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Drinking tea comes with a myriad of perks: it boosts overall health and it is chock full of antioxidants that ward off diseases. Frequent tea drinkers even build up a repository of knowledge on various herbs and plants that improve our well-being and improve symptoms of health ailments and conditions.

But my favourite part of being a tea lover is the culture. It’s not even just a single culture; there are so many that you can imbibe in such as those from the Chinese, Japanese and English. We even have our very own Singaporean teh culture. With tea coming from so many parts of the world, it is a shame not to try some of them out. Here are some gorgeous teas that you can get for a tea lover, or perhaps even for yourself as a treat!

1. Floral Blossom Tea Gift Set by Nilufer

Blended with rose petals, corn flower, lavender, lemongrass and citrus, this tea not only tastes flavourful but it also works wonders on your skin. Rose is known to maintain good looking skin by reducing acne and improving your digestion. With the inclusion of so many flowers, it doesn’t just taste good – it looks like a dream too. The gift box comes with 8 sachets, each of which can brew 400ml of tea.

Price: $25.00

Get it here!

2. Yunnan Pu-Erh Tea Brick by TWG

Image cred: TWG

Looking for something Chinese New Year appropriate? This Pu-Erh Tea Brick from TWG might be just the tea for you. Packaged in a gorgeous matte red and gold gift box, it gives a luxurious touch to your tea. The tea brick is hand compressed and the tea leaves are all grown traditionally in the fog filled mountains of Yunnan. Plus, you don’t have to worry about it going past the expiration date – the tea improves with age. To brew, flake off 2.5g of tea leaves for each cup and infuse for 3-5 minutes.

Price: $120.00

Get it here!

3. Tropics 3 in 1 Set by Clipper Tea

Why settle for one tea when you could have three? Especially if the three fruit flavoured teas remind you of frolicking in the sun? With blends of peach, passion fruit and mango, you will feel like you are on a holiday every time you brew yourself a cup in the middle of the work week. Now that is a beautiful gift for anyone.

Price: $36.00

Get it here!

4. Pomegranate Roobois by Tealy Premium Tea

 

This fruity tea is refreshing whether served hot or cold. With almost no caffeine, this makes it the perfect tea to drink to relax before bed. Rooibos is also a great source of antioxidants which helps maintain the suppleness of your skin and also keep your immune system strong. Packaged in a classy navy box, it is an amazing gift for any tea lover.

Price: $19.00

Get it here!

5. Tekka Minute by Pin Tea

Other than being gorgeously packaged, this tea gift set scores points for the witty pun which points to the inspiration of the blend. This fragrant green tea is inspired by the flower garland shops around Tekka Market area. There are 12 sachets in each tin. The pearls in the sachets unfurl in the heat so it is not only a treat for the mouth and nose but also the eyes.

Price: $18.00

Get it here and here!

I hope you are inspired to gift the tea people in your life. Whether it is a tin of their favourite tea or a blend that is completely new for them to try, the thought and effort put into the gift warms the heart more than any tea.

Written by: Annmaria Patteri

Overworked and lacking sleep? What are you stressed about? In our day-to-day routines, stress is inevitable. Your poor soul feels bruised and battered by the various catastrophes on the flip side of the globe or stressful situations in your personal backyard. Your blood boils on a regular basis because of a horrible work environment, strained relationships or even a wearisome commute to work. All these sources of stress exist beyond our control, but we can stop, slow down and de-stress. Here are 5 ways you can regulate your stress and keep your well-being in check.

1. Breathe

 

Don’t operate in your stressed state all the time, mind your breath whilst you can! You may roll your eyes as we tell you to take a deep breath but it takes a mere few seconds and it will allow your troubled mind to relax in under two minutes. Breathing is our second nature and it’s an all-natural chill pill, so no matter where you are or however difficult the situation at hand may be, pause for a moment and do a short breathing exercise. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, holding each breath for seven counts or seconds. Repeat the cycle three times to calm yourself down quick! You can thank us for this fuss-free solution later.

 2. Drink tea

And ah, our favourite method to decompress and reduce stress. Sip your way to leisure and soothe stress-related ailments with some tea, a traditional relaxation technique used to combat stress for centuries. We love a regular cup of white tea (for additional protection against oxidative stress) or a gentle herbal infusion that you can find at Nilufer Tea. In times of crisis, there is nothing else but to keep calm and drink tea. Bonus points if you pick up organic teas from sustainable sources.

 3. Get active

 

Allow your tensed brain to reset and recover with exercise as it reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphin, a feel-good hormone that can help foster relaxation. Take a moment to walk through a green space with an abundance of fresh air, swim or attend a yoga class. A short stroll may do wonders to your mind too!

