Making the Perfect Raspberry Muffins

Can I Please Get Some Help Around This Place?

I’ve Been Cleaning More Lately Than Ever Before…How About You?!

Cleaning with Clary and Clarity

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4



1. Queen Helene

  • Availability…Albertson’s
  • Focus…famous for their Mint Julep Masque
  • Founded…in 1930
  • Ingredients… ingredients like cocoa butter which is rich with vitamins and natural emollient properties, pomegranate oil for its antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of environment, and essential oils to help relax tired muscles and ease tension
  • Mission…to provide a full line of affordable and effective body care products that are passed on from generation to generation
  • Philosophy…
  • Price Range…$7 for body lotion

2. Renee Rouleau

  • Availability…spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas
  • Focus…effectively correcting every skin type’s concerns
  • Founded…established in 1996 by celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau
  • Mission…to help people maximize their skin’s potential with a propietary line of natural, high-performance products based on nine unique skin types
  • Philosophy…that the skin care industry’s one-size-fits-all approach was not in-sync with what the modern client wants, or needs, in their pursuit of balanced, healthy skin
  • Price Range…$46.50 for body serum

3.  Rodial

  • Availability…Nordstrom
  • Focus…famous for products like “Bee Venom” and “Dragon’s Blood”
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

4. Radical Skincare

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Founded…by Liz and Rachel, the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery
  • Ingredients…extract of paracress, seaweed extracts, macadamia and desert date palm oils, glycerine
  • Mission…to provide solutions that are as effective as possible for all skin types.
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

5. S.W. Basics

  • Availability…Target
  • Focus…using as few ingredients as possible, usually 5 or less per products
  • Price Range…$20 for body oil

6. Suntegrity

  • Focus…offers sun care and nothing but sun care
  • Founded…in memory of all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer
  • Ingredients…only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide)
  • Mission… to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair
  • Philosophy… It doesn’t make sense to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.
  • Price Range…$24 for sunscreen

7.  Sukin

  • Focus…Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand
  • Founded…in Melbourne, Australia in 2007
  • Ingredients…the highest grade essential oils, antioxidants, and botanicals
  •  and 100% natural botanical extracts…naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan
  • Mission…to provide high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare products that restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair
  • Philosophy…producing the highest standards of natural skin, hair and body care products begins with sourcing quality ingredients
  • Price Range…$14 for body lotion


8.  The Wonder Seed

  • Focus…hempseed oil
  • Founded…by Theresa Ruiz-Hellings and her daughters Elena and Juliet and formerly known as The Healing Seed
  • Ingredients…100% natural, vegan, with no parabens, and no artificial colors or perfumes
  • Mission…to nurture, heal and protect skin and hair with a complete line of products rich in virgin organic hempseed oil, the most nutritious oil on Earth
  • Philosophy…From our families to yours, we wish you vibrant health for your most wonderful life!
  • Price Range…$17 for body lotion

9. Tatcha

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…based on the rituals of the Japanese geisha
  • Founded…in Japan by Victoria Tsai
  • Ingredients…complete list here
  • Philosophy…less is more
  • Price Range…$48 for body butter


10. Yes To

  • Availability…Ulta, drugstores all over the world
  • Focus…products in their carrot, blueberry, tomato, cucumber, and grapefruit ranges
  • Ingredients..95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS…no parabens…packaged in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Mission…to make skin feel good while bringing a smile to your face
  • Price Range..$13 for body lotion.

