(AD – and what SPECIAL.T by Nestlé has to do with #mamalife) The biggest challenge about being a mama for me is, simply: time for myself. Between spending time with the toddler, work, taking care of the home, laundry… you get it, there is often no more time for just “me”. Mamalife taught me that I can go a long way without taking care of myself, properly. I can do without manicures, regular facials, dinners with the girls (as soon as they’re swapped for playtime with the girls and their girls, haha), nights out, spontaneous stints to the cinema. I sort of can do without reading a proper book (one that isn’t 99% pictures). Heck, yes I can even go without showering alone and in peace and quiet for a day (or two, if need be).
I’m used to peeing, never in privacy and always rushed. Breakfasts are usually standing up, by the sink. Beds are usually undone and I am fine with that. Co-sleeping with a foot in my face is my forte. All those variables don’t matter, because we focus on the one variable in life: spending time together. Getting to maximize time with E is my priority. And it’s so rewarding. Still, there are certain limits to being a mama. In spite of my happiness with my mama-role, I’m also glad I get to work on 3 days a week, meaning I can pee alone for once and fall down the instagram rabbit’s hole (#stalker) without feeling instant guilt towards the little miss.
What I want to say is: mamas, we need to carve out time for just ourselves. Ourselves and no one else. No other thought. Simply us. Simply being. Yes, I needed to learn that self-care is important. What happened automatically as a single lady now is an actual task on my never ending to do list. Taking care of myself. I have exactly three slots for self-care a week, and they’re actually pencilled in into my calendar. The mornings on my work days, after I dropped off E to Kita. I will return home, set up my laptop and notebook for the day, update my to do list and remind myself of tea. Tea, guys. It’s my mama ceremony moment. It’s where I celebrate myself. Tea is like a metaphor for unwinding for me.
Coffee has never been my thing. And there were moments when I regretted it. But then, I have always had a love story with tea. The good old water boiler is a staple in our home. But I admit I didn’t have a proper tea machine or anything. Until this month, when I got to test MASTER.T, the new generation machine of SPECIAL.T by Nestlé. Did you know there is a machine for perfectly brewed tea? I mean, why do all the fancy things apply solely to coffee? Why do we talk about exotic coffee beans, the best coffee roasts, brewing techniques, foaminess vs. creaminess and I don’t know what. And come up with a million different fancy ways to serve “coffee” (or what still applies to the idea) – foamy, black, ristretto, macchiato, iced, cappuccino, de-caf, skimmed or soy latte, tall, grande, double, triple, single, short… you name it – whilst tea is just bland and kettle-brewed, period? Good old, trusty tea. Surely, theres is more to tea?
I do appreciate “good” tea (whatever that means), but I never took the time to investigate all the different techniques, leaves, types. I like to drink tea (with cake, preferably) but that’s about it. I love tea, but I’m by no means an aficionad0, not a tea master. Yep, I don’t have a clue. So, actually, having a machine do all the work for me is the best thing for me. The MASTER.T is a cute little machine, no bigger than a kettle. There are a exactly 35 different tea blends to choose from. SPECIAL.T varieties, they are called. From herbal teas to black and green teas, to rooibos, special wellness blends and even blue and white teas (yes?!), let’s just say there is something for every taste and type. The best feature is the automatic brewing temperature. Brewing tea at the exact temperature makes all the difference. I knew that, yet I simply can’t be bothered… You know? Now this clever little helper does all the help for me. This saves me time in the day. And the result is a delicate cup of tea, brewed within no more than a minute. On demand! Meaning: I can start my me-ceremony whenever I’m ready for it. Sighs of relief. Actual sighs of relief.
So, but enough with the chitchat. Time is precious, right, so we better get down to business and review this so-called master of tea. Is it worth an investment? (Hint: by that I mean: is it worth shelling out money that you’d otherwise – let’s be completely honest here – invest in new toys that your kids don’t need haha).
First off, what you need to know. The new MASTER.T is the first tea machine to include the LATTE function, and they are selling its “water-jet milk-frother” as the new must-have feature. Do I like my tea with a latte function? Yes, sure do! Although with a limited time slot of maybe 2 minutes per day without a clingy toddler at my feet, I prefer my tea still hot (or warm) but sans fancy milk, thank you. Still, I tested it for you, because you might want your fancy tea, unlike me. Before you start, you need to pick a tea blend that goes especially well with milk added. You know, like the chai latte concept? For example all black teas work a treat! Then, set about making your tea latte. Google “MASTER.T + latte + function”, haha. You’ll find that it’s actually super easy to do: just pour the milk (of your choice; I used oat) into the cup and press the latte function. The milk frother “jet” will do the rest and foam it to perfection. Upon which the perfectly brewed tea is added to the cup, also. Am I a barista, yet?!
What really won me over about the machine and tea concept however, is how the tea is brewed to perfection, a difference that you can actually taste. How is it possible, you ask? Each SPECIAL.T capsule has real tea leaves inside and is hermetically sealed to be protected against humidity, air and light. Basically, the tea takes a bath in a real snug tub. Which means none of the flavor can escape. It will all go into your cup! Jolly good, you can even do a little dance here, I’m not judging. Now, it gets a bit technical here – almost a little bit too 007 for me – but every tea capsule has its own digital infusions codes, thanks to which the machine is able to recognize which temperature and brewing time each variety needs. Boiling – pardon, brewing of course! – every tea at just the right temperature for the exact right time. Isn’t this a clever little machine, eh?
To sum things up: Basically, thanks to my MASTER.T, I am now a barista pro, only in tea. Master tea ceremony, bam. Making mental note to invite my fanciest friends in tea over. Might even dig out my best scones efforts recipe from the past. It will be so fancy! And re. the the mama-me-time hot-topic… Well, the best tip I can give any mama who tends to think about herself last in line: carve out some time for yourself. There is never the right time or place. But define a moment for yourself – even if it’s “just” a cup of tea every now and then! – and stick to celebrating it. Even if the household is exploding around you, if laundry needs folding, dishes need cleaning, toys need to be stowed away etc. Even if you just have to sit in the playroom mess and unfolded clothes. LEAVE it all behind. Dedicate one moment – there and then – each day to nothing but yourself. It’s called #selfcare, or maybe even #digitaldetox, or simply… #remainingsane. Whether it’s a cup of special tea that helps you find into this moment and bliss, your favorite chocolate or a manicure at the spa around the corner… Whichever way is yours, find it, define it, CELEBRATE IT, stick to it. You are worth it (cheesy but fact). We need to take care of ourselves from time to time, so we can take care of our beloved ones.
I’d love to know: how do you unwind and make sure you have a slot on your own in each day?
Thank you SPECIAL.T by Nestlé for sponsoring this post.
Words & opinions are my own. All pictures © by F&F.