KUSMI TEA GIVEAWAY! Do your New Years resolutions involve getting healthy? Ours too. Kick start 2014 with $275 worth of wellness boosting teas from @kusmiteaus! To enter, follow @kusmiteaus, regram this pic, and tell us how you’re getting healthy this year. Tag @kusmiteaus, @birchbox, and #HowIDetox for a chance to win. We’ll choose a winner at 12pm ET tomorrow! (birchbox.com/rules)
Nerd alert: one of our favorite things to do is read the customer reviews in the Birchbox Shop. You all are an opinionated bunch—and we like it! We especiallylove the love letters you write to your favorite products. (Though we’re still waiting on the haikus and iambic pentameter.) From time to time, we’ll be highlighting extrasweet customer serenades. Next up, a sweet, aromatic, and organic tea blend.
In 1996, husband-and-wife duo Gary Shinner and Jill Portman opened an unassuming teahouse on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. Word got out, and the success of their enterprise led them to create their own brand of specialty teas. Nowadays, Mighty Leaf Tea Company creates top-notch blends for discerning tea drinkers from coast to coast. Here’s what some Birchbox fans had to say:
"I don’t drink tea very often so when this sample arrived, it quickly found a home in my kitchen cabinets. Coffee is often my drink of choice but an out-of-the-blue springtime cold had me feeling under the weather, and this little bag was just what I needed. The taste is strong but not overbearing— most teas I’ve had are very weak in flavor—but this was delicious. A little bit of honey and my throat was feeling much better. Will definitely be getting more in the future, maybe even trying the others from the brand."- Stephanie
“I’ve been a tea drinker since middle school and this tea was one of the best I’ve had. One bag was enough to get quality flavor when following the convenient brewing instructions. I was particularly impressed by the green tea’s smooth finish since other green teas I’ve had tend to have a funky after taste. The chamomile was my favorite though. I’ve already bought two boxes and know I’ll be buying more when I run out.”- Giraffe1182
“I am usually a coffee drinker and I feel like this tea could change that. I loved that you could actually see the tea leaves and even flowers in the tea bag, which was so cool. Plus, the smell was amazing. I think I am converting from coffee to Mighty Leaf Tea!!” - Stephanieocnj
Have you tried these palette-pleasing teas? Let us know what you think!
Every weekend, I look forward to going back home to semi-upstate New York and winding down after a long week in NYC. While I love the hustle and bustle of the city, nothing beats returning to crisp air, green grass, and the sound of nature. The two days I’m home I take my R&R very seriously. I know I don’t have the time or money (the woes of a college student) to spend at a spa so my pampering days are spent in the comfort of home. Get ready to light some candles and put on some soothing music because here are a few of my favorite ways to relax and recharge for any day of the week!
1. How To: Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
As a huge tea connoisseur, the very first thing I do to unwind is fix myself a cup of tea. This video shows me how to brew the perfect cup since there’s nothing worse than ending up with bitter or weak tea.
Now, we’re no slouches but we’re constantly meeting entrepreneurs who put us to shame. Take, for example, Runa cofounder Tyler Gage, who started the gamechanging tea company with Dan MacCombie when they two were still undergrads at Brown. Now based in Brooklyn, the company makes tea blends powered by organic guayusa, a naturally sweet leaf that is native to the Amazon. Runa sources all its tea through fair, sustainable efforts that support over 2,000 producers in Ecuador. And thanks to the guayasa, their blends have more caffeine than your typical black tea, double the antioxidants of green tea, and taste ridiculously good.
We caught up with the globetrotting Gage in between trips and got his take on the best way to enjoy tea (hint: you might have to hop a plane) and a killer recipe for a heat-beating Arnold Palmer.
You and your cofounder have both spent a lot of time in the Amazon—what is your best tip for anyone visiting the region?
Wake up before sunrise. Dawn is the most magical time in the jungle - the bird calls and light breaking through the canopy are magical. Also, chew raw garlic and put lime in your water to protect your guts!
