The Ladybug is Deep in Sensuous Løve: A Five-Sense Experience with Løv Organic

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One of my best habits started last winter was dedicating a little hour of what is pure lush for myself: a cup of tea and a cupcake in a bakery. One of the places I enjoy this treat most is the Vintage Bakery in Milan. This is the place where I tasted, for the first time, Løv Organic teas and infusions.

Needless to say, I became immediately addicted. Then, one day, I decided to get more informed about this oasis where I found my weekly dose fantastic tea- which led to big discoveries! First of all: I learned that although the name is Scandinavian, Løv Organic is absolutely French. Løv in Scandinavian means leaf and the label is inspired by this area of the world dominated by nature- where modernity and respect for the environment always go together. Also, Løv Organic gleans from the Nordic culture the penchant for a minimalist design, easily re-usable tins which encourages consumers to adopt an eco-friendly attitude (for example by selling re-fillers for tins and by avoiding plastic in their packaging). Moreover, the tea bags are unbleached and free of staples or glue and made of organic fibers like corn. They allow the tea leaves to unfurl and release all of their aromas naturally. The little bird representing the label is the symbol of nature needing protection and the only form of “fashion” is the use of bright colors for their tins (which, of course, I’ve started collecting as they perfectly fit my kitchen!!).

But the most important of all that is: Løv Organic products are 100% organic!

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As if this wasn’t enough to fall in love with them, Løv Organic offers the most varied and ample choice of blends: from every kind of tea (black, white, green, red) to rooibos to infusions, it is almost impossible not to find your perfect blend. Of course I found more than one and I keep making great finds!

I was also introduced to rooibos thanks to their delicious Rooibos Vanille when I was looking for something to drink at night different than the usual infusions as I found some teas were too strong for me and messed with my beauty sleep. Rooibos is a plant that only grows in South Africa and it has a sweet, fruity flavor. It is considered to be the national drink of South Africa. It is perfect for night time because it is caffeine free and also rich in antioxidants; it also has anti-spasmodic and relaxing qualities. In my rooibos research I started with Løv Organic, I also discovered the green rooibos- which is more rich in antioxidants because it is not fermented.

I tried Vanilla Rooibos first and I fell in love with it because of the marvelous perfume of bourbon vanilla, making it perfect for a late sweet treat. Only recently I tried the new blend Almond Rooibos, a combination of rooibos and deliciously flavored almond. It is caffeine-free and the taste of almond is so intense that reminds me of the perfume of almonds of my native island (Sicily). This is also one of my favorite night drinks.

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Lately, I am pretty much into two new blends. While at the Løv Organic event in Milan, during the Milano Food Week, I tested the amazing Lovely Night: a delicious blend rich in ingredients known for their relaxing properties. It has traditional linden, chamomile and verbena associated with soothing plants from South Africa like honey-bush and rooibos, plus cinnamon and licorice mixed with the delicate aroma of pear. If you suffer with a bit of sleep troubles, I really recommend it.  It not only it helps you fall asleep and do so as a stone, but it is also a sweet treat after dinner, and better on the hips than a cake!

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The second blend I’m pretty much into is the Blueberry Coconut white tea: white tea is the one that undergoes the least amount of treatment which makes it very rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and vitamins. This one is a precious White Downy tea, with a velvety flavor of coconut, blueberry and cornflowers. It is sweet, exotic and sexy at the same time: yes, Løv Organic has some of the sexiest blends that I have ever tested (and you know how many teas I have tried!).

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If you are in Milan you can easily find Løv Organic in town, but now they have a dedicated shop at number 3 on via Victor Hugo. If not, you can easily buy their blends online at


The Ladybug Løves Milano Food Week: A Tummy Full of Love… Løv Organic, That Is!

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Yes, I know that now I am totally confusing you: not too long ago we said that Milan has two classic weeks- Fashion Week and Design Week. Recently we added the newly born Vintage Week, but now I am going to introduce you to the latest week long craze: Milano Food Week! Of course, this is the week for foodies: from those of you who love cooking to those who love eating (like me!).

Milan once again became a big open air factory and every restaurant or food shop was a place for events, meetings and “eatings!”  You could learn how to cook from the biggest chefs or try to find your path toward learning more about vegan cuisine or baking or educate yourself on food intolerances or sipping tea and infusions just for fun. Guess what I did?

