Tea Company: Hampstead Tea (website)
Ingredients: Camomile, valerian root and lemonbalm
Vendor Suggested Preparation: The clear lively flavours of our herbal infusions are best brought out by brewing with freshly boiled, good quality water. Steep one sachet of tea per person for 3-5 minutes and enjoy.
Valerian root is the one thing I recommend to people that complain about insomnia. Perhaps I’m sensitive to herbal effects, but relaxants knock me the “eff” out. Valerian, especially. The stuff is like NyQuil in leaf form. Kiss the next twelve hours of your life good-bye. Too bad it smells wretched. Other herbs are needed to dial back the skunky, weed-like odor it emits. Usual suspects for this task are of the lemony variety; verbena- for instance – works wonders.
Hampstead Teas does something similar by employing strong lemon balm to counteract the pungent Valerian. Funny thing, though. I didn’t smell it when I put nose to tea bag. Chamomile came to mind. No surprise since the Roman-borne relaxant was the third ingredient rounding out the pass-out pastiche.
The HT site recommended a steep of three-to-five minutes in boiled water. No mention of cup size. I went with a 10oz. glass and a six-minute steep. It was knock-out juice. As such, I felt obligated to brew it strong.
The liquor color was…well…herbal-looking. Everyone knows what that looks like – kind of off-yellow with a tinge of green, like pond water only shinier. The mouthpiece aroma screamed herbaceous as well with a mixed message of citral, flowers, and sleepy wilderness. I somehow pictured myself falling asleep on first sip. Luckily, I didn’t. This was a damn smooth ride to relaxation. Lemon balm took point, followed by fluttery/creamy chamomile, all wrapped in a grassy, Valerian-coated blanket wrought with pillow-whispers. I eyed my bed after finishing this, I’ll confess. It was a mighty splendid sleepy-time capper.
You can purchase the Lemon Valerian directly from the Hampstead Tea website.
Written by Geoff
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