Have you ever wondered what you would eat for your last meal? Melanie Dunea has. When she’s not interviewing people for her blog My Last Supper, she spends her time as a freelance portrait photographer and casual instagramer. And this week, Melanie is sharing her favorite beauty, food, and photography tips on the Birchbox blog.
The first thing I do each morning is brew myself a piping hot cup of tea. It doesn’t matter where in the world I am: A day that starts without tea is doomed.
I don’t use any old tea because I prefer Tetley’s, which comes in a nice round pod and is available at any local grocery story in England. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with U.S. manufactured Twinings or Harneys. But, to me, English tea just tastes better and stronger. I’m not a purist by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t bless my pot with a drop of hot water, and I use quite a lot of milk, which many deem a sin. Once in a while, I’ll go to the fuss of tealeaves, but usually only when I have a discerning or highfalutin visitor.
You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.
After a Thanksgiving holiday filled with nonstop eating and drinking, I’m due for a little de-puffing. I gave up diets long ago, but I like the idea of an occasional detox. I don’t mean the Master Cleanse variety — my idea of a detox is going a week without drinking, a few days without processed foods, or even just a weekend of yoga and only homecooked meals.
My latest cleansing tool: Kusmi Tea. The Paris-based brand has a range of high-quality teas, but I especially love the wellness blends. Their Detox tea is made from green tea, mate, and lemon grass, all of which spur digestion, flush out toxins, and generally undo your Thanksgiving damage. It’s aromatic and smooth, with none of the bitterness that lesser green teas can carry — I’ve been sipping it in the afternoons instead of coffee. A few more vinyasa classes and I’ll be back to normal just in time for the next round of holiday feasting.
Another tea that does wonders for digestion: Chamomile. Try Zhena’s blend, which is one of our faves.
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea founder Zhena Muzyka has come a long way since she was selling her specially crafted sachets out of a street cart just ten years ago. An herbalist and certified aromatherapist, the entrepreneur’s numerous blends are equal parts science and art—and they are useful in ways outside just your cup.
I sat down with the tea guru to discuss my favorite springtime flavor, Chamomile, and to learn more about why I enjoy it so much beyond its delicious taste. Little did I know that Muzyka has gone to great lengths to make hers particularly good for digestion, bloating, and even hair. Click through to find out what she adds to make her blend extra special.
This week we tapped Karen Adams, the executive operations manager of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. Today’s jaunt: London.
The bustling city streets, chic fashion, the Underground, the West End Theatre District…there are so many parallels between London and New York, yet so many differences to explore. We loved the streets of well-kept row houses adorned with flower boxes. And it’s so easy to acclimate to the delightful daily custom of afternoon tea. (Especially when the tea is served at Fortnum & Mason and the host is Victoria Christian of Clive Christian Perfumes.) We spent our London days studying the history of fragrance with Roja Dove at the Haute Parfumerie in Harrods, and delighting in private tours of Liberty and Selfridges. One of London’s treasures, tucked away at 12 The Royal Arcade 28 Old Bond Street, is the Ormonde Jayne Boutique. Perfumer Linda Pilkington presented her luxurious niche line and did perfume portraits to help us choose a favorite scent. We fancied the Tolu Collection for its velvety resins of golden frankincense, tolu, and myrrh.
For other great fragrance suggestions, check out the Birchbox Shop.
The two winners will be receiving two Zhena’s Gypsy Tea samplers, 50 Birchbox points, and this beautiful tea set —a total value of $138!
We here at Birchbox love Zhena’s Gypsy Tea (especially the boys in our office!), not only because their teas are especially delicious, but also because of the brand’s deep commitment social responsibility. Even from the company’s inception, it was all about doing good: Zhena Muzyka founded it as a way to help pay for her son’s health insurance. Born with a severe birth defect, he needed several surgeries in order to survive and she was determined to find a way to finance them.
In light of the brand’s continued dedication to do it’s part, we wanted to find out what other people were doing to make a world a better place. We asked people to submit, in 150 words or less, the big or small things they do to improve our planet. There were so many good submissions to choose from, but with the help of Zhena herself, selected the final two winners: Brenda McCartney and Cheryl Doroah. Click through to read their truly inspiring stories!