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Posts Tagged ‘herbal tea’

Back in November of last year (2009) I began a new Sunday morning routine.  Hot Vinyasa Yoga followed by a Starbuck’s Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie with matcha.  If you have never taken a hot yoga class, picture this… an enclosed yoga studio filled with 25 plus yogis and the heat cranked up anywhere between 95 to 100 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Only one word appropriately describes the experience – INTENSE! Upon completion, I have had the workout of my life, not to mention I am incredibly hot, dripping with sweat, and invigorated.  A few hours later, I love to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea. Today’s choice Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement.

Composition: Green tea, white tea (Bai Mu Dan), eleuthero root, alfalfa leaf, stevia leaf, natural lemon and orange flavors with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), rosehips, and roasted chicory.

Dry Visual: It is difficult to tell as the tea is contained in tea bags.  From what I can tell, the leaves appear to be fannings. Thanks to Celestial Seasonings for the photo.

Dry Aroma: The tea bag inhibited my ability to develop an impression of the dry aroma.  However, after steeping the leaves had a strong citrus aroma with orange and lemon dominating.

Flavor: Consistent with the wet aroma Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a definite citrus flavor followed by the distinct floral tastes of roses.  As the cup begins to cool, the chicory presents itself in the middle – significantly, yet not overpowering. With the various flavors of citrus, chicory, and floral I was unable to easily discern the green and white tea flavors.  Green tea is the predominant tea ingredient; however, Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement is not vegetal.

Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a mild astringency that becomes more pronounced throughout the cup. I drank the first cup without sugar – the stevia leaf provided a delicate sweetness.  In the second cup I added Sugar-In-The-Raw to see the impact of the sweetener on the slightly tart citrus flavors.  Interestingly, I found the chicory came alive with the addition of sweetener. I prefer drinking Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement without a sweetener.  As a side note, many say ground roasted chicory can be used as a coffee substitute. I say it tastes like black licorice. You tell me…

Liquor: A pale greenish-yellow liquid with a reddish hue.

Brewing Time: Celestial Seasonings recommends steeping Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement in boiling water for 2 minutes.  I steeped both cups for the requisite 2 minutes.

Manufacturer: Celestial Seasonings

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

What is Eleuthero?

Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus) is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia. It is commonly called eleuthero, and was previously marketed in the United States as Siberian Ginseng as it has similar herbal properties to those of Panax ginseng. However, it belongs to a different genus in the family Araliaceae.

Reference: Eleutherococcus senticosus. (2010, April 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:19, April 18, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eleutherococcus_senticosus&oldid=354779930

**Tea was provided by Celestial Seasonings as a sample.

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Safari LullabyI am always excited to crack open a new box, tin, or foil package of tea.  For a moment I simply sit with my eyes closed and inhale the dry aroma. There is nothing else I can draw on from the recesses of my memory that smells quite as soothing as tea leaves. Whether the tea is flavored, unflavored or blended is irrelevant.  Others may disagree, and perhaps I have a bit of free association going on, but I’m okay with that. While I have never visited a tea plantation, when enjoying dry tea’s perfume, I sometimes find myself imagining the plantation from whence the tea originated. Even now, I am reminiscing about the smell of Safari Lullaby, the subject of today’s tea review.

Composition: Rooibos, Chamomile, Spearmint, Lemon Grass, Valerian, natural flavors.

Dry Visual: Because the tea came prepackaged in a tea bag, I was unable to get a clear view of tea. Interesting fact from the retailer – the tea bags are made of unbleached Manila hemp and unbleached wood pulp – very eco-friendly. Nevertheless, what I could see were flecks of yellow, green, and red – a representation of the the ingredients.

Dry Aroma: Safari Lullaby has a sweet, somewhat citrus, mildly minty aroma.  There was a hint of its floral nature.

