Smell the roses. Smell the coffee. Whatever it is to make you happy.Rita Moreno
A few years ago, I purchased a gorgeous,
I planted it in a sheltered spot, in my sandy soil, but with a generous helping of compost. I doted on it, eagerly anticipating the fragrant white flowers that would be followed by red berries in the winter, each berry with two coffee beans inside.
But, one particularly hot summer dashed those dreams, and my beautiful coffee tree’s leaves burned, it withered and died.
I live just outside of the “Bean belt” the space between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, where the subtropical coffee tree thrives. I believe coffee trees perform much better in the hills of Perth, if they can be planted in a more subtropical microclimate.
I don’t drink a lot of coffee (it makes me jittery), but I love it.
My new favourite way to consume coffee is using this Green Coffee, Cardamon and Pink Grapefruit Body Polish! With just 4 ingredients, this mildly exfoliating polish not only smells amazing, but it is also stimulating and makes my skin feel awesome.
Green coffee is simply hulled and dried coffee beans that have not gone through the roasting process. Green coffee is much higher in anti-oxidants than roasted coffee, and its ingested extract is reputed to have a positive effect on your metabolism, weight loss, memory enhancement, liver health, blood pressure and blood sugar and cholesterol.
Did you know that you can absorb caffeine through your skin?
I discovered this when using a henna hair treatment that had a healthy dose of coffee added to the blend, for colour and to presumably mask the pungent smell of the henna. The treatment was meant to sit on my scalp for a few hours, but I rinsed it out after just thirty minutes. I developed a throbbing headache, much like the ones I get when I would have a strong coffee or two.
Green coffee has about 5 times less caffeine than roasted coffee, so I haven’t had any trouble with this recipe! It does feel stimulating, but not buzzy.
There is some evidence that caffeine absorbed via the skin has an anti-inflammatory effect. This finding prompted the addition of caffeine to all kinds of skin care products from eye-gels to caffeine-infused weight-loss tights.
I’ll tell you straight up. This body polish won’t miraculously make you skinny.
Green coffee smells grassier and more floral than its roasted counterpart, much less overpowering, but still distinctly coffee. You can find green coffee at specialty coffee roasters, cafe supply stores and even at some whole goods stores.
Thankfully, have a much easier time growing cardamom in my garden. It does need to be well watered and kept in dappled shade to ensure its tender leaves are not scorched by the sun. Mine have yet to fruit, but the leaves are deliciously aromatic. A single leaf added to cooking rice flavours and perfumes the dish.
Like green coffee, there
Cardamom is the third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla, the small green pods smell deliciously spicy, resinous, sweet and aromatic. It pairs beautifully with the green coffee.
I buy whole cardamom pods at my local independent grocer who has an amazing array of spices. You can substitute pre-ground powder if you can’t find whole pods.
Ahhhhh pink grapefruit. I bet you can almost smell them right?
Pink grapefruit is one of my all-time favourite scents, sparkling, fresh and uplifting. This recipe uses the zest, but don’t let the fruit go to waste!
Pink grapefruit is one of the lowest calorie fruits, high in fibre and dense in nutrients like Vitamins C & A, Potassium, Thiamine, Folate and Magnesium. Plus, it’s delicious!
If you are not fortunate enough to have a tree of your own, pink grapefruits are in season year-round in Australia. Like all citrus, Pink grapefruits don’t ripen once picked and they can take up to 10 months to ripen on the tree. Choose fragrant, heavy fruit. Since we will be using the zest in this recipe, it is essential to source pesticide-free or organic fruit.
The fourth ingredient is simple, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate).
If you are a gardener, you’ve likely used an Epsom salt solution to fertilize and improve flower blooming, to enhance a plant’s green colour and help plants grow bushier.
The Epsom salt has a couple of functions in this recipe, firstly as a preservative, to prevent the other ingredients from spoiling. Secondly, Epsom salts are also absorbed through the skin and are reputed to help with aching muscles, stress reduction and skin repair.
You can find Epsom salt at the supermarket in the medicinal aisle.
Green Coffee, Cardamom and Pink Grapefruit Skin Polish
250g Green Coffee Beans (pre-ground if you don’t have a coffee grinder)
5g of Cardamom pods (or 10g of pre-ground Cardamom powder)
Finely grated zest of 3 pesticide free, Pink Grapefruits.
300g of Epsom Salt
Add cardamom pods to a coffee grinder with the green coffee beans.
Set aside in a bowl. In a blender, add the pink grapefruit zest and process with the Epsom salts until the mix resembles wet sand. Add the processed cardamom and green coffee and blend to incorporate.
Put in a sealed jar and keep in a cool, dark dry space. It will keep for ages and the perfume is best after a few days once everything has a chance to blend.
To use, grab a generous handful and use in the shower. I use this on my thighs and bum, elbows and shoulders a few times a week. I leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off.
Please avoid using this polish on more delicate skin like your face or breasts.
You can add this mix to an amount of oil before you use, but it’s not my preference because I hate being in a slippery shower, getting the oil residue on my towels and cleaning up after! As soon as I dry off after my shower I apply body oil anyway.
If you suffer mild dandruff, this polish can be even used in your hair, as the Epsom salts can cleanse the scalp. Rub a small handful through wet hair and leave on for a few minutes. Just be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly.
You could also use this polish as an uplifting bath soak, just secure a handful in some muslin cloth tied with
If you notice any irritation at all, discontinue use.
I hope you give this a try, be sure to get in touch and let me know what you think!