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#3

 

1.  Nourish Organics

  • Founded…as the very first line of chemical-free, environmentally friendly skincare products…the first beauty company to ever work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a collection of products that were certified organic under the same strict standards used by the USDA uses to certify food
  • Mission…to create products that you put on your body that are every bit as effective as what you put in it
  • Ingredients…completely natural and organic…cruelty-free, gluten-free, and mostly vegan.
  • Philosophy…Good for You. Good for the Earth

2.  OFRA

  • Focus…exclusive face, body, and hair treatments using only OFRA Cosmetics Skin Care and Makeup lines
  • Founded…by Ofra Gaito, a therapist and makeup artist, in 1994
  • Philosophy…FORMULATING THE FUTURE™
  • Price Range…$ 20 for body lotion


3.  OSEA

  • Availability… The Detox Market
  • Focus…to create powerful natural anti-aging solutions and reduce the appearance of blemishes
  • Founded…twenty years ago with the intention of creating a natural skincare line free of toxic, synthetic ingredients
  • Ingredients…all natural, non-toxic, organic, vegan skincare…certified organic, bioavailable seaweed infused with pure steam…distilled and cold-pressed essential oils …free of synthetic chemicals-such as parabens, petrochemicals, and sulfates-and animal-derived ingredients-such as lanolin, beeswax, and carmine
  • Mission…Safe cosmetics are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due.
  • Philosophy…OSEA embodies the core elements of wellness: Ocean. Sun. Earth. Atmosphere.
  • Price Range…$36

4. One Love Organics

  • Availability…Nieman Marcus
  • Ingredients…pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, green tea seed oil, kelp extract, sea buckthorn oil, chia seed extract, rosemary leaf extract, rooibos tea extract
  • Price Range…$28 for lotion


5.  Prtty Peaushun

  • Focus…adding a “mineral glow” to skin, body, and hair
  • Ingredients…avocado, pomelo,  and jojoba
  • Mission…to moisturize, condition, and nourish the skin
  • Philosophy…LOVE YOUR SKIN and FEEL GREAT IN YOUR BIRTHDAY SUIT
  • Price Range…$29

6. Paula’s Choice

  • Focus…customer advocacy and education
  • dFounded…by Paula Begoun, author who has sold over 2.7 million copies of her best-selling books and made countless TV appearances, including Oprah, The Today Show, Dr. Oz and the View
  • Ingredients…no added fragrance, dyes or ingredients that can harm the health and function of your skin
  • Mission…to develop products that you can feel confident about buying and using
  • Philosophy…THE BEST SKIN OF YOUR LIFE STARTS HERE
  • Price Range…$28 for body lotion.


7.  Pai

  • Focus…sensitive skin
  • Founded… in London…the word “pai” is a Maori word meaning “goodness”
  • Ingredients…the highest quality organic ingredients…free from Parabens, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Petrochemicals, Detergents (SLS/SLES) and artificial fragrance
  • Mission…to create the best performing products
  • Philosophy…What we put into our products is just as important as what we leave out.
  • Price Range…$30 for body cream

 

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#2

 

 
1. Desert Essence

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Amazon, iHerb
  • Focus…
  • Founded…35 years ago
  • Ingredients
  • Mission…to bring you the results and peace of mind you deserve
  • Price Range…$9


2. Ellovi

  • Availability…Sephora, Nordstrom.
  • Focus…healthy-looking, hydrated skin
  • Ingredients…macadamia nut, coconut, marula nut, hemp seed, and shea…no synthetic ingredients, preservatives, parabens, or other secret ingredients.
  • Mission…to make the best natural skincare products, but the best skincare products of any kind… to always make our products with integrity and the finest ingredients from around the world
  • Philosophy…that what you put on your skin goes more than skin deep.
  • Price Range…$26



3.  First Aid Beauty

  • Availability… Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation
  • Ingredients…Shea Butter, Colloidal Oatmeal, Ceramide 3 and the FAB Antioxidant Booster…
  • Price Range…$30

4. Glossier

  • Founded…in 2010 as a venture for the editors of IntoTheGloss.com, a super-successful beauty blog
  • Ingredients… hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, paraben free, cruelty free
  • Price Range.. $22 for body cream


5.  Gourmet Body Treats

  • Founded…started in 1996 by Waleska Agosto Feliciano in the summer of 1996 who after moving to Texas from Germany quickly found that most of the personal care products she began using were irritating to her skin
  • Ingredients…locally-sourced vegan, natural, and organic ingredients such as honey…cruelty-free
  • Mission…to convey to you how much we care about what we do, and for you to be a part of it.
  • Price Range…$20 for cleanser