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Yes! I attacked one of my favorite places in town and I spent a great hour there. The shop I am talking about is the new Løv Organic shop and it’s the first one in Italy. Every first Tuesday of the month, you can book your senses’ an experience to create your own infusion at their Infusion Atelier. But for MFW, the special event was scheduled during the whole week, and I got the opportunity to be part of one of those lovely events. It was fun, interesting, tasty and a real sensory experience… for every sense: you can “play” with the different extracts and based on your “nose” and “tongue,” you can bring to life the infusion you’ve always dreamed!

If you are a tea/infusion lover like me, you will probably know the French Løv Organic brand: in Scandinavia, ‘løv’ means ‘leaf,’ but it plays with the word ‘love’ as Løv Organic loves nature and mixes modernity and respect for the environment. Minimal design, playful colors and the famous bird [the symbol of nature in need of protection] in reusable tins- which we love for their eco-friendly attitude and for their delicious content! Løv Organic is the little brother of Kusmi Tea… the famous Russian of the Tsars and who also make some of my favorite Russian teas ever (here I am with the lovely store manager of the Kusmi tea shop in Brera).

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I was losing myself in their amazing single infusions and mixed teas and rooibos, and I was tempted to go home with a lot of little colored boxed and tins! I’ll contain my enthusiasm about some of the aspects of the atelier experience so you can try it yourself without me spoiling everything. What I will say is that it worth a try and the shop is full of deliciousness! I felt like a little Alice in Wonderland there!

As you can imagine, I left with a new box to try, the Lovely Night bio infusion that I am sipping while writing this post! But I can’t wait to try the white tea with coconut and blueberry, and the almond rooibos or the secret infusion I created there which we’ll call, “Lady Goodness!”

I am wearing a vintage dress from Moje Tvoje in Ljubljana, Jeffrey Campbell ankle boots, Max & Co bag.

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The Ladybug Rates the Best Christmas Markets in Milan: part 2

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In my Christmas research for the best markets in town, I took a strong decision this year: I decided to skip the annual Christmas edition of Il Circo delle Pulci at the Palazzo del Ghiaccio (where I went last year and enjoyed VERY much –  read that post here!).

Jokes aside, I decided to head to the Moto Quartiere to see a very interesting Market called Green Christmas at the charming Fonderia Napoleonica Eugenia. The idea of the market was awesome: only handcraft, natural and handmade products- a real eco-market with a primary propose that didn’t present unobtainalbe examples of sustainable lifestyle, but in-fact proposed more natural and ecologically thoughtful choices for Christmas presents. Unique pieces for our friends and family with the plus of being eco-friendly…isn’t it a great idea?

There I bought a lovely present for my sister and she appreciated it a lot!

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Inside the big court of this wonderful former bronze foundry of the XIX century (now a museum in the middle of the Isola area in Milan) there was a lovely surprise… Let’s say a market in the market: the Spazio Mercury, with the aim of giving new life to used objects instead of wasting them, organized a small garage sale with clothing, accessories and memorabilia of every kind!

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During my day in the area I couldn’t help stopping for some good tea at Dammann (the fantastic French tea boutique) and I could finally shop in a beautiful temporary shop called A Second Chance Vintage (yes, it made me think of the homonymous shop in New York, even if in this case the word vintage was a bit misleading as all the designer pieces come from catwalks and photo-shoots reaching back to only the last 5 – 10 years) where I found this beautiful pair of Strategia boots, almost new, for a quarter of their original price! I was also falling for a wonderful pair of Giuseppe Zanotti purple boots, but I chose to be honest with myself and admit that I would have used the brown booties a bit more!

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The Ladybug is Italian, But Please Don’t Pour Her Tea From a Boot: The Tales of a Mismatched Vintage Tea-set!

When I say that I’m Italian people assume that I eat pasta and pizza every day and that the only drink that I’m allowed to have is coffee! Let me say- I’d love to eat pizza and pasta every day, but my doctor strongly recommends that I don’t (too many carbs!), and I don’t even use my “caffé machine”!

I must admit that caffé, or what’s commonly known as Espresso, is more than a drink in Italy… it’s a way of life- much like tea for British! If we meet a friend the first thing we say is: “Let’s have a coffee!” pointing at the nearest bar (there’s always one within five meters!). If we have a guest at home, we don’t ask: “Would you like something to drink?,” we say: “ I’m making coffee, want some?”

