A few months ago my favourite tea shop, DavidsTea, ran a contest they called “Think Outside the Mug”. It was right up my alley, challenging entrants to come up with creative ways to use tea. This was one of my entries. It’s based around their Coco-Lemon Thai tea, but can easily be made with a plain green or white tea, or just straight water.
The tea features coconut, ginger, and lemongrass, with hints of sunflower and lemon myrtle. It was practically begging to be turned into a summery lotion, and who was I to say no?
The water part is the tea, with just a hint of vegetable glycerine for an added moisturizing kick. I steeped it for about 6 minutes before straining and letting the tea cool as I set to work on the oils.
The oils part is really simple—extra virgin coconut oil and my emulsifying wax. The coconut oil adds a wonderful coconutty scent kick that compliments the tea beautifully.
Lastly, the essential oils, which are optional. Without them, the lotion smells very coconutty. With them, you have a lotion that has more of a citrus/ginger hit that blends beautifully into something that reminds me of Thai cuisine (though you won’t smell of curry, I promise).
Coco-Lemon Body Lotion
5 drops lemongrass essential oil (optional)
3 drops ginger essential oil (optional)
Pour 180mL (6 fl oz) of boiled & slightly cooled (we’re aiming for about 92°C [198°F]) water over the tea leaves. Let steep for 6 minutes before straining out the tea leaves. Set the tea aside to cool while you work.
Weigh the emulsifying wax and coconut oil into a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.
As the oil and wax melts, measure out 146mL of the tea and add 4g (0.14oz) of vegetable glycerine. Stir to combine.
Once the oils have melted, add the tea mixture. Heat everything through to ensure the oils are melted and whisk to combine. You should immediately get an opaque white, milky liquid.
Remove from the heat and whisk as the mixture cools. Depending on the e-wax you’ve used the lotion may or may not thicken right up. Emulsimulse/ritamulse thickens immediately, but Polawax and Emulsifying Wax NF need a few days to thicken up to lotion texture.
Whisk in the essential oils (if using) and preservative.
Decant into a 240mL/8oz pump-top bottle. I used a jar for pretty pictures, but storing the lotion in a pump-top bottle will greatly increase the shelf life as you won’t be dipping your dirty fingers into it all the time.