Posts Tagged ‘chamomile tea’
Tea Company: Tea and All Its Splendour (website)
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
Teekanne is an outfit out of Dusseldorf (a name that always makes me laugh), Germany. The company has been involved in the tea trade – in one fashion or another – since 1882. One of their biggest claims to fame is the fact that most of the teabags sold commercially in the U.S. are made using Teekanne industrial equipment. Their stateside subsidiary is Redco Foods, Inc., which also has several other brands under its umbrella. One of them, I was already familiar with – Salada, producers of a decaf green tea I drank early on in my tea exploration.
The Teekanne Herbal Wellness line went public in 2008 and was endorsed by Stefi Graf (the “Fräulein Forehand” of the tennis world). Blends they marketed fell into three categories: Soothing, Relaxing, and Energizing. Being the neurotic that I am, I decided to go for something I aspired to – relaxing. Calming Chamomile, it was.
There wasn’t much to say about the tea. It was in a teabag. It smelled like chamomile. Both pluses for an end-of-day drink. Brewing instructions weren’t necessary either. Herbals could be steeped in boiling water for up to eight minutes, if one chose to. I went with a five-minute infusion in an ordinary mug.
The resulting liquor was clear-to-off-orange – a medicinal-looking palette that chamomile always yielded. The aroma was floral, faintly citrus and soothing. To the taste, it was what one expects from chamomile – like drinking a pillow that weighs heavy on the eyelids. It certainly accomplished what it set out to do; it made me ease back in my chair and sigh comfortably. Beyond that, I don’t have much to add. It is what it is.
You can purchase the Calming Chamomile directly from the Tea and All Its Splendour website.
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Ingredients: organic chamomile flowers, organic hibiscus, organic rosehips, organic peppermint leaves, organic lemongrass, organic lemon verbena, organic licorice root
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 5 minutes, 208degF For stronger flavor, steep longer.
Many lemon-mint based herbal blends are pretty nondescript. It can be difficult to tell where one ingredient ends and the other begins. On the other hand, the ingredient line-up for Chamomile Citron is like a bunch of feisty schoolkids competing for your attention. Peppermint, licorice, hibiscus…they all scream, “Notice me! Notice me! Notice ME!” This combination pops!
Chamomile Citron is a pretty tea; bright yellow flowers and cheerful red-orange bits. (The rose hips? Maybe the hibiscus). Steeped to the five-minute-and-beyond mark, the liquor has a pink-orange tint and feels heavier in the mouth than many herbal teas. The aromatic steam from the cup has a really pleasant Vapo-Rub vibe. Lemongrass and lemon verbena hit my tastebuds first, with a nice peppermint chaser that left my tongue tingling after I drained the last drop.
Many tea lovers turn to tisanes when they need to be lulled to sleep … Chamomile Citron doesn’t lull, but it will give you a pleasant, mouth-pleasing experience without the caffeine.
You can purchase the Chamomile Citron directly from the Tea Forte website.
Tea Company: Blue Q (website)
Ingredients: An organic blend of fragrant orange peel, chamomile and hibiscus.
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed
Hmm another amazingly retro package from Blue Q Tea. The back of the box poses an interesting question: “Are you thinking of running away from home?” If you’re a parent or if you were ever someone’s child, you will, at the very least, get a chuckle out of this one. I showed this to my son and he thought it was funny (he’s a teen, so I kind of sort of think he almost smiled). Now, he actively encourages me to take tea breaks. “Gawd Mom, why don’t you just go drink something…” It’s a beautiful thing.
So, in an effort to become an even more perfect parent, I cracked open this tea. It smells fantastic, light and fresh, with a hint of orange. It’s dusty but the smell helped me over look that. Steeped it with boiling water for five minutes and the scent became really calming. Brews up really clean and almost colorless but the citrus taste is strong enough to compliment the chamoumile without overpowering it. This is a nice tea and it really would make a nice gift for the parent or parent-substitute in your life.
You can purchase the Be A Better Parent Tea directly from the Blue Q website.
Category of Tea: Herbal
Tea Company: Celestial Seasonings (website)
Ingredients: Chamomile, spearmint, west indian lemongrass, natural french vanilla flavor, tulia flowers, blackberry leaves, hawthorn, orange blossoms and rosebuds.
