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Cafe Collection - Behind the Scenes

I love coffeehouses.

Love is not even a strong enough description for how I feel about coffeehouses. 

I've loved them since I was a teenager in the 90s, years before Starbucks took over the east coast. Back when independent coffeehouses could be found in nearly every town. Back when coffeehouses were a place to meet people, not to sit in front of laptops, earphones in, oblivious to our surroundings.

Opening a coffeehouse was my dream. I came close once, with location prepared, equipment ready, and business plan in place. Last-minute complications with the realtor and business partners brought that project to a halt (thankfully, or I wouldn't be where I am today). 

I spent 10 years as a barista, in four different coffeehouses, in two different countries, and two different US states.

Whenever I travel, I seek out the coolest indie coffeehouses to meet locals. Every town I've ever moved to, I've met the majority of my friends at the coffeehouse. I even met my husband at a coffeehouse, the last one I worked at, the last place I worked before becoming fully self-employed, my home away from home.

Maybe "obsessed with" would be a better description than "love".

So, when it came time to create a new spring limited edition flavor set, I immediately got nostalgic for sitting outside of cafes in my younger years, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and having interesting conversations with strangers. The scents I chose to create are based on a few of my favorite modern drinks:

Cold Brew
Coffee that has been cold brewed has a richer flavor and is generally less acidic than coffee brewed with heat. The base of the scent of Cold Brew is an organic roasted coffee bean oil imported from Italy. I added a small amount of cocoa extract for fullness, and a hint of butter extract to smooth it all out.

Golden Milk
Over the past few years, Golden Milk has become popular as the turmeric and the coconut milk trends continue to climb. This spicy turmeric latte contains no coffee, and is usually made with coconut milk instead of cow or other milks. Sometimes additional spices are added. I chose to stay on trend and blended a coconut extract with turmeric oil as the base scent. I didn't want to take the focus away from the turmeric, so I added just the slightest hint of black pepper oil to add depth, and vanilla extract to sweeten the blend. 

Lavender Latte
This is based on my current favorite coffeehouse drink. It's arrival at my local coffeehouse marks the beginning of spring! The lip balm is scented with the same organic coffee bean oil imported from Italy that I used in the Cold Brew, and includes lavender oil, and a hint of vanilla. Although this drink is usually made from lavender-infused honey, the honey scent in the drink is subtle enough that the local beeswax filled in for the honey scent in the balm.

London Fog
Another coffee-less latte, and growing coffeehouse favorite, a London Fog is an Earl Grey tea with steamed milk. Since Earl Grey is black tea scented with bergamot oil, I chose bergamot (FCF free) as the base oil, sweetened with vanilla extract. The "tea" part was trickier. Since tea leaf extract can only be safely used on the skin in minuscule amounts, I chose clary sage oil with a hint of cilantro to mimic notes of tea. 

After all the talk of my love of coffeehouses, why did I name it The Cafe Collection instead of The Coffehouse Collection? I knew that "Coffeehouse" would bring up ideas of mochas and other espresso based drinks, and I wanted to keep the theme open to non-coffee and modern cafe drinks. 

The Cafe Collection lip balms are limited release items, and will only be available as supplies last. I hope you love them as much as I do.


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