4. Limit your time online

 

Akin to processed carbs and refined sugars, the vast world of social media will elicit cravings and provide an initial boost of pleasure. Each new notification triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which drives us to seek rewards, so you’d keep coming back for more. But, it’s a vicious cycle that takes a toll on your mental health in the long run and makes you feel blah afterwards. We’d recommend you unplug and unwind. Try a social media detox for a month or at least shorten your time online. Not every single email, Facebook message or flat-lay of your avocado toast matters.

5. Use aromatherapy

 

Aromatherapy is an alternative practice which taps into the healing power of scents through essential oils extracted from plants. It is an excellent method for stress-relief as scents are powerful and can impact our bodies through our nervous system. Dilute a few drops of bergamot, lavender or ylang ylang oil with water and let it diffuse into the air. Otherwise, add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil into a carrier oil and rub onto your acupressure points for comfort. Be careful not to rub the essential oil directly on your skin as it is potent and may cause slight burning of your skin.

We hope at least one of our five stress-busters will lead you to a happier, healthier and stress-free life. Remember, weekends are for recovery and relaxation! And nothing beats personal well-being.

Written by Valerie Tan

Bored of the same ol’ stash of tea that you have in your food cupboard? Perhaps your tea needs some pep, perk and sparkle. Create a customised tea blend and delve into a magical realm of aromas, colours and flavours. We think tea blending demands more imagination than intention so break some rules and get a little playful with your tea! There are no holds barred, no set recipes or conventions – you’d never know what you’d end up with. To assist you with your little DIY project, we’ve gathered 7 essential herbs to include in your blend for an incredible herbal infusion.

 

1. Chamomile

 

Pretty and powerful, chamomile has a stellar reputation for restoration as a gentle and effective natural sedative. It calms distressed nerves, restores inner peace and is recommended for sleep relief. But that’s not all, the delicate daisy-like blossom is a powerhouse of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties too. It’s akin to a magic potion which may be used to lighten complexion, eliminate acne scars and tighten pores. Consider the addition of chamomile for a blissful and beautiful brew.

2. Cinnamon

 

 

Bask in the sweet heat of cinnamon – its complex flavour profile encompasses a warm floral note with hints of spice and honeyed fruit. Besides it’s unique smell and taste, cinnamon contains great anti-diabetic effects and a myriad of protective antioxidants, which balances your blood sugar levels, safeguards your health and defends against cancer. With all these medicinal benefits, it’d be silly not to include poor old cinnamon in your tea blend.

 3. Ginger

 

Ginger is an excellent digestive aid which curbs nausea and upset stomachs associated with motion sickness. And because it plays an essential role in proper digestion, it improves food absorption, prevents unnecessary belching and improves your appetite through the release of gastric acids. The fleshy herb also wards off chills, environmental allergies and even jet lag with ease. In a similar vein, ginger contains increased levels of antioxidants, which hence allows it to relieve menstrual discomfort in women.

4. Lemongrass

Another definite ingredient to include in your custom concoction would be lemongrass – an aromatic herb with a zing that soothes stomach troubles such as bloating, constipation and indigestion. It’s also known to tame high blood pressure, limit cholesterol absorption in the intestines and improve overall heart health as well.

5. Mint

Like ginger, mint presents similar benefits. It eases nausea, clears mild coughs and is employed in the treatment of various digestive ailments, such as loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome and more. If consumed post-meal, the effects of mint will reduce flatulence and speed up digestion too. Hence, after-dinner mints and mint tea are so popular. With a natural cool sensation and crisp menthol fragrance, mint also freshens your breath and palate. We think it’s a win-win situation to feel clean inside and out.

6. Rooibos

High in Vitamin C and other minerals, rooibos is a copper-red charm of earthy delight. An herb native to South Africa, it has been touted for its plethora of proven health benefits and antioxidant properties aimed at aging, common skin concerns and diseases. Regular consumption of rooibos may boost hair growth and prevent sun damage too. Did you know? Japanese women are known to drink large amounts of rooibos tea for its positive effect on skin and hair!

7. Rose hip

Rose hips are the bulbous, garnet red fruits of the rose plant which detoxifies the body due to its laxative and diuretic properties. It eliminates toxins and unwanted fats in an efficient manner. If you struggle with constipation or a low metabolism rate, the said herb can be a key ingredient for your tea blend. Rose hip will impart a tart taste to your tea so be reminded to pair it with a sweet ingredient if you do find it too sharp.

