My Valentine’s Day Tea Box Creation – Revealed!

So, as many of you have seen on Tea Love’s Facebook page, I have been talking about how I used an old tea container for my boyfriend’s Valentine’s Day gift.

A while back, my sister-in-law gave me some chocolate mint tea in this charming wooden box.   She wasn’t a big fan of it, but she thought that I might like the tea.

The tea was rather tasty, but I must admit, my main attraction was to the box:

My box of chocolate mint tea from my sister-in-law.

My box of chocolate mint tea from my sister-in-law.

The top slides back and forth on the top, keeping the tea inside fresh.   While the box is not made of a high-quality wood, nor is it very durable, it is not exactly meant to last forever.   However, for some reason, I just could not bring myself to throw away this cute box.   Something stopped me.   It had way too much potential and, as an avid crafter (after all, I have made earrings and necklaces out of used tea bags!), I knew I would find some use for it.   Thus, I stored it away for safe keeping.

Then I met my boyfriend, Camilo.   Also an avid artist and a tea lover, he thrives on the creative.   You can often find him at my Tea Love talks, helping me unpack, repack, serve tea, and just chatting away with anyone with a listening ear.

Camilo's And My Recent Trip to the Museum of Modern Art

Camilo’s And My Recent Trip to the Museum of Modern Art

Well, I got into the television series Dr. Who, a BBC show with a time-and-relative-dimension-in-space-traveling alien., not too long after he and I met.   We were both quickly hooked on the show, often binging on numerous episodes a night just to see what adventure our Doctor would be going on and see how he would save the universe from imminent destruction.   We constantly talk about the show, read about it (especially my friend’s Dr. Who and Theology blog, Whovian Theology), and generally just act like five-year-old children when anything Dr. Who-related comes up.

Then, for Valentine’s Day, I got an idea – why not make Camilo a TARDIS (the ship that the Doctor uses to travel)?

The Actual TARDIS From The Show

The Actual TARDIS From The Show

So, after a bit of clay molding, painting, gluing, nailing, and frustration, I finally produced a TARDIS worthy of the Doctor.

My Creation!

My Creation!

Since the box was starting to part, I decided to nail the side together to keep it secure.   Then I white-washed it so that I had a clean surface (as much as I love tea, I did not want the tea branding to show up underneath the paint).   Using some clay, I constructed the top of the TARDIS, which was also the hardest (the lantern kept breaking off, so that was slightly annoying).   I sanded the box down for a more secure fit, did some painting (including glow-in-the-dark paint so that the TARDIS would “light up” at night), and filled it up with some candy.   Voila!    A TARDIS made from an old tea container!

Timeline of the TARDIS

Timeline of the TARDIS

Have anything you have made from old tea products?   I have heard some people who have used their containers for candles and others who have “flower tea pots”.

Share your creations here in the comments or go to Tea Love’s Facebook page to share a picture!

Tea and The “L” Word

During the month of February, l’amour is found wafting in the air. The birds seem to chirp a little bit more merrily, the sun shines a little more brightly and roses and chocolates are flying off the grocery store shelves.

Now is also the month where more people search for the elusive love potion, the elixir that is destined to make men and women fall in love and bind fast to one another for the rest of eternity. People have been searching for that special mixture for ages with parties searching for items that were moist, produced flatulence (per eighteenth century Europe) and were warm. Martin Downs, author of Aphrodisiacs Through the Ages, explains, “Almost everything edible was, at one time or another” considered an aphrodisiac.

Of course, tea is no exception to this rule. In fact, it is a common belief that foods and drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and tea might stimulate the senses and cause excitement, thus setting an ideal mood. However, Paola Sandroni MD, neurologist at the MayoClinic and author of Aphrodisiacs past and present: a historical review, states, “I think the effect is much more general,” she says. Though the caffeine might stimulate the central nervous system, they do not seem to give the body the love bug.

That still does not stop stores from cashing in on this idea. Popular tea brand Adagio Tea, which has a warehouse in Garfield, NJ, sells an aphrodisiac tea that claims to be “Like a warm summer’s kiss on the beach, this tea will take your breath away. It’s love at first sip! Need to feel some love? Tangerines and strawberries are natural and tasty aphrodisiacs.” The NY Daily News wrote an article in May 2013 about how Ceylon tea can help rev the libido and improve blood circulation. Going down the aisle of the Asian supermarket, one can often find a box of Horny Goat Weed herbal tea for sale.

Whatever the case may be, what harm would there be to brew up a tasty cup of Masala chai and a box of truffles? Travaasa.com published a recipe that is designed to stir the senses and send the drinkers to Cloud Nine.

Ingredients:

– Bay leaves

– Cinnamon

– Ginger

– Green cardamom

– Fennel

– Anise

– Cloves

– Black pepper

– Darjeeling tea or black tea

— Combine all the ingredients except the tea in a pot of water and bring it to a boil

— Allow the mixture to simmer for five minutes

— Steep the mixture for 15 minutes

— Add two teaspoons of tea. Note, if you want a stronger brew, simply add more tea

— Boil the water for another five minutes

— Serve in your favorite tea cup and enjoy

Thank You, West Milford Township Library!

Hello everyone!

I apologize for not posting last week!   But here I am again with a thank you to the West Milford Township Library 🙂

So, at the talk, I explained basic tea knowledge, including the history of tea, the science behind tea, the medicinal benefits of tea, and finally, how to brew a good cuppa.

We had over 50 people at the West Milford Township Library, all with some amazing tea knowledge!   At the end, we celebrated the day with tea and goodies made by the Friends of the West Milford Township Library.

Everyone had wonderful tea mugs, including proper tea saucers and china, some heavy mugs that seemed sturdy enough to hold a whole pot of tea, and even some mugs that would be suited for a museum.

Some of the patrons told me that they have tasted tea from all over the world, including Israel where they have an herbal mint tea of mint leaves and sugar with a touch of lemon, another who sampled tea in Turkey, and yet another who sampled from Africa!   Obviously, we had some very well-traveled tea samplers as well.

One patron asked for some tea shops in the area where they could search for some good loose and bagged tea.   While I could not provide the answer, not being from the area, all the other patrons stepped up and threw out so many names, I was in awe!   So many places to shop in West Milford for tea!   Obviously, I am growing up in the wrong town.

At the end, people thanked me for the talk and some mentioned that they exchanged contact information with one another in order to host a tea party of their own.   The power of tea, bringing people together for a relaxing cup 🙂

So again, thank you so much, West Milford Township Library, for being wonderful hosts!   I hope to come again to give another talk.