Flavor:  The flavor of Safari Lullaby and the dry aroma almost mimic one another with one exception – I was unable to detect the lemony taste of lemongrass.  However, the sweet nutty flavor of rooibos and the floral quality of chamomile were easily discernible. This tea has a mild soothing taste. No one flavor overpowers the other, but blend wonderfully to form this brew. A personal lover of mint, it would have been nice if the mint presented itself a bit more robustly, but then again, its spearmint not peppermint.

Not an ounce of astringency was detected thus Safari Lullaby could be enjoyed without sweetener. However, next cup I may be adventurous and add either Sugar in The Raw or Adagio Sugar Crystals to test the impact on the flavor profile.

Liquor: A burnt orange/rusty hue.

Brewing Time: As I was unable to locate the recommended steeping time for Safari Lullaby, I relied upon my past experience with rooibos which typically requires a 5 – 7 minute steep time. After 5 minutes, I tasted and decided to steep for 7 minutes.

Manufacturer: Kalahari Red Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Safari Lullaby, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

 

180px-Valeriana_officinalisWhat is Valerian?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Valerianaceae) is a hardy perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers. The flowers are in bloom in the northern hemisphere from June to September. Valerian was used as a perfume in the sixteenth century.  Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Valerian has been introduced into North America. Valerian is used for certain effects including sedation.

References:  Valerian (herb). (2009, July 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:39, July 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Valerian_(herb)&oldid=303383954

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Coco ChaiWhile many people think of iced tea as the method of choice for drinking tea, you will find here on Tea Escapade that I will continue to drink hot tea. There is something wonderful about holding a steaming cup of tea in my hands and inhaling the wonderful, steaming aroma of tea. Watching whole leaf teas unfurl and the enveloping sense of peace that comes from sitting still for even just a moment. Today’s tea choice… CoCo Chai Tea

Composition: Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, red peppercorns, shredded coconut, natural flavors.

Dry Visual: Very color like potpourri – with reds, and yellows, rust and light brown. Various textures as well, from the bark like appearance of rooibos to the circular peppercorns to the actual strips of coconut instead of coconut flavoring. Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and spicy – coconut and cardamom dominate with a hint of cinnamon. There is nothing quite like the smell of chai – in all of its many varieties the aroma steals the show.

Flavor:  An herbal tea,  CoCo Chai is absolutely delicious. While I tend to not drink a great deal of flavored teas, it is always nice to incorporate one into my tea routine. The rooibos dominates this brew with its nutty flavor and is complimented by hints of spiciness. As alluded to in the dry aroma, I found the coconut  flavor had a significant presence in the flavor profile from start to finish. This was followed by the combined tastes of cardamom and cinnamon. I was unable to distinguish the taste of the peppercorns initially – perhaps that had something to do with the fact that I was unsure what they were supposed to taste like.  Of course, I reopened the tea blend, found a peppercorn and popped it in my mouth. It was peppery but sweet. After eating the peppercorn and taking another sip of CoCo Chai, I could definitely taste its subtle influence.

One could easily drink CoCo Chai without sweetener as there is no astringency whatsoever.  However, I found that I preferred adding a little but of sugar. In my opinion sweetener softens what I would describe the “tart” nature of Rooibus.

Liquor: A bold rustic hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for CoCo Chai is 5 to 7  minutes in 202 degree water (or a rolling boil).  I steeped for 7 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of CoCo Chai, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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35026azoomI think I have been drinking flavored tea for over a week, today was no exception. While at work, running from one meeting to the next, I had a serious craving for a cup of tea, yet no time to fool around with the contraptions required to steep loose tea. Hence I found myself, earnestly searching for a tea bag to satisfy my thirst. Luckily, I was carrying around a couple of Chocolate Mint Truffle tea bags. The joy of loose tea with the convenience of a tea bag. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement.

Composition: Rooibos leaves, mint, cacao nibs, natural chocolate flavors. Cacao nibs are cleaned, roasted, winnowed and lightly crushed cacao beans. (Their taste is nicely bittersweet, and they have the crunchy, toasty flavor derived from nuts.)

Dry Visual: A mix of color – red, green, and brown – encased in a 100% biodegradable silken sachet. Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: A delicious chocolate and mint mix – liquid peppermint patty.

