! I really can’t believe that it’s already that time of year again. The time flies by quickly.
Today, I’m going to feature some artwork by one of the artists in one of the mail art groups I was active in a few years ago. This is another gift from a 12 Days of Christmas swap and it was crafted by Elaine Akers. It’s a fabric ornament that I display proudly on my tree every year.
Really cute, right?
Going through these old memories of the artwork that I’ve given and received for the 12 Days of Christmas mail art swap makes me want to get back into doing that again. Yes, I’m starting to feel a little inspired!
Maybe after the new year, I’ll be able to get myself back into the swing of creating. I hope so!
Today’s blend is one that will inspire some relaxation!
Herbal Spa Blend
Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Teanzo 1856
Ingredients: Chamomile, Hibiscus and Lemongrass.
Learn more about this blend here.
Sigh! Things were going so well with this calendar, and then … hibiscus. Ugh.
But, I’ll try to keep an open mind and try it. Hey, I might even like it, as I have found many blends with hibiscus in them that I’ve at least appreciated.
To brew this, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch in the basket of my Kati Tumbler. I noticed that there was quite a bit of hibiscus in the blend when I poured it into the basket, so I kept that in mind when I set the timer, and after pouring 12 ounces of hot water (195°F) into the tumbler, I set my trusty timer for 5 minutes and let it steep.
After tasting, I think that this blend could have done well with even a little less time. Maybe 4 minutes. That seems almost not enough time for a tisane to develop flavor, but the hibiscus is really prominent in this. Fortunately, at five minutes, I don’t get a heavy, syrupy texture which is the thing I like least about hibiscus. It is tart, though!
The tart hibiscus almost overwhelms everything else in this blend. The lemongrass is a little more discernible than the chamomile. The chamomile almost is lost in this. I can taste barely there, subtle hints of apple and honey-like notes from the chamomile, but these notes almost seem to be hiding behind the strong, berry-like tartness of the hibiscus.
The lemongrass is probably my favorite thing about this blend. It adds a soft citrus-y note that is a little sweet and buttery, so it helps to soften the hibiscus a little.
On the plus side: this tea tastes better iced. After finishing half the cup, I decided to try it iced, so I refrigerated it for a short while and I like this much better cold. It still has that strong, berry like taste from the hibiscus, but this profile seems to benefit from the chill.
I also think that this would be really good if you were to add some mulling spices to it while steeping. (Or perhaps, bring the water and mulling spices to a boil, let them steep for a few minutes while the liquid is cooling to the right temperature – 195°F – and then add the tisane to the steeping liquid and steep for another 4 – 5 minutes and strain off the spices and tisane. That would have a mulled wine sort of flavor but without the alcohol. A nice alternative from the usual holiday drink.