I’m one of those people who usually can’t think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I have friends who have to hold themselves back from decking their house out with red and green before the end of October, but I always feel like I want Thanksgiving to have its chance in the spotlight.
With that said, since I’ve started making cold-process soap I’ve had to think 4-6 weeks in advance due to the curing time. Although I try to avoid too much Christmas planning before the last turkey leftover is eaten, soapmaking does require a bit of foresight.
There are only a few short weeks until Christmas (can you believe it?!), and I realized that if I was going to give soap as gifts this December, I had to get some recipes started ASAP – even if it was before Thanksgiving. (I have to confess, however, that I’ve given soaps in the past and told the recipient not to use the bars for another week since it hadn’t finished curing. Probably not the most tactful move but it worked!)
Since learning more about the world of tea from K’Tizo, I decided this holiday season I’d make a tea-based soap. I used my current favorite blend, Pecan Rooibos, and added orange essential oil to complement the nutty, sweet aroma and burnt orange color of the tea. For added texture and a mild exfoliant, I stirred in a few tablespoons of used tea leaves.
Have you been thinking about Christmas for a while or do you take it one holiday at a time?
Pecan Rooibos + Orange Soap
Makes about 16 4 ounce bars of soap
For the full cold process soap making instructions, check out Tiffany’s beginner’s soap making tutorial.
13.5 oz. canola oil
13.5 oz. coconut oil
13.5 oz. olive oil
4.5 oz. sunflower oil
12 oz. brewed tea, cooled to room temperature* (I recommend loose leaf tea from K’Tizo)
6.4 oz. lye
Add 0.75 ounces orange essential and 2-3 tablespoons of used tea leaves right before mixture reaches trace.
As always, remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting!
*It is very important that you allow the tea to cool. Otherwise, when you add the lye to hot tea, the solution may boil over.