Which new bath brew is your cup of tea?

It’s the wellness trend of 2021 — popping a tea bag in the tub. But: Which new bath brew is your cup of tea?

  • Pinterest has seen a 60 per cent increase in searches for ‘bath tea recipe’
  • Sales of British brand Wild Olive, have shot up by 30 per cent in the pandemic
  • Victoria Woodhall gives verdict on the best tea bags to upgrade your tub time 

Our love of tea seems to have no end. We drink 100 million cups of the stuff daily in the UK — and now we’re bathing in it, too. Bath tea is the piping hot wellness trend for this spring.

According to image-sharing platform Pinterest, there has been a 60 per cent increase in searches for ‘bath tea recipe’ as we find ever more inventive ways to soak our troubles away.

So just what is bath tea exactly? It’s a blend of bath salts, dried flowers, herbs or other botanicals such as seaweed, essential oils and sometimes actual tea. Think PG-meets-pot-pourri. You steep it in your bath before you step in.

You can make your own loose leaf bath tea, but be warned you could be fishing out scraps from the plughole for weeks.

Victoria Woodhall gives her verdict on the tea bag in the tub trend. Pictured: Deep Drift Relaxing Sleep Bath Salts

Enter the ingenious invention of the bath tea bag. These pouches, made of paper, muslin or mesh, work just like your daily cuppa, infusing the water with their botanical essences. As the mineral salts dissolve, all the foliage is captured in the bag ready to compost.

Sales of one British brand of bath tea bag, Wild Olive, which makes 24 different varieties of bath tea bags with everything from rooibos to green tea and Earl Grey, have shot up by 30 per cent in the pandemic, according to founder Julie Holmes.

Thankfully, bath tea doesn’t normally turn your water brown, and some varieties contain skin-nourishing ingredients such as oats, which make a moisturising milky brew. So which tea bags will upgrade your tub time? We put five to the test . . .

For deep sleep

Deep Drift Relaxing Sleep Bath Salts, Verdant Alchemy, from £12, verdant alchemy.co.uk

What is it? A mineral-rich mix of Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts and detoxing white clay with dried lavender and chamomile plus earthy essential oils of cedarwood and ylang-ylang. Tip the sachet of salts into the reusable muslin bag and plop that into your tub.

What’s it like? I love a calming chamomile tea before bed and this potent milky blend filled the room with a cocooning scent that was truly sleep-inducing.

Verdict: Luxurious and natural, though a little pricey at £12 for a single soak. (The £45 jar would make it £9 per soak but that’s sold out — such is the popularity of tea bathing.)3/5

Morning refresher

Peppermint and Eucalyptus Bath Tea, Bramblewood Soap Co, £9.50, peacewiththewild.co.uk

Victoria said Peppermint and Eucalyptus Bath Tea (pictured) is invigorating and best for mornings 

What is it? A pretty jar of pink Himalayan salts, mixed with Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts infused with zingy essential oils, handmade in Dorset. Scoop the salts into the muslin bag and steep.

What’s it like? The blast of peppermint essential oil made my eyes water. I had no choice but to be wide awake. The head-clearing burst soon subsided and the salts melted into the water, leaving an empty bag. There’s a good blend of minerals to help soothe sore muscles.

Verdict: Invigorating, best for mornings. 3/5

The scented gift

Fig and Darjeeling Tea, Wild Olive, £1.75, wild olivestore.com

Victoria said Fig and Darjeeling Tea (pictured) is a fun and cheap gift for a birthday 

What is it? Wild Olive has a dazzling array of bath tea bags with black tea, rooibos and green teas with salts and scents. This bag has about half a teaspoon of Darjeeling.

What’s it like? With no mess, the paper tea bag held out under running water and, left to dry with the leaves still in it, scented the bathroom for 24 hours. The strong, sweet perfume oil was not my cup of tea, but my 17-year-old daughter loved her strawberry cream bath tea bag.

The verdict: A fun, cheap gift for a birthday. 3/5

Organic infuser

Sicilian Lemon and Calendula Tub Tea Bag, Wild Forest Co, Etsy, £2, etsy.com/uk

Victoria said Sicilian Lemon and Calendula Tub Tea Bag (pictured) is a great-value natural treat

What is it? This drawstring bag filled with dried flowers, salts, lemon essential oils and oatmeal turns bathwater gently milky.

What’s it like? The gorgeous Mediterranean scent made for an inviting natural soak with soothing oatmeal. A few yellow petals escaped but were easily washed away afterwards.

Verdict: A great-value natural treat. 4/5

Skincare special

Oatmeal and Lavender Bath Bag, Wyld Lore, £3.95, etsy.com/uk

Victoria said Oatmeal and Lavender Bath Bag (pictured) is more porridge than tea but a real treat for skin

What is it? A sizeable muslin bag filled with dried lavender flowers, lavender oil and oat kernel flour, which produces a rich milky soak.

What’s it like? Oat poultices are a traditional anti-inflammatory bath remedy.

The oat flour produced a rich cream, which I squeezed through the bag like a stress ball as I rubbed it over my arms and legs.

It’s a little messy cutting open the bag at the end to empty the dough-like mixture into the compost bin, but worth it.

Verdict: More porridge than tea but a real treat for skin. 5/5

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