Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane & Spice Melange
Where to Buy: ESP Emporium
Winter solstice, also called midwinter, is the pendant to midsummer and symbolizes hope: it marks the longest night of the year after which the days slowly become longer! The period of the Zodiac signs of Capricorn to Gemini. However, since the four elements of the twelve astrological zodiac signs – air, earth, fire and water – comprise the second half of the year, we are certain that the warm flavors of caramelized pomegranate in combination with the wintry spices are also a real indulgence and bright spot for the signs of Cancer to Sagittarius! The stars are in your favor!
Learn more about this tisane here.
I am usually hesitant to try fruit and herbal tisanes such as this Winter Solstice Herb Tea Blend from ESP Emporium, usually because hibiscus scares me just a tad, but also because I really just prefer TEA … as in the leaf of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Fruit and herbal tisanes aren’t bad, but, they just aren’t as interesting to me as tea.
However, I am enjoying this blend. It is heavier on the fruit than it is on the herbal, and there is a nice touch of spice to this that makes it very palate pleasing. The hibiscus is not a heavy component to the tisane – there is some and it adds to the color (the liquid brews to a beautiful ruby color), the texture (which is thick but not too thick or syrupy), and just a hint of tartness to the flavor (which offers a nice contrast to some of the sweet and spice of this blend).
I like that I can taste the pomegranate, the orange, and the cranberry. I like the combination of these fruits. Together they are sweet, tangy and verging on tart but not so tart that I find it off-putting, and I tend to be very sensitive to tartness. (I don’t like to pucker when I’m drinking tea!) Of these three fruits, I think that the orange is the strongest, and perhaps the orange (together with the apple, which offers more of a “sweetness but not so much of a distinct apple flavor) is what tones down the tartness to a drinkable level for me.
I don’t taste a whole lot of the Star Anise here, and I find myself wishing there were more of that licorice-y note that anise is known for. I taste the cinnamon, and I feel the cinnamon! Toward the end of the sip, and in to the aftertaste, I feel it toward the back of my mouth and the top of my throat. It isn’t a strong cinnamon note, but it is enough to keep things interesting.
Overall, this is a very interesting blend of fruit, herb and spice. And even though it’s called “Winter Solstice” it is one that I’d drink year round … it would be excellent served iced, and one that I think kids would really enjoy.