6. GOOP

  • Founded…by Gwyneth Paltrow in collaboration with Juice Beauty
  • Ingredients…made from organic ingredient…and they’re even safe to eat. Gwyneth Paltrow herself actually ate some of the moisturizer as part of a promo…Argania spinosa (argan) nut oil, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, cetearyl alcohol, sodium cetearyl sulfate, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract (and) glycerin, tocopherol (vitamin e)
  • Mission…to make every choice count
  • Price Range…$11 for body lotion



7.  Hugo Naturals

  • Availability… Whole Foods
  • Focus…to bring excitement, integrity, exuberance, and a fresh way of seeing life
  • Founded…started out from handcrafted soaps that were made with all-natural ingredients and sold at our local Farmer’s market
  • Ingredients…Complete List
  • Mission…to enhance peoples’ lives by creating amazing products made from the best raw materials that the Earth can sustainably give
  • Price Range…$9

8. Hush + Dotti

  • Focus…creating hip, sexy, luxurious & incredibly effective beauty products without all of the toxic garbage
  • Ingredients…love, monoi – cocos nucifera (coconut oil) & gardenia tahinensis (tahitian gardenia), theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu nut butter), butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), persia americana (avocado fruit oil), prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), capryllic capric triglycerides (natural vegetable esters derived from coconut oil), alpha tocopherol (vitamin e)
  • Philosophy…LOVE is our first ingredient for a reason. Love is in the aromatherapy you experience from our products. Love is what you feel when your skin radiates from the purity of our products. Love is what you’ll feel from our amazing customer care team. Love is the quality ingredients we put in every jar. Love is our commitment to giving you our very best
  • Price Range…$38 for body balm

 …

9.  Indie Lee

  • Availability…Anthropologie, Amazon, The Detox Market
  • Focus…eco-friendly solutions for every skin type from acne-prone to super dry
  • Founded…by Indie Lee after awakening on April 22, 2009 after conquering a life-threatening brain tumor that pointed to environmental toxins as the culprit
  • Ingredients…jojoba oil, apricot oil, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylang
  • Mission…to enhance the face and body with gratifying green glamour
  • Price Range…$36


10. Juice Beauty

  • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…products that are more natural and organic than other skincare brands
  • Price Range…$18

11.  Korres

  • Ingredients…sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, Shea butter, avocado oil, grape seed extract, ..
  • Price Range…$31 for body butter


12.  Mogi Mousse

  • Focus…individuals with normal to dry and extra dry, sensitive and/or maturing skin
  • Ingredients…shea butter, organic oils, botanical extracts, and essential oils… packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants
  • Price Range…$54 for body butter

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1

Not only are there more and more cruelty-free natural and organic cosmetic companies being started these days…but also a slew of cruelty-free natural and organic body and skin care companies popping up.

These products-which are good replacements for brands that test on animals…including Aveeno, Garnier, Olay, Neutrogena, and St. Ives…can more easily be found and are being formulated to address various skin type needs and concerns.

The next few posts will be a guide to cruelty-free skincare brands and the locations where they can be found.

1.   Alba Botanical

  • Availability…available in many drugstores, Amazon, iHerb.
  • Focus…acne-prone skin
  • Ingredients…high quality, 100% vegetarian products that overflow with botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea and chamomile extracts
  • Mission…to Do Beautiful…to help fellow women look beautiful on the outside while feeling beautiful on the inside
  • Price Range… $10 for body lotion

2.  Athar’a Pure

  • Focus…ancient Ayurvedic skin care treatments and dosha types
  • Ingredients…the best natural and organic pure, plant-based ingredients found on earth…without the use of toxins, chemicals, parabens, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances.synthetics, alcohol or any other harmful ingredient or preservatives
  • Mission…providing you with high quality, luxurious, vegan beauty products that are cruelty free and never tested on animals
  • Price Range…$22 for body lotion

