Fort Lauderdale's Eat the Tea offers edible teas and tonics

Eat the Tea is a whimsical tea bar with a small counter where you can order a tea-based energy tonic or restorative elixir. Or lounge on the couch and browse books about tea as you sip hot or iced tea and nibble tea in your salad.

Owner Maureen Ruggeri found that green tea helped with her digestive problems and she became passionate about tea. When her girls were young she threw tea parties for dinner to avoid cooking. That turned into a tea-party catering business in Rochester, N.Y. She moved to South Florida a decade ago and catered until opening the café last year.

She incorporates tea leaves into her soups, salads and sandwiches. White tea is steeped in soups and green tea is sprinkled over salads for extra antioxidants. The teas are from small estates in China, Japan, Taiwan and India blended with dried herbs, flowers and fruit.

There’s detox tea made with burdock, dandelion and lemon grass, a sinus-clearing tea made from plantain herb with ginger and cleansing chrysanthemum tea. Ground changa tree fungus, known as the “mushroom of immortality” in Asian cultures, is steeped with cinnamon or added to smoothies.

Tea blends include green cranberry rose, black cacao coconut and white pear mango. Be Happy is a blend of dried goji berries, rose hips, apple and pineapple.

Kale marinated in olive oil and garam masala is layered with sunflower seed butter and sliced bananas on whole grain bread. “Not tuna” is made with mashed chickpeas, dill, lemon and vegan mayo topped with sprouts on kale in tahini dressing.

The super salad combines kale, dried cranberries, edamame, flax seeds and cherry tomatoes in raspberry vinaigrette. Balance all the wellness here with sweet potato pie and whipped cream. You only live once.