Above all, have fun and relish your cup of tea, your way! But in any case, if laziness takes over, we’ve got you covered with our delicious Nilufer Tea organic herbal teas that contain many of the above beneficial herbs. Check them out here!

Written by: Valerie Tan

The tree is impeccably decorated – you have achieved a look that is equal parts festive and sophisticated. The lights around the house are giving off the exact shade of golden for optimum cosiness. Even your holiday music playlist is handpicked for maximum enjoyment; after all if Michael Bublé isn’t crooning softly in the background, is it truly Christmas? It looks as if all is perfect for a night of joy and laughter. But the crowning glory to a memorable party is still missing – the food.

While some of us are truly gods among men and have the know-how to whip up an entire four-course meal, the rest of us simply make do with the inspiration we get from the internet and our mothers. If digging through old cookbooks or your mother/grandmother’s ancient recipes does not sound appealing to you, we have just the thing. Here are 3 main courses you can take inspiration from and put your own twist on:

1. Cumin Scented Oven Baked Ribs

When you think of Christmas mains, one of the first things that come to mind are holiday movies where the grandma brings out a great hunk of meat out from the oven, still sizzling in its juices. Why not try a variation of that? This particular recipe makes use of cumin – a spice that is native to South Asia – as well as some homemade sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. This is perfect for those looking for a short preparation time. The active preparation time for this main is a mere 30 minutes and then you can take leave it to cook for two hours while you prepare the other dishes of your Christmas dinner. It’s a win-win situation!

Image cred: pixabay

2. Spaghetti with Lobster

If you have had enough of cooking meat and would like to try your hand at something different, don’t worry; we’ve brought something different – seafood. For your crustacean loving relatives, perhaps this recipe with spaghetti and lobster might do just the trick. With a base of tomato sauce and enhanced by the flavour of chiles like habanero, jalapeno and serrano, this main is comfort food with a twist. On a budget? Swap it out with your loved one’s favourite shell fish instead.

Image cred: Brooke Lark on Unsplash

3. Ricotta Goat Cheese Polenta Bake

Okay look — we love the indulgent, giving nature of Christmas as much as the next person but sometimes light and fresh is the way to go. In the flurry of Christmas dinners all serving heavy dishes, this might be a respite for your digestive system. It is chock full of the delicious freshness of green vegetables with the addition of the creaminess of ricotta and goat’s cheese. If your family and friends prefer the vegetarian way of life, this is a must try.

Image cred: pixabay

Whether your Christmas dinner is a grand sit-down affair with all your extended family or a small cosy get-together with friends, these recipes will be sure to enhance your dinner party and impress your beloved loved ones. But in case you do mess up and the meat doesn’t melt in your mouth as you imagined, don’t be too miffed. The truth is, while the food and the decorations do help the festivities, nothing can beat the goodness of a home filled with the laughter and joy of people you care deeply about.

And if your meal becomes too heavy, it is always great to wash down the heavy feeling with a cup of light herbal tea. You can purchase our organic herbal teas here!

Merry Christmas!

Reuse your Used Tea & Tea bags

Did you know, tea bags were invented by accident in 1908? (Aren't the coolest things created by accident! Potato chips, Penicillin, Post-its) Thomas Sullivan from the United States created small silk bags to give samples of tea to his customers but some of them thought they were meant to be placed directly into the pot, like a metal infuser, instead of being poured and emptied out. Thus, Voila! The invention of the tea bag!

Also, did you know that there are 4 major types of tea: black, green, oolong and white, but plot twist, they all come from the same plant - the Camellia sinensis - the different types of tea are a result of different ways of treating the plant. Interesting isn't it? Now that we have all enhanced our tea knowledge, lets find out how to reuse and recycle our tea bags. Each tea bag is filled with fresh, delicious and healthy goodness, so it is only right we do it justice and make the most of it.

1. Rejuvenate your eyes with teabags

The eyes are the windows to your soul so naturally we would want them to be all bright, twinkly and awake. If you are lazy to run out to the local beauty supply store for an eye mask to unwind after a long day at work, just grab some old tea bags and place them over your eyes for a few minutes. Put on some calm, soothing music and let your entire body relax into your bed or sofa. The remaining nutrients and minerals will seep into your skin and relieve dark circles and puffiness. You will feel like a new person after your tea bag treatment.


2. Tea Rinse - Get that silky, shiny, wind-blown hair you've always wanted

You have definitely seen those people walking down the street with the perfect hair you've always wanted. It seems like there is always the perfect amount of wind blowing right in front of their faces; strong enough so that their hair is flowing freely in the wind but not too much that their hair gets all messed up and stuck in their mouths. That hair. That hair just might be achievable with the help of your old tea bags! They can be used as natural alternatives to our conditioners (yay we save money!) to help add nourishment and silkiness to your hair. Just take your old tea bags and brew a weaker tea, cool it and rub it in through your hair after you shampoo. It'll leave your hair smelling great too!

