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11 Mar 2019
Tub Teas

Stress.  It seems like everyone, even kids are suffering from it.  Whether it comes from your job, social media, or a schedule so jammed packed you need a clone to actually handle it all, it just seems to be part of the American way.  

Which is why, recently, we came up with a very simple idea for an easy craft/take home gift.  It's a bath tea apothecary where guests can make their very own tub teas.

What is a "tub tea", you might ask?  It's a personalized blend of herbs, spices, botanicals, and salts that are mixed together and placed in a muslin bag.  The bag is then placed under the tap of your running bath.  The warm water releases the properties of the contents into the water, creating a relaxing, refreshing, or invigorating bath experience.

Now, I must confess, I haven't taken a bath for about 40 years.  Sure, I've sat in hot tubs, or done spa soaks, but a bath?  In my own home?  I think I was maybe 12 years old and making a debacle of shaving my legs for the first time (but that's an entirely different story of which I still bear the emotional and physical scars).  But I decided if I was going to present this to a client, I'd better made darn sure it worked.  I've racked up far too many Pinterest Fails to leave large projects like this to chance.  

I mixed up a lovely relaxing mixture of 2 Tablespoons each of rose petals, lavender and epsom salts.  I placed them in a small muslin drawstring bag and hung them from my bathtub spout.  I must say that I'm a bit longer than I used to remember, so I wasn't able to completely submerge myself in the sweet-smelling waters. However, after my 15 minute soak I felt like a wet noodle, ready for bed.  (Note to self, do not try this in the morning before you head to work, unless you want to fall asleep at the wheel and cause a 10 car pile up on the Bay Bridge.)  After proclaiming my experiment a success I drug myself to work to put my noggin and internet to work.

I discovered an amazing dispensary called Starwest Botanicals in Sacramento that carries all the necessary supplies.  I was ordering in bulk, however, you can figure on needing about 1 oz of material per person.  If you want to create an "apothecary" like we did, you'll want to order about 5 pounds of the more popular blends (rose petal, lavendar, mint, calendula, chamomile, lemon verbena, eucalyptus), and 2 pounds of the less popular (sage, hyssop, lemon balm, hops).  We placed the herbs in a variety of wide-mouthed glass containers and marked each with a little chalkboard placard.  We displayed various simple recipes along with a list of which herbs to use for various results so that people could mix up their own recipes accordingly.  Each guest was given a spoon, a 5 oz cup, and a 3 x 4 inch cotton muslin drawstring bag.

For your convenience you'll find the recipes that I supplied for my guests here.  However, if you wish to delve deeper, the internet is full of great recipes, just search "tub tea recipes".  

I can see using this set up for a health fair or interactive station at a company party.  We found that guests loved smelling the different botanicals and pondering which ones would work best for their mixture.  We also found that people want a variety, so be prepared for your guests to make more than one.  We supplied little tags that explained how to use the tub tea and also write their combo on the back.  The best thing is that your botanical bags can be used several times.  Just lay them out on a paper towel and let them dry overnight.   Make sure they are thoroughly dry though before you store them away, don't want any mung growing in your bags - that would not be relaxing at all.

So let's start the stress-free revolution everyone.  Get back to nature, turn on those taps, and soak your troubles away.  You got this...it's literally, "in the bag".