Flavor: Chocolate Mint Truffle is a very unique tea. Initially when steeped and tasted, I found the rooibos to be the dominate flavor. Followed by mint in the middle and finished by a hint of chocolate. My first few sips indicated Chocolate Mint Truffle to be naturally sweet – sweetener was not necessary.  Because of the name, I was somewhat surprised by the mild chocolate flavor. This prompted me to add sweetener – nothing exciting like Sugar Crystals or Sugar-In-The-Raw, just plain white sugar. WOW! Chocolate Mint truffle was transformed into an amazing dessert tea. The chocolate flavor was simply amazing and incredibly robust – almost like drinking a cup of hot chocolate with a hint of mint. Chocolate Mint Truffle is delicious!

Liquor: A rich amber  hue.

Brewing Time: It is recommended that Organic Southern Belle is steeped for 5 – 7 minutes at a temperature of 205 degrees. I steeped for 5 minutes.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: No

If you have had the joy of drinking a cup of Chocolate Mint Truffle, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane. 

~Honoré de Balzac

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After my traumatic weekend without tea, I redeemed myself with two delicious cups on Monday. First thing, I opted for a new favorite, White Peony. However, last night, I decided to go with something new… Blueberry Cocktail.  The very name got me excited.

Composition: Blueberries, grapes, hibiscus, beetroot, berry leaves, black currants, and natural flavors. I always wonder what the vendor means by “natural flavors”. As opposed to what?

Dry Visual: Blueberry Cocktail reminds me of a high fruit content trail-mix. The blueberries, grapes, and black currants really stand out and are complimented by the rest of the ingredients. Thanks Dragonwater for the great picture!

Dry Aroma: Scrumptious! The smell of berries was absolutely delicious – I was tempted to grab a handful and taste. Okay truthfully? I am still tempted.

Flavor: While not a huge lover of fruit teas, I was pleasantly surprised by Blueberry Cocktail. After the delicious smell of the dry tea, I was fearful of being disappointed by the taste.  I assure you, Blueberry Cocktail held its own. I could immediately taste the various berries – especially the blueberries and grapes. The other ingredients were masked, but I cannot say I expected anything different. My initial taste was without sweetener and there was a slight tartness evident. However, I added about a level teaspoon of Sugar-In-The-Raw and Blueberry Cocktail was completely transformed. The sweetener eliminated the tartness and enhanced the natural sweetness of the tea. It was delicious.

As is my custom, after drinking about 3/4 cup, I allowed the remaining 1/4 cup cool. My final recommendation? Blueberry Cocktail would make an awesome flavored sweet tea. 

Liquor: A rich, dark purple. Almost the color of eggplant, but not quite.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 3- 5 minutes. I brewed for 4 minutes, but question the intensity of the flavor if brewed for 1 additional minute. I’ll try 5 minutes the next time I brew Blueberry Cocktail.

Manufacturer: Dragonwater.

Caffeine: No.

If you are looking to make a break from the ordinary, you may want to give Blueberry Cocktail a try. Hot or cold, I think you will be impressed if you enjoy fruit flavored teas. Stop by and share you experience, if you have already tasted Blueberry Cocktail. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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I love to share every new tea experience with others. Thus last night, in preparation for an evening out with my best friend, I pulled together a little tea care package for her. Included in that package was Organic Detox Infusion, by Mighty Leaf Tea. Unbeknowst to me, my BFF had been experiencing stomach discomfort throughout the day. The precipitous event that inspired her to indulge in one of her newly acquired teas.

As dinner commenced, I was amazed to learn that after drinking several cups of Organic Detox Infusion (1 tea bag, multiple infusions), not only did she feel much better, the stomach discomfort was completely gone. It was then that I remembered reading on the Mighty Leaf Tea website about the many health benefits purpoted to come from the various herbs contained within their Organic Detox Infusion.  As an official convert, I was compelled to share more details about the ingredients of Organic Detox Infusion as well as their health benefits. Many thanks to the Mighty Leaf Tea website for the detailed descriptions.

