Create Moments of Calm With Ti Ora's Botanical Recipe Series

Eleanor Ozich creates a refreshing ice tea spritzer using Ti Ora tea

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Watch the first video in new series of calming moments with Ti Ora tea and Eleanor Ozich. 

Nature is good for the soul. Trees, plants, sand, water — natural scenes like these are scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce stress, promoting feelings of balance and calm. Reconnecting with the environment and its healing properties is more important than ever when globally things are everchanging and the pressures on day-to-day life are in overdrive.

Ti Ora, a nature-loving tea brand from New Zealand, and award-winning cookbook author and food writer Eleanor Ozich had this in mind when they came together to create a series of recipes using New Zealand botanicals found in Ti Ora tea blends. The recipes feature three New Zealand native botanicals — kawakawa, mānuka and horopito, aimed at inspiring mindful moments and a chance to reconnect with nature.

Longtime Viva contributor and Piha local Eleanor is known for using whole, natural ingredients in her recipes and food writing. “Everything just tastes really simple and is exactly as nature intended it,” she says.

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She’s also an advocate for health and wellbeing and the grounding power of simple rituals, like enjoying a cup of tea. Just like a bracing walk in dense native bush, Eleanor’s first recipe in the three-part series is a revitalising ice tea using beautiful shiny leaved fresh kawakawa. The Kawakawa Ice Tea Spritzer is made with Ti Ora Green Tea Peach + Passionfruit tea bags, kawakawa leaves, honey and soda water. Despite its summery name and appearance, this iced tea spritzer is great to enjoy all year round, says Eleanor, especially as an afternoon pick-me-up. “The kawakawa adds a really beautiful, fresh, distinctive flavour.”

Working with Ti Ora tea to create this recipe is an inspired partnership, since the botanicals found in Ti Ora tea blends have been used for centuries to help support wellbeing. Its teas and infusions are uniquely blended with native New Zealand botanicals including mānuka, horopito and kawakawa, which are highlighted in this recipe series. These botanicals grow in abundance in Aotearoa and impart a unique flavour. Kawakawa leaves have aromatic, fresh peppery notes which complement the taste of green tea well — and go beautifully with honey.

Native to New Zealand, the name kawakawa in Māori refers to the bitter taste of the leaves, from ’kawa’ bitter. Kawakawa is used in both sweet and savoury cooking and can also be found in balms, oils and skincare. This refreshing tea is a perfect opportunity to take a moment of quiet contemplation while the tea, kawakawa leaves and honey steep and infuse. Eleanor finds a sense of delight from the moment the water begins to boil.

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“I think it actually starts right from the beginning of the process. My ideal mindful moment is sitting and enjoying a cup of tea, so it’s putting the kettle on, taking time to consider how I feel and what kind of tea I feel like drinking, and then it’s taking a moment to sit and enjoy it without interruptions.” 

Ti Ora has the same philosophy when it comes to tea. A cup of tea is never just a cup of tea. It’s a chance to sit down, slow down, and take a moment to reflect. That’s why its tea is made from large-cut leaf pieces — all wrapped up in a plant-based pyramid tea bag. It allows the ingredients to infuse and release beautifully bold flavours and aromas. For Eleanor, a cup of tea facilitates being organised, and the satisfaction it brings is the best part of her day.

“I love to be organised and that includes sitting down and enjoying a cup of tea and getting my thoughts onto paper. That really for some reason brings me a lot of joy,” she laughs. Feeling grounded and at ease can also be brought on by nature. The warmth of the sun and clean, crisp freshness of the air can combine to rest our mind and spirit. That’s why this recipe, infused with New Zealand botanicals, aims to bring a little bit of nature through a tall glass of iced tea.

Ti Ora Kawakawa Iced Tea Spritzer:
Serves 4

Sparkling drinks usually go hand-in-hand with summer, but this iced tea spritzer is stunning to enjoy all year round. The combination of iced Ti Ora Green Tea Peach + Passionfruit with fresh kawakawa and bubbly soda is the perfect pick me up to enjoy as an afternoon delight. Furthermore, this delicious beverage is naturally sweetened with honey. Serve with slices of lime and fresh herbs if you desire.

  • 4 Ti Ora Green Tea Peach + Passionfruit tea bags
  • 3 cups just-boiled water
  • 4 fresh kawakawa leaves
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • Soda water, to serve
  • Fresh herbs such as mint or thyme and slices of
    lime to serve
  1.  Steep the tea bags and kawakawa in the hot water and stir in the honey. Allow to cool entirely.
  2.  Remove the tea bags and kawakawa leaves, and then pop in the fridge to chill.
  3.  To serve, add a few ice cubes to each glass, fill each glass half-way with the iced tea, then top.

Visit Ti-ora.nz to find out more about Ti Ora’s tea blends.

See next video in the series on Viva.co.nz on 5th of August to get some more tips on how to use native botanicals with Ti Ora tea.

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