But people also tell me that I’m a very special Italian and that I’m as Italian as an American… which, as I’m thinking about it, better not mean they think I’m from the Jersey Shore!!! The truth is, I’ve spent part of my life abroad and I probably lost many “Italian habits” during those years. I may have also acquired a few habits from other countries- which explains why I love tea so much! My wonderful years in the UK probably have something to do with that! To my defence, Italians drink tea too… sometimes.

I do appreciate a good tea and I enjoy it many ways. I even drink it with milk, under the horripilate eyes of most… or a few (depending on the perspective) of my co-citizens! I’ve even been known to bake muffins and cupcakes to go with my tea.  This causes some Italians to look at me like: “Why are you doing all this when you can get biscuits with jam from the supermarket?”

Living in Britain, I found out that drinking tea is a rite- and as a rite, it has its own rules. After being initiated and lead through the rite of passage (the likes of which I cannot and will not ever mention), I have come to understand these rules and have made them mine. [blank stare…singing mentally: I’m a little tea pot short and stout; here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up then I shout, just tip me over and pour me out!…]

What was I saying?… Oh yeah; so, visiting British vintage fairs and being in constant contact with people who organize vintage tea parties helped me fall in love with the “tea-rite.” I started buying books online detailing how to organize vintage tea parties (speaking of which, Angel Adoree’s “The Vintage Tea Party” is my tea Bible!), how to make the perfect cakes and biscuits to accompany the tea moment and how to choose and recognise the different varieties of tea.

One of the things that I appreciated most, in the books, is the amazing collection on vintage china tea-sets. When I visited London this past February, I had the chance to stay at my friend Daisy’s house. She has a huge collection of vintage china tea-sets (and fantastic vintage furniture to store and show her great finds!). Every time we had tea (at least three times a day!) she told me a new story regarding each piece. The day after my arrival we went around to charity shops looking for some vintage pieces so I could start my own collection, but most of the pieces were matched and I realised that a matched tea-set was too boring for vivacious Italian like myself… I needed to hunt for every single piece and since I’m a traveller, I wanted each to represent a different style! That’s how my search for the perfect mismatched tea-set started!

The problem then was that I had to start my hunting in Italy where, even my grandma’s tea-sets look like a coffee set!

[whispering] I found that the best place to hunt for tea-sets from Italy is… Ebay! The amount of amazing vintage china pieces there is huge and I keep my eye on it regularly because, as you can imagine, “The Ladybug’s Mismatched Vintage Tea-set” is far from complete!

I started with the teacups and their matched saucers… I picked up these trios from some great UK sellers at reasonable prices. I was a bit worried about the conditions and shipping- the possibility of some being broken during their travel to Italy had my nerves on edge… or was it the caffeine… Nevertheless, everything was very well packaged so I’ve been lucky so far. This last blue one is definitely one of my favourites: I love the “rich-trashy” pattern and the deep blue touch… I’ll use it for my “Princess Fergie” teas. (Did I say that?)

…Same idea for this lovely cake plate.

When I realised that I’ve now acquired three cup & saucer sets (I may have more in the near future!), I decided it was time to go for the other pieces to complete the set. I found this sugar bowl in a second-hand market for less than 2 euros, but I must say that I’m not crazy about it… so it will soon be replaced by a new one!

While I was still looking for a milk jug and a teapot, my friend Daisy shared with me her latest find: a set of vintage silver Apostles teaspoons. How could I build my own tea-set and not think about the spoons?? (Ah… there’s my Italian, I was looking for that!)

I found these lovely Apostles teaspoons on Ebay and I’m really very pleased with them!

So now… I’m only missing the “big pieces:” a chubby, but well figured teapot and a milk jug. The problem is: 1) I’m very finicky about teapots, and 2) most of milk jugs are matched with sugar bowls! While I search for those, let me show you the teapot of my dreams.  I lost it on Ebay a few weeks ago. I almost cried when my offer was outbid a few seconds before the end of the auction! Since then, I haven’t found another chubby teapot that I like as much! So the game is still afoot.

Once these two pieces are found, I’ll only have time for an Italian styled tea at the bar because I have yet another hunt to engage.  The hunt for the ever allusive (dah-dah-dah dommm) two tier cake stand… to accompany my tea-set, of course! This will make me a serious and worldly British vintage tea drinker! Non pensate?