  • Organic Peppermint
    The gastrointestinal tract is often relieved by peppermint as it relaxes the intestinal wall’s muscles. As it increases saliva, swallowing increases and relieves cramps, improves appetite, and relieves pain from motion sickness, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint is used orally in tea to relieve respiratory conditions including coughing, colds, acute respiratory difficulties, and viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.
  • Organic Burdock Root
    Burdock root has often been used to purify the blood by removing toxins that can build up in blood. Burdock has been used as a remedy for arthritis, viruses like colds and throat pain. Burdock enhances the performance of many of the organs which purify the body and eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver, colon, etc). This enhances overall health and helps correct disorders.
  • Organic Dandelion Root
    Traditionally, the roots and leaves of the plant have been used as medicines for breast maladies, bloating, digestive disorders, aching joints, fevers, and skin disorders. Today, many herbal doctors use dandelion to purify the liver and gallbladder of toxins. Research indicates that dandelions can treat pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory disorders. Dandelion is beneficial to the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and other organs.
  • Organic Licorice Root
    Licorice was used historically to treat the skin and coughs. It is also used to treat constipation, bronchitis, inflammation, and arthritis. Research has shown that licorice flavonoids can kill the bacteria that causes stomach inflammation and ulcers, called Helicobacter pylori.
  • Organic Red Clover Flowers
    It contains the minerals needed by bodily glands, thus frequent use can assist in bringing about hormonal balance. Red clover also helps to soothe the nerves. Red clover has been used as a remedy for the symptoms of menopause. Among the symptoms which can be alleviated include hot flashes and mood swings. The red clover herb is also a known effective liver and blood purifier.
  • Basil
    A component of basil’s oils, eugenol, is found to be effective in blocking action of an enzyme causing inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Basil is a natural source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which combats free radicals in the body, preventing damage to blood vessels and the build up of cholesterol in the blood stream. Only the oxidized cholesterol adheres to vessel walls restricting blood flow.

As you can tell, this “tea” is truly an herbal tea or tisane as it contains no actual leaves, buds, or stems from the Camellia sinensis plant also known as the tea plant. However, it was a delightful tea nonetheless. One that my BFF has decided to purchase more of.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to use a natural remedy to cure my ails over medication. Additionally, I love to learn about natural remedies as well. So, stop by and share your experience with the healing properties of tea. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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With the weather unpredictable – 80 degrees one day and 69 degrees the next – I believe my body is totally confused. What makes matters worse is the HVAC system at work or whoever is responsible for maintaining the correct temperature balance within the building. Thus far… it’s not working. I spend all day every day freezing. So to comfort me, I turn to a hot cuppa tea for warmth. Today’s choice? Organic Detox Infusion.

Composition: Organic peppermint, organic burdock root, organic dandelion root, organic spearmint, organic licorice root, organic red clover flowers, basil.

Dry Visual: Very green like fresh cut grass with various flecks of color. As this is loose tea in a silk sachet it is difficult to see more than the green tea leaves. Thanks Mighty Leaf for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Wonderfully minty. I love the smell of mint.

Flavor: This is where Organic Detox Infusion becomes quite interesting. The dominant flavor is mint which happens to be my favorite when drinking herbal teas. However, the finish has more of a vegetal taste. To be clear – not vegetal like green tea, but vegetal nonetheless. I believe it is the basil that provides the vegetal taste along with a hint of clove.

According to Mighty Leaf Tea, licorice is an ingredient in Organic Detox Infusion. Ironically, I do not like licorice flavoring. Thus imagine my surprise when after drinking half the cup, I was unable to detect its presence. Naturally sweet, no sweetener was required.

Organic Detox Infusion brews a good, full-bodied cup of tea. The liquor fills the mouth when drinking. 

Liquor: Not quite amber, but a rich reddish brown.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 5 minutes. I brewed for the recommended 5 minutes.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: No.

