Fresh This Month: Chai Tea

Chai is a perfect winter scent with a warming grounding blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger. The warming spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg meld with the creamy richness of milk to create a delicious and soothing blend.

Chai is a phenomenally distinct yet versatile flavor and scent. Commonly founds mixed with black tea, chai originated in South Asia and can be traced back to India and China. While chai spices vary from region to region, traditional chai spices include cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, and peppercorn.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea

If you’re interested in making your own chai drink, here is a simple and delicious recipe that combines black tea, milk, and spices.

Ingredients:

2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea
2 cups of whole milk (or almond/soy milk)

Directions:

  1. Combine fresh ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. While stirring, lightly crush the spices.
  2. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Discard tea bags, add your milk of choice, and simmer over high heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, strain chai into a teapot, and serve hot.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea Limited Edition Products

Want to include the deliciously aromatic smells of chai not just in your beverages but in your home and skincare routine too? You’re in luck! Etta + Billie just released a line of limited edition chai tea inspired bath and body products for those who can’t get enough of the stuff.

A perfect scent for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, these chai bath and body products offer the perfect blend of warming cinnamon and ginger with spicy cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg:

Chai Tea Body Scrub
Chai Tea Room + Body Spray
Chai Tea Skin Balm
Chai Tea Soap

Makers Gonna Make: Bergamot

Bergamot is a citrus fruit from the tropical Citrus bergamia plant, which is commonly found in the Mediterranean, Italy, France, and other parts of Europe. The fruit is typically the size of an orange, yet is closer in color to a lime or lemon depending on ripeness.

Many people are familiar with Bergamot because it’s the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its citrusy scent and distinct flavor. A highly fragrant fruit, Bergamot is also used to make essential oils (which can be used for perfumes, soaps, or oil diffusion) and can be used in a number of recipes. Bergamot flesh and its zest—which is tart, aromatic, acidic, and spicy—has been used as an ingredient in everything from cookies, custards, and marmalades to syrups, cocktails, and even pesto, mayonnaise, and other condiments.

etta + billie bergamot ginger bath + body oil

Bergamot and Lavender Reusable Dryer Sheets: Both environmentally friendly and easy to DIY, these dryer sheets will leave your laundry soft and smelling great! And with the added bonus of not needing to dispose of the dryer sheets with each load.

Bergamot Ginger Bath + Body Oil: With the invigorating combination of citrusy bergamot and spicy ginger, this bath and body oil is perfect for skin that is in desperate need of hydration or a soothing and relaxing bath. This oil can be used directly on the body as a moisturizer or in a bath, and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy! (If you prefer a standard lotion for moisturizing, check out the Bergamot + Ginger Body Lotion or Skin Balm.)

Bergamot Honey Frappe: This delicious frappe recipe only needs 5 ingredients, takes about 15 minutes to throw together, and is vegan! Perfect for a mid-morning pick-me-up or a refreshing evening drink this combination of flavors will have your taste buds singing.

Bergamot and Lime Deodorant: Whether you’re in a pinch and need to craft up some homemade deodorant or prefer to use deodorants with all natural ingredients (or without aluminum), this recipe will not only have you smelling great but is easy on your skin as well.

Bergamot Ginger Room + Body Spray: Need to refresh your kitchen, bedroom linens, car, or even yourself? This room and body spray can do it all in an instant! Made with simple ingredients that won’t damage or stain anything, you can spray this product on everything knowing its all natural ingredients aren’t harmful to yourself or your home.

Oyster Mushroom Salad with Apple and Bergamot: A unique combination of ingredients, this salad makes a perfect addition to any dinner or could be enjoyed on its own for lunch. With the apple marinated in bergamot juice, this winter salad will be sure to wow anyone who eats it.

Where to Go? What to Eat? Portland, Maine Travel Guide with Fitz and Bennett

We’re all familiar with Oregon’s largest city, Portland, known for its hip culture and thriving art, theater, and music scenes. But did you know Maine also offers its own Portland, a smaller city with river and mountain views as well as gorgeous Victorian-era houses, working fishing wharves, and converted warehouses with restaurants and shops?