We recommend these teas for "Tea Rinse"
Chamomile - The chamomile extract softens and nourishes your hair and scalp gently. Add two chamomile tea bags to a huge cup  of boiling water, and let it cool. Then, pour the chamomile tea over freshly washed hair and repeat 2-3 times. Good for dandruff, itchy scalp, lighten hair colour, nourish hair, promote hair growth, make hair smooth and silky.
Black Tea
Green Tea
 

3. Ditch the stanky feet ! Soak foots in pepper mint & Green tea herbal water

The feet of a person usually get noticed for either one of two reasons; 1. pretty pedicure or 2. stanky feet. I don't know about you but I definitely prefer the former. Smelly feet are foes to everyone in the vicinity including yourself (unless your nose is incredibly resistant to strong odors). Some people have smelly feet due to medical conditions and some might've just finished a long run in their sneakers, either way you need a way to beat the feet! You could put used pepper mint or green tea tea bags in your shoes to soak up the smell. Or alternatively, you could soak your feet in water with old tea bags (pepper mint or green tea). This doubles its use because tea bags are great for detox baths as well. Catechins in green tea has Antibacterial properties and pepper mint has instant effect to remove odor. Try these tips out and you will be one step in the right direction. (Pun intended. I'm so funny)

4. Make DIY Tea Soaps!

Ever had a cup of tea that smelled so amazing and thought 'I want to smell like that all the time"? Well, have you ever thought of making your favourite tea into soap? Because you can! This will require you to purchase a few items but it is certainly worth it. And with Christmas coming around the corner, nothing says thoughtful and meaningful quite like handmade soap! (you could give Lush a run for their money)

We recommend you to use our Lemon & Chamomile including marigold, lemon, chamomile, mint, ginger and Lemon !


Things you will need for DIY Soap making:

Lets make some soap!

  1. Look at your moulds and estimate how much soap base you would need to fill it. Use a knife/dough cutter to cut off chunks of the soap base. Note: be careful with the knife, always remember to cut in the direction away from yourself.
  2. Place the soap base chunks into your microwaveable bowl and melt it in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds on high.
  3. Remove the bowl and stir in 1 teaspoon of your chosen tea leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of essential oil into the bowl. (These amounts are estimates but you can play with the dosage according to the size of your soaps as well as how strong you want the scent to be)
  4. Mix the ingredients together until it is evenly mixed.
  5. Pour the soap mixture into your molds and set it aside till it has completely hardened.
  6. Once hardened, pop them out of their molds and wrap in parchment paper and tie it with twine till you are ready to use it. (or giveaway as a gift)



5. Degrease your pots, pans and plates - soak 5 min with used tea bags

Most of us love a good hearty meal of fried chicken, mac n cheese, lasagne, pizza and hotdogs. But the resulting dishes from these fried/greasy foods often have a oily and greasy layer over them that can sometimes be nearly impossible to clean. Sometimes it even feels like the more I scrub, the worse it gets. To alleviate this problem, pile up the dishes in your sink and fill it with hot water and throw in some old tea bags to soak. It helps loosen any hard foods and lifts grease so that when you get around to doing the dishes, it'll be super quick and easy.

 

With the Christmas season upon us, Christmas markets and pop-ups can be found all over the place. And we could be found at Shop Wonderland last Saturday 2 December 2017.

Nilufer Tea and special yoga wear

Holding the first-ever Christmas market, Shop Wonderland has done a fantastic job in arranging for various brands to come in and show their arts and products. We were honored and glad for having the opportunity to be involved in this amazing event.

Perk by Kate

 

Lucy and Mui

 

Wood and Lead

Being a cafe on normal days, Shop Wonderland has transformed the inner space into an area of festivity with the beauty of different brands and a large Christmas trees. With most holidays, you must have drinks, and that is why Shop Wonderland set up a gin bar outside the shop to bring the seasonal spirit beyond their shop.

It was heartwarming to see so many brand ambassadors sharing what they love, and even the brand creators themselves came down personally to be at their booths and sharing the fruits of their labour with everyone. It was clear that many people have put their heart and soul into the event.

Shop Little Man

If you have missed us at Shop Wonderland, fret not because we will be having another Christmas market soon! So stay tuned here, our instagram and our facebook for more information in time to come.

Meanwhile, you can still get out tea gift sets here. Nothing says blessings better than organic herbal teas for the wellness of your body and soul.

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