Elegant Serenity

The Mysterious Art of Tasseography – Your Future and the Tea Leaves

Man with hat having his tea leaves read by gypsy fortune teller

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The art of brewing, serving, and drinking tea has been part of human culture all over the world for ages. One of the oldest ones known to modern humans, the Chinese tea ceremony, dates back to the 8th century BC and has become an integral part of everyday Chinese life.

There’s more to tea culture than just enjoying a good cup of tea or looking for the best way to brew to get the ultimate taste. If you look a little deeper, you will be aware that there are metaphorical meanings, symbolism, and even mysticism behind every served cup of tea.

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Simplex Kettle: Is This Traditional Copper Beauty for You?

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The beautifully designed Simplex Kettle cannot help but transport us back to a “simpler time”.

Every now and then we all need to take a step back from our hectic lives and take a moment to re-energize, a moment to nourish not just our bodies, but our souls as well.

That nourishment begins the moment we start to fill the lovely copper tea kettle with water, knowing that in just a few minutes, the whistle’s warm, gentle song will let us know that soon, we will be enjoying a much-deserved break.

Whether it is some alone time with our cup of tea or tea shared with our friends and family, the beauty of this elegant copper kettle will nourish our souls as well.Continue reading

Are Tea Bags Biodegradable? Eco-Friendly Minds Want to Know

Are tea bags bioderadable

Are tea bags biodegradable? Are tea bags compostable? Can they be both? You may already be a passionate tea drinker or one just beginning to explore this delicious, and soul-nourishing world. Either way, you need to know the options that you have when choosing which tea bag you will be using.

And I’m not talking about the TEA inside the bag right now. I’m talking about just the actual bag itself.

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Tea Bags, Fill Your Own – Portable Tea Infuser Bags

Tea Bags Fill Your Own

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It’s lovely to be able to brew your tea with high-quality loose leaves calmly, and this is the way that I prefer to purchase, prepare, and enjoy mine every chance I get. But when you’re out and about, at the office, or short on time … tea bags, fill your own is the way to go! These little portable tea infuser bags are lifesavers, and I’m so glad that I found and tried them. 

tea bags fill your own


These are my favorite ones, but there are several other good ones to choose from also on Amazon. You can just click on the picture or click here to check them out now if you’re in a hurry. These have tons of reviews and a consistent 5 out of 5 stars! 


When I’m at home, no problem, I know I have my favorite things to heat up my water, measure and steep my leaves, etc. I’m a happy camper at home with my tea! But then when I’m away from home, whether at work, on vacation, or wherever I am that isn’t home, I am left to figure out other means by which to brew my leaves.

This predicament mostly happens when working, since one doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of time, to just leisurely step away from duties and calmly make yourself some tea. Perhaps in a perfect world, but not in this one!

So, to solve this annoying little lack of time, no time to brew, but want to enjoy my leaves anywhere & everywhere I go issue; I resorted to other means. You know how it is; you gotta do what you gotta do!

I hadn’t discovered the tea bags fill your own method yet, so I purchased BPA free plastic containers that I could put my tea leaves into and keep some always on hand at work. Eventually, I graduated to fancier (and prettier) metal travel containers.

Needing to streamline the prep process, I also had a cute little mesh ball strainer (got lots of compliments on it from co-workers) for popping my leaves into for brewing and straining.

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to tell you about my thermometers. I always keep one on hand to make sure the water is at the correct temperature for the type of tea I’m preparing, but honestly, at work, I pretty much just wing it most of the time. That’s right, lack of time!

After so many cups of hot water heated in the same microwave, I pretty much know right down to the second how long it will take to get my water to 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit for my green tea.

The challenge is to not let it steep for more than a minute, or it will become bitter. So of course, it usually never fails, the phone rings, someone or something needs my immediate attention, and there goes my perfect cup of tea! Damn it! Another cup of bitter and less satisfying green tea, but I do not let it go to waste No siree; I drink it down to the very last drop anyway!

Finally, after I’ve drunk my second cup of green tea and if lucky, the second one was perfect, I now need to empty my leaves (save for composting) and go rinse out my little metal ball and mug so that they will be ready for tomorrow.

After several years of going through this ritual at work or when traveling, I came across another brilliant little option that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of before! That’s right, TEA BAGS, FILL YOUR OWN!


Not that I didn’t like my process, it’s just that when you’re not at home and pressed for time, the whole thing becomes less enjoyable. So you have to figure out a way to make it work better so that you can keep enjoying what it is you’re enjoying!

Disposable Tea Filter Bags everyone! I am so darn happy that I discovered these little guys. Like really, really happy! Yeah, I know they’ve been around forever, and I feel like a fool for not having had the light bulb go off earlier, but you know the saying “The master will show up when the student is ready”? Well, in my case, it was the fillable disposable teabag that showed up! 

If you haven’t yet tried these fillable tea bags, and you are a committed loose leaf tea drinker (heck, even if you’re just starting), you should try them now! You won’t be investing a fortune to give them a go, as they’re very reasonably priced.

Besides, I’m pretty sure you’ll love them! Nothing not to love about the tea bags fill your own method! You can even pop them into your favorite tea maker (on occasion) instead of measuring your loose leaf tea when you’re in a hurry! They work great in the awesome Breville Tea Maker.