Lauren, the owner of Fitz and Bennett Home—a thoughtfully curated home decor and gifts store located in Portland, ME—shares some of her favorite places to go, items to eat, and things to do in Portland. In addition to offering the standard attractions that come to mind when people think of Maine—great seafood, a beautiful coastline, and stunning lighthouses—Portland is also a popular spot for food and beer. “We have amazing restaurants in every food genre you can imagine,” totes Lauren.

Lauren’s storefront, situated in the historic Old Port of Portland, is just off of the beaten (and tourist ridden) path but still amongst the scenic cobblestones and historic architecture, and has a waterfront view right outside her door!

Portland Maine

Where to Go?

Willard Beach
Located in South Portland on the bay, Willard Beach is a moderately sized beach (so you don’t feel like you’re walking forever to find a spot, but also aren’t sitting right on top of other beachgoers) that offers calmer waters, slightly warmer water temperatures, and a dog-friendly environment before 8:00am during the beach season. “We love to bring our pooch down for a little play—dogs galore!”

Nature Trails
Portalnd, ME has a number of trails full of stellar views and calming natural surroundings. Some of these include Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport, Mackworth Island in Casco Bay, and the Eastern Promenade. With food trucks frequently parked along the top of the Promenade, you won’t go hungry during your hike!

Fitz and Bennett Home

What to Eat?

“The best activities (and almost all of them here) involve a good view and good food.”

The Green Elephant
An all vegetarian restaurant located on Congress Street, The Green Elephant is a favorite of Lauren’s. “My carnivorous husband loves it there too!”

Novare Res
A hidden away beer mecca, Novare Res has a great outdoor patio with games and picnic tables, making it a perfect stop for beer aficionados and families alike.

Local 188
Local 188 is the perfect spot for an intimate dinner or stellar brunch.The decor is reminiscent of being inside of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting.   

Silly’s
Slightly outside of the downtown area (but still on the peninsula), Silly’s is a great stop for all kinds of food options. Vegan selections are just as plentiful as meat-heavy dishes, and beer is served in tin mugs. Silly’s also has outdoor seating and funky decor throughout.

Fitz and Bennett Home - Etta + Billie Products

Additional Tips

Lauren recommends visiting Portland on months that shoulder the busy seasons; mid-June and early September. “Most of the tourists are gone and you’ll feel more like a local.”

There are also countless hotels in town to choose from during your stay in addition to very unique Airbnbs, so there’s no need to feel like you’re beholden to the big chain hotels.

Lauren’s overall advice for those wanting to visit Portland, ME? “Explore beyond the most popular places in Portland that have been written about over and over again. They are great and get press for a reason, but there are also a ton of other smaller fish here that are equally as amazing, so explore a bit!”

Fitz and Bennett Home

Etta + Billie Crew: Sonia

Etta + Billie crew members are the heart of our company. Since the company’s launch in 2009, our employees have helped us along the road of creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products and without them, we wouldn’t be the company we are today!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at one of our crew members: Sonia!

Etta + Billie Crew Sonia

How long have you been at Etta + Billie?
I have been working at Etta + Billie for 3 years and 2 months.

What five things couldn’t you live without?
1) My family; my partner and my siblings. 2) My headphones. 3) My sketchbook. 4) Coffee. 5) The Internet.

What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today?
Give them a call out of the blue.

My favorite quote is:
“Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

My favorite scent is:
Anything citrus!

What is your favorite Etta + Billie product?
My favorite product is the Etta + Billie Earl Grey Tea soap.

Etta + Billie Crew: Mylene

Etta + Billie crew members are the heart of our company. Since the company’s launch in 2009, our employees have helped us along the road of creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products and without them, we wouldn’t be the company we are today!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at one of our crew members: Mylene!

etta + billie crew mylene

How long have you been at Etta + Billie? What is one of your favorite things about working here?
I have been with Etta + Billie for six months. One of my favorite things about working here, besides the lovely folks I get to work with, is the smell! The studio always smells amazing!

What five things couldn’t you live without?
Sunlight, phone calls, grass to lay in, lip balm, and carbs.

What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today?
One nice thing I like to do for others is to listen to them.

My favorite scent is:
Horchata Soap (seasonal)

What is your favorite Etta + Billie product?
My favorite Etta + Billie product is the Room + Body Spray.