3.  Avalon Organics

  • Availability…Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts, Amazon, iHerb
  • Focus…anti-aging
  • Ingredients…plant-based organic ingredients from only trusted sources
  • Mission…founded on the deep-rooted belief that all beauty comes from the Earth…deep reverence for the Earth and a respect for all living creatures.
  • Price Range… $9


4.  Andalou Naturals

  • Availability…Amazon, iHerb
  • Founded…by Stacey Kelly and Mark Egide in 1999 as the very first certified organic personal care line
  • Ingredients…fruit and plant stem cells
  • Philosophy…Beauty is YOU – a simple and bold empowerment message to consumers and the industry at large. Beauty happens in the moments of the everyday (for individuals and organizations) – the little choices that we make along the way that all add up to monumental change: Commit to defining beauty one action at a time and be Empowered, Radiant and True. Beauty is YOU.
  • Price Range…$15 for body lotion

 


5.  Blissoma

  • Focus…demanding skin types, such as extremely sensitive skin and allergies
  • Ingredients…100% natural, Certified Vegan…a much stricter ingredient palette than even most “natural” brands…packed with certified organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils
  • Mission…to provide true solutions to uncomfortable skin conditions…to help people develop a healthy, happy relationship with their skin… to bring forth a positive, loving vision of what beauty can be, embody inclusion, and enhance the dignity of all people
  • Price Range…$36 for body lotion

6.  COOLA

  • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…sunscreen
  • Ingredients…natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced…vitamins and age-defying antioxidants…without parabens, paba and phthalates
  • Mission…Better for your skin, better for the environment.
  • Price Range…$32

7.  Derma E

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ulta, CVS, Walgreen’s
  • Focus…the belief that skin health can be visibly improved through the right combination of potent vitamins, wholesome nutrients and exceptional ingredients.
  • Ingredients
  • Mission…to honor our customers with products that promote healthier-looking skin and business ethics that promote a healthier world.
  • Price Range…$13

8.  Dermadoctor

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…problem-solving solutions for skin concerns ranging from anti-aging challenges to blemishes, chicken skin bumps and perspiration dilemmas
  • Founded…by Dr. Audrey Kunin
  • Ingredients…include Artichoke Bud Extract and Bayberry Fruit Extract
  • Mission… to provide effective solutions to skincare problems without the need of a prescription
  • Philosophy…DERMAdoctor is truly just what the skin doctor ordered.®
  • Price Range…$58 for body lotion

The Best Vegan OTBC Body Lotions and Creams

We all know the importance of choosing skincare, hair care, cosmetics, and almost any other household product in terms of not only trying to “save the Rainforest”…

BUT does that mean that every product that we purchase from this moment forward will basically “suck” in comparison to every product that we have been using right up until that moment when you made the decision to embrace a cruelty free, vegan lifestyle?

Not necessarily…

As I begin doing my research and adopting a new lifestyle, I find that there are certain “terms and definitions” that I might need to be able to refer back to later. This is one of those posts that will hopefully beaded into one accumulating glossary.

Today’s “terms and definitions” list consists of ingredients to look for when choosing an OTBC product, particularly a OTBC vegan body lotion or cream…

 

 

1.  Alpha-Hydroxyl AcidAlpha hydroxyl acids are a group of natural acids that can be found naturally in specific foods, or manufactured synthetically. These acids include glycolic acid, sourced from sugar cane…lactic acid, from sour milk and tomato juice…malic acid, from apples…citric acid, from citrus fruits…and tartaric acid, from grapes. The most commonly used of these acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid because they most easily are absorbed by the skin.

Alpha-hydroxyl acids are quoted as providing amazing results as far as your skin is concerned—including making your skin firmer, stronger, and softer…while at the same time preventing wrinkles, softening wrinkles that already exist, stimulating collagen, treating acne, and improving the look and feel of your skin in general.

