Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tea time

I'm not what you'd call a big spender. Unless it's food related, I really hate shopping and in the end would rather see the money in the old savings account than in "stuff" that clutters the house. Most people who visit our home politely describe us as minimalists. So when I buy something and recommend it, it's not fluff.

Many of you also may know that I'm a big tea drinker. Raspberry tea, mint tea, and green tea were my favorites for years. I had one of each every day for a total of 3 large mugs of tea a day. Even in the summer, the warmth of the liquid filling my system just made me feel better. It's a calming, peaceful time for me, this tea sipping.

But somewhere along the way, between cutting costs and buying local, I decided to switch my tea to local. For a long time, I purchased weekly bags of sage and mint from our farmers market. Then I started raising it myself on the back porch. Talk about local!  Not only did I know where my herbs were coming from, but it was amazing how many paper sleeves I was no longer going through - I noticed all the sleeves one time when I was sifting through our recycling - yikes! Tea has definitely become simple, green, and frugal.

Of course, once I was steeping my own herbs, I needed something to contain them and had purchased a $1 tea ball from our grocery store. Sometimes it falls apart while steeping. It's not the best tea ball in the world, but it works - well, most of the time. But months ago when Organic Needle, who hand-makes the produce bags I use for grocery shopping, asked for guinea pigs (or test piggies) to try her tea bags and critique them for final stage changes. I signed up to be one of the test piggies, but alas, my name didn't make the drawing. 

But last week, my patience paid off and her organic cotton tea bags were released to the market. As you can see from the picture, they're beautifully made, and knowing my mom (who is also a tea drinker) might get a kick out of one, I purchased a second to mail to her for her birthday. Good thing my Mom doesn't read my blog or I'd have ruined the surprise (bad Mom for not reading, but I'll let it pass this time).

But pretty isn't everything. I tried it out first thing Monday morning and it worked beautifully. I put a few leaves of mint and a few of sage into the bag, pinched it closed with the little nut, and allowed the leaves to steep. When I was finished, I just emptied the contents into our compost, rinsed the bag clean, and hung it up to dry. Easy, cheesy!

Thanks Organic Needle for making another wonderful product! If anyone is interested in the tea bags or her produce bags, check her out on Etsy here. In the meantime, I do believe it's time for tea. Ta ta!

11 comments:

fearlesschef said...

Super neat! I am going to have to get one of those!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Those are an excellent idea! Thank you for the link! A question about your tea - do you dry your herbs out before you make tea out of them, or do you just use them fresh?

Green Resolutions said...

Yes, please do tell us how to make tea! And thanks for telling us about the tea bags.

Heather @ SGF said...

fearlesschef - they really are nice. Hope you enjoy!

jennifer - you could certainly used dried leaves if you wanted, but I take mine right off the plants each morning and put them in the tea bag. Seriously fresh!

green resolutions - Just a couple leaves of sage and a couple of mint (both right off the plant), into the bag, and into water right out of my kettle. I let it steep just long enough for the water to cool so I can drink it. I leave the bag in the tea while I drink since it's a big mug and it doesn't get in my way. Hope you enjoy!

Rapunzel said...

Those are wonderful! I have just re-discovered tea after many years, will definitely check these out!

Heather @ SGF said...

Rapunzel - glad you like them and in the meantime, I can help Organic Needle with her home business. I can't believe she makes all that stuff by hand!

Condo Blues said...

Wow those tea bags are really cool. If my tea ball dies I'm going to look into these.
PS: I love making mint tea from the herbs in my backyard too.

Heather @ SGF said...

condo blues- If you get one, I hope you like yours as much as I love buy. It's a great buy and a wonderful gift! Plus you'd be supporting a fellow greenie (Organic Needle) :)

Maxine from Texas said...

Now I know what I'm getting my SIL for Christmas! Great blog, I'll be back often.

organicneedle said...

Heather you rock!!!!! I'm so glad you are enjoying the bags.

Heather @ SGF said...

maxine - they really will make a GREAT gift. I'm sure your SIL will love it! Thanks for visiting. Hope to have you comment again soon :)

organic needle - anything to help out a fellow blogger and besides, I love mine. Why not share the love :)