The tea that started it all. For Tea Lovers, Artists, Bohemians and those with plain good taste, a must have. Tea Time returns.
Absinthe 'T'. Not just 'tea' but 't'' with a capital 'T'. Terra Stella has been making extraordinary 'T' since 2005. The 2006 Michigan Retailer of the Year creates 'T' that celebrates the goddess in all of us. 'T' that hearkens back to a time when wise women mixed herbs for more than just a nice taste. A time when 'Mother' had a bigger meaning than we give her today.
Terra Stella is happy to announce, Absinthe 'T', the Mother of all 'T'.
Absinthe 'T'. A steeped blend of ancient Swiss Herbs like Artemisia and Sweet Melissa combined with heat extracted seed aromatics from Rome to create a traditional 'tisane' blending the esoteric and healing knowledge of two ancient worlds.
In time for Mothers Day we are presenting this unique blend in gift package rewards that include our special 'T' cup and/or our 'T' shirt. We hope to make your Mothers Day a time to remember all of the mothers to the beginning of Time.
Love your Mother. Drink 'T'.
Mother Henriot's Elixir is an Absinthe Tea. You heard me right. Absinthe. The evil brew featured in Moulin Rouge. The scourge of the gay ‘90’s. Oscar Wilde’s downfall and Public Enemy Number One of the Abolition Era. The mysterious and ritual alcoholic drink called La Fee Vert or the Green Fairy was banned worldwide by 1915 and has only been legal again in the US for a few years. Today it is still rare and still steeped in myth and superstition. It is also steeped in tradition, folklore and all of this is why we are creating our own Absinthe Tea.
I should say ‘ReCreating’. Absinthe as a tea, infusion or tisane has been around since at least 1616 when a traveler to the Couvet Region of Switzerland wrote that she simply could not do without her ‘Absinte’. Around 1792 a certain Major Dubied purchase the recipe for a liquor called Absinthe from a pair of sisters who claimed to have the recipe from a certain Dr. Ordinaire. Evidently, the good doctor had little or nothing to do with the concoction except that he had a medical license to prop up the medicinal claims made by the sisters. Where the recipe really came from is the reason we are making this tea. One of the reasons.
You see, the sisters really got the recipe from their mother and a label from the early 1700’s in the Musee De Absinthe in Switzerland shows that this distilled wonder was called ‘Mere Henriod’s Elixir’. When a friend sent us a documentary link asking if there was a relation it set our wheels in motion. As it turns out, ‘Henriod’ is the Swiss spelling of ‘Henriot’ the French spelling of Kate’s own last name, ‘Henriott’. The family Henriod is from the same Couvee region that Kate’s family is from and so Kate’s Tea Blending witchcraft runs in the family.
So what is Absinthe? The recipe sold to Dubied went to his son-in-law named Pernod. We know that distillery as the first bottlers of the liquor and sold under the name Pernod once the banned substances were removed. What banned substance? It turns out that it was banned because it contained wormwood, an herbal said to create hallucinations and madness. A hundred years later, we now know that was a myth created by the French wine industry and picked up by Abolitionists to ban the extremely popular liquor with the cult-like following.
That doesn’t really tell us what Absinthe is though. From our research we found that the original tea was a combination of three Swiss herbs common to the region that had been combined with two aromatic seeds, anise and fennel, that gave it its characteristic taste and complex ‘nose’. Those herbs were purported to cure everything from dysentery to the flu. It turns out that wormwood is so called for its ability to kill parasites and it along with the other herbs has quite a laundry list of actual antiviral and antibacterial properties. Those herbs, Artemisia, Melissa or Lemonbalm, Hyssop, when combined with Anise and Fennel was often used for any ailment of the stomach and became popular when soldiers were sent abroad with a bottle to add to the local water to make it safe. When they came back to France they had not only developed an insatiable taste for the liquor but had also become addicted to the ritual of disolving sugar in the extremely strong clear green liquor with drops of ice water to create a swirling opalescent liquid that soon became the drink of choice for the very rich, the Bohemians and artists in general.
Many of the Impressionists depict the Absinthe ritual in their paintings including Lautrec, Monet and Rousseau. Oscar Wilde was wild about it and artist Renoir also was known to write of its mysterious properties. As an interesting side note, Renoir’s muse and favorite model, patroness was a certain Madame Henriot, another of Kate’s ancestry.
SO WHY AN ABSINTHE TEA?
Aside form the cool history, it turns out that Madame Henriod was not just an old lady with a taste for Swiss Moonshine. The term elixir was used because of its curative properties and a cursory study of its herbal history goes all the way back to Greece where it was brought as a curative called Absithium Oinos or absinthe wine. As mentioned before it does have some well known and well documented antibacterial and antiviral properties.
My own interest is because, coincidentally, each of the five ingredients has been independently studied and is known to decrease the glycemic index that measures diabetes. For my husband, who is a diabetic this is good news. It also turns out that the Greeks knew this and couterintuitively combined its main herb, Artemisia, with honey to combat what they called Diabetes Mellitus. Ayurvedic medicine makes the same claim and also uses honey. I am in no way making medical claims here but I have had him drink the tea with very positive results.