Organic Detox Infusion is a complex herbal tea meshing a variety of flavors into one of their patented biodegradable tea bags. If you have enjoyed a cup of Organic Detox Infusion, stop by and share your experience. If not, feel free to share your favorite herbal tea. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Always on the prowl for something new and different, I decided to try Chrysanthemum tea. Let me preface this by saying the not only have I never tasted Chrysanthemum Tea… I have never even heard of it. The one thing I do know is that chrysanthemum is a flower, but that is the extent of my knowledge. Especially since I know nothing about gardening, flowers, or anything remotely related. So lets talk tea…

Composition: An herbal tea from China made from dried chrysanthemum flowers.

Dry Visual: I hate to be overly simplistic, but this tea looks just like dried flowers. Creamy yellow petals with a green bud trimmed in brown. Thanks Tavalon Tea for the awesome picture.

Dry Aroma: Dried flowers – a light almost calming scent.

Flavor: I would categorize Chrysanthemum as a very mild and naturally sweet herbal tea. Truly floral with no bitterness. Chrysanthemum is a simple unadulterated tea, enjoyable without the addition of sweetener. The addition of any sweetener would mask the natural flavor.

Liquor: Amazingly yellow – the color of  a newly opened highlighter stripe drawn on white paper. Neon!

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 5 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 5 minutes. After tasting, I brewed for an additional minute.

Manufacturer: Tavalon Tea

Caffeine: No.

What is a chrysanthemum?

Chrysanthemums are a genus (Chrysanthemum) of about 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. An ancient Chinese city was named Ju-Xian, meaning “chrysanthemum city”. The flower was introduced into Japan probably in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. 

Chrysanthemum is a nice change of pace. As a purely herbal tea, it is perfect for those unable to tolerate caffeine or looking to enjoy a nice cuppa tea without the caffeine. If you too have shared the experience stop by and comment. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References: Chrysanthemum. (2008, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:50, September 20, 2008, fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chrysanthemum&oldid=238578064

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Over the weekend I purchased a wonderful new tea mug from Sur La Table. I’ll have to take some pictures and post. So this morning, I thought… now is the perfect time to break in my new mug and what better way to do so, than with a cup of Sloth Tea.  Thanks Felicitea for the picture. I have enjoyed more than one cup of this wonderfully soothing tea – just delinquent on my review. So without further adieu, lets talk about tea.

Composition: A unique combination of green tea, chamomile, peppermint and catnip. 

Dry Visual: I am reminded of potpourri – the chamomile dominates this loose leaf tea.

Dry Aroma: A pleasant mix of peppermint and chamomile, Slot Tea smells refreshing. 

Flavor: I really enjoyed Sloth Tea. The Chamomile is dominant and soothing. However, the peppermint provides a mild, but unexpected, refreshing kick. I have never described a tea as both soothing and refreshing as that seems to be a blatant oxymoron, but that is exactly what you get when drinking Slot Tea. The green tea was detectable, but not vegetal – I almost forgot that green tea was included in the mix. I have enjoyed both with and without sweetener. Today, I am drinking with a little honey.

Liquor: A rich golden amber hue.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 3 – 5 minutes and of course I brewed for 5 minutes.

Manufacturer: Felicitea

Caffeine: Yes.

What is Catnip?

Catnip, actually known as Nepetais a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. The genus is native to Europe, Asia and Africa, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region east to mainland China. It is now common in North America as a weed. Most of the species are herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annuals. Catnip has been prepared and used by people for many years. It was originally used as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion, and poultice and has been smoked and chewed. Catnip, in humans, has a soothing effect and has been used to treat nervous headaches, hysteria, and insanity.

Sloth Tea was exactly what I needed this morning – a nice, hot, herbal tea. I have heard others talk of brewing and drinking as an iced tea. I’ll have to try that the next time I enjoy a cup. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References:

1. Nepeta. (2008, August 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:57, August 4, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nepeta&oldid=229522594

2. Catnip: Its uses and effects, past and present. In Can Vet J Volume 31, June 1990. Retrieved, August 4, 2008, from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1480656&blobtype=pdf

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