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Boiling, 5 minutes
Let me start with the statement that I do NOT consider myself a tea snob. My philosophy is, any tea, any time, any way. However, it was with some trepidation that I approached the Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime Vanilla Tea.
You see I grew up drinking tea via teabag. You know, Tetley, Sleepytime, etc. When I discovered loose leaf tea, I felt that I had moved on, forever putting behind the regular boring old teabag. Much to my surprise however, a shipment from Celestial Seasonings showed up on the doorstep for review, so I thought, why not? Of course I will try it, I am not a snob, they must have come a long way since I was a kid, after all, it is their 40th anniversary, so there must be something to the tea!
The scent when you open up the package was amazing – sweet and minty like peppermint candy. I could feel myself starting to drool already! I was really looking forward to this cup of tea. I extracted a teabag, and the butterflies started. They are the regular old teabags we all know – paper, attached together and perforated for “easy” separation, (I ripped 2 open trying to “easily” separate them…) but the smell… mmmmmm…
When I examined the bag’s contents, it was pretty much what I expected, not just small leaves, but pretty much dust, not much recognizable here. Preparation numero uno was boiling water, 5 minute steep. This produced a golden amber liquid, with distinctly distinguishable scents of Chamomile, Mint and Vanilla. As I went to remove the teabag, it occurred to me that there is no string attached! That is odd, and unexpected, and, well, inconvenient if you did not have a spoon around, as that water is HOT!
As for the taste, the best way that I can describe it is hot, and frankly, tasteless. I was so incredibly disappointed. The scent to this point, and even now as I reminisce about it, was incredible, the buildup to tasting almost unbearable, making the actual tasting experience a total of a letdown. I thought I was in for something different, but memories of drinking tea as a child flood back as I sip hot, tasteless, colorful and beautiful scented, water.
What to do? Well, why not go back to my roots I figured, so I added *GASP* sugar! Just a bit, maybe half a teaspoon – that could not hurt it right? Well, with just that bit of sugar, all of a sudden the tea came alive, and I could taste the Chamomile, and the sweetness of Vanilla and even the Peppermint goodness!
So, in the end, all is well that ends well, I would recommend that if you are not a sugar person, avoid this tea, as the taste of the tea by its self is remarkably unremarkable, but with that sugar, it is a good tea, delivering what you would expect. The only question left is, will Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea put me to sleep tonight, or will I be tossing and turning all night, ruminating how this tea could have been so much better?
You can purchase
Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime Vanilla directly from their website.
Category of Tea: Herbal
Tea Company: Mightyleaf (website)
Ingredients: Rosehips, orange peels, chamomile flowers, lemon grass, lemon myrtle, nana mint, hibiscus flowers, natural citrus flowers, natural flavors
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Boiling (205-212 F), 5 minutes
Chamomile Citrus is a Mighty Leaf signature blend of rosehips, orange peel, Egyptian chamomile, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, nana mint, hibiscus flowers and various other flowers and flavors that are only identified as “citrus” and/or “natural” (it always makes me wonder when there is only a vague reference to ingredients). Mighty Leaf describes it as “a refreshing infusion perfected to curl up with and savor by the sip…”.
I find that people either love Chamomile Tea or they don’t like it at all. Personally, I love a good cup of Egyptian Chamomile. I love the subtle taste it has and how it smells softly of strawberry. Chamomile grew wild in the neighborhood that I lived in as a child and I can remember crushing the flowers between my fingers to release their scent; happy memories recalled are likely the reason that I find Chamomile so relaxing and enjoyable. I also like all things citrus so based on the name and description I was really looking forward to trying this tea.
I steeped it for 5 minutes and the resulting tea was a nice light gold color. I really wanted to like this tea but I have to say that I was disappointed. I found that the simplicity of Chamomile was overwhelmed by all of the fruits, herbs, flowers, and “flavors”. All of the citrus tones from the orange peel, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, and citrus flowers seemed to result in a too sweet combination – it almost tasted sugary to me. I guess that the rosehip, mint and hibiscus were meant to balance this sweetness but I just didn’t like the taste.
The sample that I tried was in a bag from Mighty Leaf that they call their “Tea Pouch”. It’s a very nice presentation which looks like a hand stitched square of semi-opaque silk that allows you to see the tea inside. The Chamomile Citrus is visually lovely with green, orange and red tones and unbrewed it smells just as good as it looks.
You can purchase Mightly Leaf Chamomile Citrus directly from their website.