Wednesday, 4 March 2015

cayenne, mint & bay leaf tea (and it's more than just a tea!)

Cayenne, mint, and bay leaf tea. A herbal drink to enjoy hot or iced.

Hello, everyone! It's been a while. I've been busy with some freelance work, and have thus neglected this blog. The lack of work-life balance is really not cool, though, so I'm going to take a step back, and try to regain some measure of blogging momentum.

Here is a simple cayenne, mint and bay leaf tea that is more than just a tea. More about that in a moment, but as a beverage, this tea possesses a certain intrigue with the use of bay leaves. The distinct fragrance of bay leaf lends a pleasant sense of mystery that fascinates the nose and the taste buds. I originally made this for another purpose, but bay leaf tea is definitely now in my tea-drinking repertoire. Apparently bay leaf tea is good for digestion, so that's a benefit to add to the appeal - but mostly, I'm drinking it because I like it.

cayenne, mint & bay leaf tea

2 cups freshly boiled water
4 fresh mint leaves
4 dried bay leaves, torn up
1 pinch cayenne powder

Pour the hot, freshly boiled water over the mint leaves, bay leaves, and cayenne powder in a mug or jug. Stir, cover, and allow the flavours to steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and add sweetener of your choice, if desired. I like it with a touch of honey. You may drink it while it's still hot to keep yourself cozy, or chill it and add some ice for an invigorating coolness.

Note: Some people simmer the bay leaves with boiling water in a saucepan for a few minutes instead of steeping them. This will likely draw out more flavour, so if you choose this route you can probably use just 2 bay leaves. I was feeling lazy and I thought it would be more convenient to use the electric kettle.

Some cayenne, mint and bay leaf tea, coming up!

But wait, there's more! As I said, there is more to this bay leaf tea, it goes beyond a mere beverage. In fact, I originally created this as a natural insect repellent. That's right! We have had some issues with ants and cockroaches lately, and apparently a combination of cayenne, mint and bay leaf can work to deter both. For the natural insect repellent, I made the solution more potent, adding extra mint, bay leaves and cayenne powder, as per the following:

cayenne, mint & bay leaf insect repellent

2 cups freshly boiled water
1 sprig mint, or 1 mint tea bag
6 dried bay leaves, torn up
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

Almost the same instructions as for the tea recipe above, except I leave the "tea" to sit until it's completely cool, and obviously I don't use any form of sweetener. I then stir the mixture, strain it, and pour the pinkish-orange water into a spray bottle.

I've been using this spicy, aromatic solution in lieu of store-bought detergents to wipe surfaces around the home, so I'm basically using it as a 2-in-1 spray for cleaning surfaces and repelling insects. It works nicely as a cleaner, and while I have not performed any controlled experiments with this, I do observe less insects around. I feel good about using this - it's all natural with edible ingredients, so if I drop some food on the counter and pick it back up, I know that instead of potentially toxic chemicals, it will have traces of mint, bay leaf and cayenne in it. Which is totally fine by me!

Cayenne, mint and bay leaf solution as a natural insect repellent.


  1. How delicious. I'm definitely going to make this! For me, not the cockroaches


Related Posts with Thumbnails