As far as aging is concerned, alpha hydroxy acids stimulate the growth of elastin and collagen, both of which become depleted with age, and studies have shown that they may also stimulate the production of skin-supporting collagen and elastin.

Most AHA-containing products sold over the counter usually have AHA concentrations that are below 10 percent, and are gentle as long as you follow the product’s directions.

Look for a product that has the AHA listed as the second or third ingredient. Better yet, check the label to see if the product states the concentration of active ingredients. If not, put that one down and look another similar product.

These products are generally safe when used on the skin, but like almost anything else may cause mild skin irritations, redness and flaking….(pretty much a disclaimer so that we can’t all sue them, right?!)…

 

2.  CeramidesCeramides are an oily wax found naturally in the cell membranes of our skin. The waxy or cheese-like coating on the skin of a newborn infant, also known as the vernix caseosa, that serves as a moisture barrier during pregnancy consists primarily of these ceramides.

As we age, our body stops producing as much ceramide, and our skin begins to lose many of the ceramides that had been existing before that point…resulting in our skin becoming thinner, dry, and more susceptible to dry skin and wrinkles.

Skincare products with ceramides help restore moisture, fortify the skin’s natural barrier, and help keep your skin youthful and soft. Most ceramides used in skin care products such as shampoos, shower gels, shaving creams, and body lotions. Even some products labeled “unscented” may contain

 

3. “Fragrances”…Although the FDA does require an accurate list of ingredients on each product marketed on a retail basis to consumers—whether in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person…the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act allows manufacturers to protect the ingredients that might be considered “trade secrets.”

However these unknown “trade secrets” could be helping us all trade in our current good health and well-being–not just now, but many years down the road–for cancer, migraines, asthma, gastrointestinal troubles and cardiovascular problems…or even killing us if have particular allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.

The term “fragrance” has become a catch-all through which many manufacturers of skincare products can “sneak” an undisclosed ingredient into their container while nobody’s looking.

Even though our nation in general is in the process of becoming smarter, more environmental-friendly, and health conscientious, it will be a long time before companies will ever simply stop slapping the word “fragrance” on their containers

Always take the time to check the ingredient list carefully. Stop buying products that follow the trade norm of using the “F-word” on their ingredient list to conceal over a dozen secret undisclosed ingredients in the container.

 

4.  Humectants…Humectants help hydrate the surface of your skin by pulling water from the deeper levels of skin to the surface of the skin, and delivering hydration and nutrients to the deeper layers. Humectants can also increase the ability of a product’s other active ingredients to be absorbed into the skin.

Humectants are important ingredients in anti-aging skincare because they lock moisture onto the surface of the skin, keeping it moist and healthy and minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Humectants also help keeping your skin looking and feeling smoother and softer and your complexion more youthful, supple, and radiant.

Look for products that contain such natural humectants as aloe, honey, hyaluronic acid, and vegetable glycerin.

5. Lanolin…Lanolin is the oil extracted from the wool of sheep after sheep have been sheared.  Lanolin enables nourishes and protects the sheep against environmental extremities.

While this may be considered an animal byproduct and therefore not cruelty free, the process does not actually harm the sheep and so can be considered cruelty free.

Lanolin is an excellent emollient that helps soften and soothe skin and resembles the sebaceous secretions of our own skin.

1.  100% Pure Whipped Body Butter

  • Fragrance Options…Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, Coconut Lime, Gingerade, Pink Grapefruit, Honey Almond, Mangosteen, French Lavender
  • Ingredients…anti-aging antioxidants and nutrients, vitamins, skin softening oils, and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters
  • Kudos…no sulfates or other detergents, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, dyes or any other toxins.
  • Price…$26

2. Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods
  • Fragrance Options…Aloe, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary, Cucumber, Lavender
  • Ingredients…include such natural ingredients as aloe vera, shea butter, calendula and nutrient-rich beta-glucan…based on fragrance selected
  • Kudos…”Humbled by a profound respect for all living beings, Avalon Organics® products are vegan* and cruelty-free. The Avalon Organics® brand never tests products on animals, and will only source ingredients that the supplier can document are not tested on animals. This commitment to kindness is represented by the leaping bunny logo that appears on product labels.”
  • Price…$8

3.  Beauty Without Cruelty Hand + Body Lotion

  • Fragrance Options…fragrance-free
  • Ingredients…shea butter, jojoba, kukui nut, arnica, and calendula…
  • Price…$12

4.  Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Sprouts
  • Fragrance Options…Island Mango, Italian Lemon, Tropical Coconut, Coconut Lime, Bulgarian Lavender, Spicy Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Spice
  • Ingredients…such ingredients asIsland Mango. Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil
  • Price…$10

Making the Perfect Cup of Hot Tea

Okay, so I realize that not everybody has had the privilege of growing up in the Deep South where people don’t even bother to take drink orders, but simply pass around huge glasses filled with ice tea as soon as your butt hits the restaurant dining table chairs…

 

 

So how do you make that Mississippi nectar that is the pride of the hospitality state?

Sure lots and lots of sugar is important, but many other factors are important also—such as the technique/process you will be using, the quality of the water used, temperatures, and time.

But there are many factors that go into making the perfect cup of tea, including…

 

 

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The Method

What method you use when making your tea is a personal preference, but here are a few options…

 

French Press…The same French press that you use to make coffee can also be used to make tea. Using a French press allows you to brew several cups of tea at one time. A French press also allows you to steep and serve your tea in the same vessel. However, you could easily over-steeping your tea since the tea leaves simply sit at the bottom of the press after you make the tea, instead of being taken out.

 

Tea Ball Infuser...Tea ball infusers are basically teabags that you fill yourself with whatever loose tea you would like and then steep in your tea until you get the strength of tea that you would like. These hinged mesh spheres are obviously more “environmentally friendly.”

 

Tea Brewing Strainers…Tea brewing strainers are small mesh baskets that you fill with loose leaf  tea and then pour hot water on top of the leaves. As the hot water passes over the loose tea leaves, your tea is “brewed,” but this is probably not your best option because you can’t is not very popular and control how long your tea brews.

 

Teabags...Of course you already know what a teabag is, and this is the most common method of making tea. This method is the most convenient, even though not the most “environmentally friendly.”

 

TeapotTeaposts are always a great choice, but not all teapots will deliver the same results. Two factors to consider when choosing a teapot are whether or not the teapost has a built-in strainer to help infuse the tea or requires use of a separate straining device….and what  material your teapot is made from so that you can know that the brewing temperature is ideal or not for the type of tea which you will most likely be making.

 

 

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The Temperature

Even though most of us would assume that in order to make tea, you must bring your water to a rolling boil, this is not always the case. In fact, different types of tea require different temperatures. Bringing your water to a rolling boil can actually keep your tea from reaching its fullest flavor potential.

As a general rule, white tea and green tea should be made with the lowest temperature, about 175 degrees. Oolong and black tea should be made with a medium temperature, about 200 degrees. And mate, rooibos, and other types of herbal tea should be made with the highest temperature, about 210 degrees.

Bringing your water to a full rolling boil and then letting the tea cool down to the ideal temperature also will negatively impact the flavor of your tea.

 

 

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The Time

Time can also affect the flavor of the tea. Different steeping times will create subtle flavor differences that you may or may not like. The best thing to do is to take the time to steep any new type of tea that you may be trying in thirty second intervals until you find the steeping time for that particular tea that you like best.

 

 

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The Water

Water is obviously a very important ingredient to a great glass of tea, almost as important as the sugar. Only use water that is fresh and cold.  Avoid using tap water that has been sitting in stagnant in your kettle for any length of time or that has already been boiled previously. Always use cold water instead of hot water. Hot tap water tends to carry more minerals—such as calcium and lime—and can mess up the flavor of your tea.