Audra Lowe: A lot of people enjoy sitting down with a nice cup of tea, but have you ever thought about making your own? It turns out creating your own custom tea is a lot easier than you might think. Take a look.
Female: Tucked into the bustling upper east side, the elegant SALONTEA might seem like a little cup of heaven.
Tracy Stern: You can always come in. Everyone is dressed up. There’s people hanging out, have fun, women—people meet each other.
Female: The shop’s owner, Tea Diva Tracy Stern, advocates a tea lifestyle for all of her regulars, including Madonna’s daughter Lourdes and Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford.
Tracy Stern: So when people come in and they say, “Tea, I don’t know. I’ve had it when I’m sick.” I say, “Let me make you something.” So I go through all the different flavors. I custom blend all the teas, plus they can custom blend their own teas also.
Female: But you don’t have to travel to New York City to custom blend your teas. In her latest book, Tea for You, Tracy reveals her tasty tea secrets to the rest of us.
Tracy Stern: So there’s tea for all different reasons, all different days, and it’s so easy to do.
Female: We met up with Tracy to see how it’s all done. First up, a mint ginger camomile tea. It not only tastes great but it’s also a delicious detox.
Tracy Stern: We are always told to have a black tea, green tea, white tea, red tea to get all the antioxidants.
Female: First, Tracy adds a couple of scoops of the white tea.
Tracy Stern: This is already flavored with bits of ginger and this has pure mint in here and this is also a decaffeinated tea, so I’ll mix these together, two scoops of that. And this is pure Egyptian blend camomile and French lavender.
Female: Mix it up together and then scoop it into your tea bag.
Tracy Stern: You lay this over the cup and then pour water in here. Because this is an herbal tea, I would just take this about 3 to 5 minutes and after you have this, you take this out and this could go into your garden.
Female: Delicious! But wait, Tracy’s tea isn’t just for drinking.
Tracy Stern: The most popular item that I have in my beauty collection for SALONTEA are the bath teas and these are bath sachets that are already filled with tea that you soak in in the bathtub and it’s a luxurious experience. But it’s also great for your skin because it soothes your skin, but you are also getting the aromatherapy from the tea. So I love to blend all the botanicals that are highly fragrant. I love the vanilla, the vanilla black tea. And because this has caffeine in it, it actually smooths the skin and it gives the less appearance of cellulite.
Female: And lastly, you can blend teas into food as well.
Tracy Stern: Tea is something that should be treated like an herb. I have the Chai Tea Scone recipe that’s on the bottom here, so you infuse Chai into the recipe. You can make Chai Tea pancakes. On the second tier for an afternoon tea, we have the tea sandwiches. This is a cucumber mint sandwich and it’s the way that it’s presented also, which is beautiful.
Over here, we have the Chai Tea infused truffles, chocolate truffles, and that recipe is in the book. So everything I do infuses the tea. You can bake with it, make it sugar—you can use it as a rub for when you are cooking steak and meat.
Female: So the next time you’re thinking tea, try thinking outside the bag instead.
Tracy Stern: Tea everyday. Tea lifestyle.
Audra Lowe: And blended teas also make great gifts. Just pour your mixture into a cellophane bag and then tie it up with a ribbon. You can even name the tea after the person that you’re giving it to for an extra special touch.