Cold and Flu Relief from Virginia Tea Company

Sometimes you need an herbal tea with lots of roots and leaves and ingredients to make you feel like you’re brewing up a cup of healthiness.  With peppermint, yarrow flower, ginger, echinacea, and elderberry this Cold & Flu Relief blend from Virginia Tea Company really fits the bill.  I’m not a doctor, but if you buy into this kind of thing, these herbal ingredients promote all kinds of benefits like aiding in digestion (mint), settling a nauseous stomach (ginger), and boosting your immune system (echinacea).  There’s also a little pop of vitamin c from the tart elderberries.

This naturally decaf blend is good to drink any time of day, especially if you’re feeling under-the-weather and are getting ready for a midday nap. The overall flavor is smooth and minty, cooling on an itchy throat, with a slight sweet, licorice root undertone from the yarrow flower.  Though there is ginger in this blend, the spice is very mild. You’re not drinking this tea for a kicked-up spicy chai. This is the perfect cup to drink when you need something soothing and gentle, or need a warm beverage to mix with honey to soothe a sore throat.

Whether you aren’t feeling well or are just having a hard day, this blend will help you find some relief and comfort.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Company
Description: Mother always said the best thing for the flue is to drink something hot! Even better, this hot liquid also includes healing herbs to help your immune system fight your illness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Seven Seas Herbal Tea from Simple Loose Leaf

Seven_Seas_HerbalTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Herbal

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf here.

Tisane Description:

This healthy and harmonious herbal tea blends peppermint, ginseng, cinnamon, echinacea, sarsaparilla, licorice, and organic South African rooibos. The cooling peppermint and warm cinnamon notes pair perfectly with the sweet, soothing finish provided by the other herbs. This special blend is an ideal and tasty way to stimulate your immune system.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op program here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not usually a big fan of ginseng, but this blend has enough going on that I barely notice that the ginseng is there!  I’m too busy enjoying the contrast between crisp, cool peppermint and zesty cinnamon and snappy licorice to focus on the ginseng.  The peppermint, cinnamon and licorice are the three strongest components of this cup.

This is a delightful tisane to sip on this cold winter’s night.  The combination of cinnamon and licorice are warming me from the inside out, while the peppermint adds a refreshing element.  As I said, I don’t taste much from the ginseng.  I also don’t taste a lot from the rooibos or the echinacea.

At first, I had trouble locating the sarsaparilla in this, but if I slurp the sip, I do pick up on a light root beer-ish flavor in the distance, and it’s quite an interesting note to be tasting along with the cinnamon.  Peppermint and licorice are both profiles that I’ve occasionally noticed in gourmet root beers, but not cinnamon.  The cinnamon and sarsaparilla are quite intriguing and this combination is keeping me sipping.

This is a tisane that was a sample in my last box from Simple Loose Leaf (when they switched from the selection club to the co-op plan), and I held on to it for a while because … well, because it’s a tisane.  That’s why.  I have admitted before that I’m often skittish when it comes to tisanes and this just goes to show what I mean by that.

But I’m glad I finally decided to try it because I enjoyed this.  It’s a wonderful medley of contrasts, and there’s a lot of health benefits in this too!

Sweetfern Tonic Tea from The Algonquin Tea Co.

sweetfernTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Functional Tisane

Where to Buy:  Algonquin Tea Co. 

Tea Description:

Delicious daily tonic formulated to assist every major organ in the cleansing of toxins. Immune boost and detox. Great iced tea. Tastes similar to black tea

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

The above description suggests that this tisane tastes similar to black tea.  And despite this ‘promise’ – I found myself still hesitant to try it because … well, because it’s a tisane.  And I know that I’ve mentioned more than once or twice my apprehension when it comes to tisanes.

But I finally decided that it was time to try it.  So, to brew this, I measured out three bamboo scoops of the tisane into the basket of my Breville One-Touch tea maker and added 500ml of water to the kettle.  Then I set the temperature for 195°F and the timer for 7 minutes and I let the tea maker do it’s thing!

I let it cool for a few minutes before taking the first sip.  And yes, it does taste a bit like black tea.  More accurately, it tastes like a ‘thinned’ black tea with herbaceous notes.  Like maybe someone took half a cup of black tea and topped it off with an herbal tisane.

It’s actually quite pleasant to sip.  And this tea has a few “pros” to it:  a) there’s no hibiscus!  Yay!  b)  it has echinacea which is a fairly well-recognized herb that boosts the immunity system.  c) it’s pretty tasty.