I think one of the most compelling reason to drink it though is the reason the drink became so popular. It turns out that its reputation as a hallucinogen was not true but it was the ritual that people enjoyed. As foodies this interests us. We think people want a new ritual, a way to enjoy something unique that takes a little more time, a little more care and a longer time to savour and enjoy. Something that takes time to taste its complex series of notes, noses, finishes and flourish. More like a fine wine.
Because at the heart of all of our stuff is our mission to find the most extraordinary things that have the most extraordinary taste. The fact that it has a little mystery and a little history appeals to the bohemian geeks in our make up and any health benefits is really a rationalization and justification to do something a little decadent, a little indulgent and very delicious.
The history, the rituals and the spiritual side of tea is too important keep hidden away in family lore, we want to bring it back to all. In order for us to launch this project on a large scale we need to make sure we have all of our licensing in order, an approved kitchen to work in and copious amounts of the appropriate herbs.
The ritual of Absinthe tea, is very similar to that of absinthe. A special brew of hot water (as opposed to ice water) is added to the sugar and herbs which then drips, steeped and filtered into a cup. The process is a meditation and an offering to the past and it is a way to calm ourselves and enjoy the present. We're confident you'll enjoy it. Won't you join us?
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on February 29, 2012.
Jan 21, 2012 - Feb 29, 2012
Pledge $1 or more
Your name on our website's wall "Friends of Mother Henriot's" plus a link to our family's tea cookie recipe.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $5 or more
A 4x6 print featuring the unique label art for Mother Henriot's Elixir. Hand signed thanking you for being in on the ground level of a tea revolution as well as a sample of the tea. The print depicts Artio, ancient Goddess of the Bear Clans, she was later known as Artemis. Artemisia Absinthium is one of the herbs used in our tea.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Mother Henriot's Elixir tea, (enough to make a 4 cup pot of tea) includes a filter, filter holder and a "Thank You' post card of the unique label art as described above. (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $20 or more
All of the above plus a beautiful "Hatpin Pendant" which doubles as the holder for the tea filter. Each one is handmade and ready to be added to a chain of your choice. Wear the pendant so you are always ready to brew your cup of tea! Once removed, it acts as a filter holder for an individual cup of Mother Henriot's Elixir. See photos and video at the Absinthe Tea link of www.terrastella.weebly.com. (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $20 or more
Mother's Day Special! Get your Mother Henriot's Elixir packaged in a special glass T-Cup with our "Love Your Mother" logo, filters and filter holder.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $25 or more
A very cool, if we do say so ourselves, T shirt designed by Artist (and husband) Ted Jauw. A Heraldic Design in black and white. Check out the photo at www.terrastella.weebly.comEstimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $25 or more
"Love Your Mother" T-shirt. A white T-shirt with Venus of Willendorf enjoying a cup of Terra Stella T. See image at www.terrastella.net. A great idea for Mother's Day.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $40 or more
Get one Gift one! Get your Mother Henriot's Elixir packaged in a special glass T-Cup with our "Love Your Mother" logo, filters and filter holder, plus another to be sent to a person of your choice.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $50 or more
4 backers Limited (96 of 100 left)
A very special Art Nouveau Style "Mother Henriot's Elixir" Advertising Poster. (16X20) Hand signed and numbered, the poster depicts La Fee Vert pouring a pot of Absinthe Tea. She is surrounded by a stylized depiction of the leaves of Artemisia. Plus a sample of Mother Henriot's Elixir. Head over to www.terrastella.weebly.net for photos of the rewards! (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Poster and sample of Mother Henriot's Elixir, filters and 4X6 label art. This poster as described by my husband and artist "is an homage to childhood art heroes Frank Frazetta and Roger Dean. Yeah, I'm that old. The illustration will be a story in Surcadiana (my blog) and will explain all of the symbols, goddesses, Latin and what the heck it has to do with Absinthe tea..." the Goddess Artio in her cave with her bear.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $50 or more
3 backers Limited (97 of 100 left)
A hand signed and numbered Advertising Poster (16X20) depicting the Goddess Artio with her bear. Done in an Art Nouveau style. She is featured in a Quimperware style teacup filled with the herbs of the tea. The background shows the moutains of Switzerland, from which my family originates. The Quimper is depicted to add another ancestral layer as that company used to be owned by the Henriot's. Plus a sample of Mother Henriot's Elixir. Head over to www.terrastella.weebly.net for photos of the rewards! (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $75 or more
"Love Your Mother" Mother's Day special: A beautiful Art Nouveau style advertising poster depicting Mom with a teacup on her head and a teapot in her hands, whimsical and fun, springtime colors, hand signed. This reward comes with a Mother Henriot's Elixir packaged in our "Love your Mother" T-cup, filters and a hatpin pendant, plus the link to our family's Swiss tea cookie recipe!Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
A full size box of Mother Henriot's Elixir Tea plus filters, handmade Hatpin pendant/decorative filter holder and post card of the label art and 16x20 Advertising Poster. (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $250 or more
3 backers Limited (7 of 10 left)
Special limited addition wooden box complete with "branded" art work and filled with Mother Henriot's Elixir Tea. Plus your own custom blend with unique name and label as well as your choice of 5 other Terra Stella Teas (which can be viewed at terrastella.weebly.com), includes filters and Hatpin pendant/decorative filter holder. (For international shipping please add an additional $5. Thanks!)Estimated delivery: May 2012