My favorite ones are the BStean Disposable Tea Filter Bags. The natural wood pulp filter paper they are made of is strong and 100% unbleached which means less nasty chemicals in my tea. They have a nice long string at that top that you can wrap around and tie securely. The cute little clip they include is useful if you want to secure the bag to the cup’s edge or handle. Not a huge necessity, but functional and fun. 

They are a lot easier and neater to deal with than a strainer ball (or any other type of strainer) since you just use and toss. Plus, even though I thoroughly wash and disinfect my strainers, these fillable disposable tea bags just seem to be a more hygienic option when you’re on the go. Another convenience is that you can buy them in the size that you will find most convenient for your tea drinking. 

This is a short video if you’d like to watch the tea bags fill your own method in use:

The Medium size which measures 2.75” wide and 3.15” high,  will fit (quite easily) two to three teaspoons, if you want to fill it with even more tea, choose the Large size (  3.35” wide, 4.32” high). The larger sized bags would probably come in very handy for making full teapots of tea or when you’ll be using the larger travel mugs.  

 Now, let’s say that you buy these empty filter bags and discover that you just don’t like them, and won’t be using them for your tea drinking. You can always return them or, you can get creative and put them to use for you in other ways. Here’s a few to try:

  • Scented herbal bath bags or scrub bags for your tub bath or shower
  • Sachet bags to throw into your drawers, your handbags, your suitcases, your car, etc.
  • Use to keep jewelry in. Especially those little backs of pierced earrings that are forever getting lost
  • Hold small office essentials like thumbtacks
  • For those who cook, they make a great packet for your bouquet garni
  • Orchid fertilizer bags (my personal favorite). Offers slow release feeding since potted orchids have a porous growing medium where otherwise, fertilizers are not as effective


And these are just a few off the top of my head. I’m sure you could probably come up with several more uses depending on your lifestyle, needs, and hobbies. 

So bottom line, whether it’s for your loose leaf tea drinking enjoyment or something entirely different, tea bags fill your own are the bomb! Do yourself a favor and give them a try 🙂  

Click here, you’ll want to read my post on Are Tea Bags Biodegradable? Eco-Friendly Minds Want to Know 

Teas and Pregnancy – Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy and Teas to Enjoy!

teas and pregnancy

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It’s no secret that soon-to-be-moms always want the very best experience from their months of pregnancy. This is why they are usually very cautious about the things they can or cannot consume. It’s not just about the occasional foods and beverages; when it comes down to Teas and Pregnancy, it’s also about the ones they enjoy on a regular basis, like all of those delicious cups of tea!

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Simple Ways to Reap Kombucha Tea Benefits

Kombucha Tea Benefits SCOBY

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By now, You’ve certainly seen the Kombucha Tea drinks in your local stores and are curious. What is this thing with the weird name and exactly what are Kombucha Tea benefits? Well, I was too, so let me give you the lowdown with a brief history of Kombucha Tea and Kombucha health benefits. We will finish up with a Kombucha Tea Recipe you might just want to tackle!

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Green Tea and Matcha – Mother Nature’s Precious Gifts for a Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit

dried loose leaf green tea and plant leaves on a wooden surface with a wooden spoon for scooping

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Lately, green tea and matcha have become so mainstream in people’s food vocabulary that you practically see the ingredients everywhere!

From the non-dairy delicious iced tea blends (like the one that I’m sipping right now) to the matcha green tea powder form in decadent green tea chocolate cake and cupcakes like these little guys that always seem to make my mouth water! chocolate cupcakes with green tea matcha icing

Its’s very comforting to know that when you are in control of making your tea, food, desserts, etc., you can choose deliciously, high-quality ingredients with nutritional benefits.

What’s not so comforting, sadly enough, is that most of the green tea shown on labels in packaged foods today is purely for the taste and the hype and bears little resemblance to the real green tea, or to tea at all.

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Wagashi, The Elegant and Traditional Art of Japanese Confectionery (Candy Making)

sunflower wagashi japanese confectionery art


wagashi plum japanese confectionery artwagashi sunflower japanese confectionery art





Those of us who enjoy tea, also like indulging in a little something deliciously sweet along with our tea. Here in America, that might be a cookie, a brownie, a delicious tea bread, pound cake, or even some lovely scones (okay, maybe not traditionally American, but we sure do love them!).

However, If you happen to be visiting Japan (as someday I hope to be), you will very likely find yourself lucky enough to have your tea (especially green tea) accompanied by a bit of wagashi.

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10 Tea Infused Beauty Rituals To Help You Relax and Unwind!

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I don’t know about you, but I sure do LOVE me a good cup of tea!

But, have you any idea of the many other ways that there are to enjoy and benefit from a cup of tea beside just sitting down and drinking it? Ever think of trying one or more tea infused beauty rituals?

Tea is such a marvelous addition to your beauty regime. Please let me share with you some of the best recipes I have found to get the most out of your delicious cup!

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The Making and Health Benefits of White, Yellow, Oolong, and Pu-erh Teas

close-up of blonde woman sipping tea from a white tea cup with both hands


Hello, friends! If you’re reading this, then it’s very likely you have enjoyed a warm, soothing cup of tea or two. Perhaps you regularly drink tea to absorb all of the wonderful antioxidants and health benefits. Or maybe it is simply to relax and be comforted by a favorite cozy and warm mug of tea.

While there are many varieties of tea to choose from, tea leaves themselves come from only one plant, the Camellia Sinensis. How can the same plant give us many different teas? Well, it’s in the magic of the processing!

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