Unlike many tisanes I’ve had in the past, this tisane is more like a unified flavor of all the components.  That is to say – this tastes like one flavor and I’d find it difficult to discern the different flavors/ingredients of the blend.  I taste a gently warm flavor to it – like a subtle spice.  I notice a slight “root-beer-ish” kind of note that I attribute to the burdock.

But other than the “thinned black tea with herbaceous notes” – that’s really all I can taste.  I taste a thinned black tea, herbaceous flavors, warm, subtle spice and a hint of root beer.  It’s a tasty tisane.

The brochure from Algonquin that was included in this edition of the Postal Teas box suggests that tea is an effective “cleanser” or detox type of tisane and this is a detox tea that I wouldn’t mind drinking now and again because it does have that black tea + herbal tea taste to it and I’m finding it to be pleasant.

One thing I gotta say about Algonquin, their packaging is beautiful!  If I saw these packages in the store, I’d definitely be tempted because the artwork is stunning and as I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for artwork!  The packages that we got from Postal Teas are not as lovely as what I see on the Algonquin website, but if it wasn’t for receiving this 9th edition of Postal Teas, I probably wouldn’t have discovered the beautiful artwork!

White Twist from Tea Horse

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Tea Horse

Tea Description:

An antioxidant rich white tea blended with herbs for a citrusy immune boost.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am not a big fan of Echinacea, but I realize that it is a helpful herb, especially when feeling under the weather.  So, I like to find teas with Echinacea that I can drink and actually enjoy.  Something that doesn’t taste overly herbaceous or medicinal, something that isn’t off-putting.

This tea fills the bill!  I don’t know if it’s because there isn’t very much of the Echinacea or if it’s because the combination of the ingredients melds together in a very pleasing way, but I’m inclined to believe that it’s because of the combination of ingredients.  The lemongrass and lemon verbena offer a soft, smooth lemon-y taste that is sweet with a slight tingly tart note.  Together with the white tea, it tastes creamy and is a bit reminiscent of the flavor of a lemon curd.

Overall, I find the cup to be a very pleasant experience – soft, sweet goodness, hints of spice (think white pepper), with prominent citrus and creamy, buttery notes.  A deliciously different tea that helps support a healthy immune system.  Sounds great to me!

Organic Green Tea Ginseng Maté from Maté Factor

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Maté Factor

Company Description:

Ingredients: American Ginseng root, Fresh Green Yerba Mate, Premium Japanese Sencha Green Tea, Echinacea Angustifolia Root and Echinacea Purpurea leaf.

Our most powerful tea ever.

One taste will enlighten you to the delicate but powerful blend of this tea.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little nervous to try this blend.  I’m not crazy about the flavor of echinacea or ginseng; I find the flavor of these two herbs to be rather off-putting.  So, needless to say, I don’t usually select teas with either of these ingredients, and this particular blend has both!

Fortunately, however, neither of these herbs presents a strong flavor to the cup.  The strongest taste to the cup is the green Yerba Maté, which is earthy and vegetative.  Less than a year ago, I would have told you that I don’t care for green Yerba Maté because of its strong earthy and vegetative taste, but I really like Maté Factor’s green Yerba Maté!  I contribute this change of taste preference to the fact that Maté Factor is dedicated to providing the freshest Yerba Maté possible.  It isn’t smoked or aged Yerba Maté, and I’ve come to realize that this really makes a difference!

I can also taste the fresh, bright flavor of the Japanese Sencha in this blend. It lends a sweetness to the blend that is distinctively green tea.

Because of the green tea in this blend, I don’t recommend bringing the water to a boil like you might normally do when brewing Yerba Maté.  This may scorch the tea leaves and cause the tea to taste bitter.  Instead, I pull my kettle just as the water is producing a good amount of steam and there are tiny bubbles beginning to rapidly form at the base of the kettle – rapidly forming but not yet rising to the surface.

As the tea cools slightly, more of the Ginseng and Echinacea tastes come through, but, surprisingly, it isn’t off-putting because the flavor of the Yerba Maté seems to offset it just “so” and gives it a very appealing taste.  That being said, I think this tea is much tastier when it’s hot, served with a drizzle of honey.

I’ve tried quite a few teas from Maté Factor now, and I’ve been very impressed.  If you’ve been interested in trying Yerba Maté, Maté Factor is a good place to start.  If you’ve tried Yerba Maté in the past and found it not to your liking, I suggest trying it again – but this time try a Maté Factor Yerba Maté!  You may just change your mind about Yerba Maté.  I know I have!