The Stuff of Fairy Tales: Organic Nettle Tea from Republic of Tea

Nettle makes me think of ancient forests, fantasy novels, or fairy tales.  I imagine a character moving through the woods getting stung by nettle, or collecting herbs like nettle for a tea or potion.  The herb’s prickly reputation is featured in folk tales where the hero needs to grasp a bunch of stinging nettles, or make a cloak of nettles to fend of some malicious force or break a spell.  (As a side note, apparently there is a world nettle eating championship.  Who knew?)

All that magic in mind, how does nettle taste as a tea?  The Nettle blend from Republic of Tea tastes slightly green with a strong flavor of creamy vanilla, and just a hint of mint.  It’s unclear to me if the creaminess if from the vanilla flavoring or part of the nettle.  This brew has a smooth and buttery mouthfeel like certain green teas.

I did a little research and the internet tells me that nettle leaves should taste reminiscent of spinach or cucumber, green and mineral in flavor.  I’m not picking up on anything strongly like that in this blend, the vanilla clearly takes over.  Maybe I’m in luck, as a spinach tea doesn’t sound all that appetizing.

On its own merits, the Nettle blend from Republic of Tea is a easygoing herbal vanilla brew, with a hint of something green and minty.  I’m glad such a prickly herb was transformed into something so soft and comforting.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea
Description:

Nettle leaves have been known to support the body in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that it can help reduce joint inflammation and can help support kidney function.* Nettle tea has also been popular as a tonic for centuries to help women through all phases of life- from menstruation, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, to menopause. A touch of mint and vanilla makes this tea a joy to sip.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wellness Tea-Bone Repair from The Virginia Tea Company. . . .

It is the beginning of a new year and I’m sure if you are like me, you are seeing a ton of detox and healthy wellness teas in your social media feeds. I’ve never been a big fan of good for you herbals but I’ve always enjoyed herbals that are full of dried fruit.   Recently I’ve noticed my taste buds are starting to change. I’m no longer craving the floral teas like I used to but am finding myself really craving herbs and spices like ginger, spearmint, peppermint, chamomile, and so on.

So today I thought would be a great day to try Bone Repair from The Virginia Tea Company.  I am a huge advocate for natural herbal remedies to cure what ails you. Not that I don’t grab OTC drugs when I’m in need, but I do prefer to try out a more natural approach for certain body issues I have.

Bone Repair is a mix of nettle, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, dandelion, ginger root, and peppermint.  All are organic. This tea’s description on the site goes something like this:

High in vitamins and helpful bone minerals, these herbs make this tea a wonderful enabler for strengthening your body’s skeleton.

Regardless of the health benefits, I have to say this tea is amazing. Herbal teas to me always have that herbaceous feel to them and this tea doesn’t really have it or maybe I should say that feel isn’t overwhelming.

There is a light sweetness mingled with a hint of spice surrounded by a refreshing cooling mint aftertaste. I can’t say that I’ve ever had such a smooth herbal tea like this before. I have literally had four cups of this tea today alone (resteeping the same bag even!).

I haven’t had some of these spices and herbs before so I can’t say if what I’m tasting is from this or that. All I can say is even if I am not in need of bone repair specifically-this tea delivers a refreshing, soothing, and calming flavor that could be enjoyed any time of the day.

Really happy with this one and I have a feeling that this will be a re-order for me. Plus, there is a cool option to get tea accessories added in for just a bit more. You have to love that option!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Virginia Tea Company
Description

High in vitamins and helpful bone minerals, these herbs make this tea a wonderful enabler for strengthening your body’s skeleton.

Ingredients: Organic Nettle, Organic St. John’s Wort, Organic Chamomile, Organic Dandelion, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Peppermint

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nettle Leaf Herbal Tea from Tealux

NettleLeafTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tealux

Tea Description:

It may be a brash statement to say that one prickly green herb is the panacea for almost everything that ails you; but, in the case of stinging nettles, it’s mostly true. If there’s one plant to have on hand at all times that provides a cure for arthritis, an herbal treatment for allergies, relieves hair loss, treats Celiac disease, bleeding, bladder infections, skin complaints, neurological disorders and a long list of other conditions — it’s nettle leaf.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

So after Butiki closed up shop they put together two ‘travelling tea boxes’ for Steepster; one was an educational box with samples of various straight/pure teas and the other was a box of just herbal ingredients so people could try blending their own teas. While I didn’t participate in the Educational box I did get in on the herbal one! Since I was the only Canadian on the list, I was at the end of the shipping list to save people some shipping costs (darn postage; why do you have to be so expensive!?). Along the journey, other herbal ingredients were added to the box including this Nettle Leaf tea from Tealux!

This is one of a few ingredients in the box that I’ve either never had or never had plain; the latter in this case. Before mixing it with anything else, I wanted to try it on its own to know what I’m working with flavour wise – this also gave me a good opportunity to review it! I brewed up about sixteen ounces of this and had half of it hot, and the second half iced. Steeped up this has a very dark, swampy olive green colour. It’s both pretty and kind of intimidating. It reminds me a lot visually of what steeped up mulberry leaf looks like.

I started off by trying out the hot half of the two versions. I found that while this tasted very, very grassy with a bit of sweetness and also a bit of bitterness that along with those bold flavours was an equally bold medicinal kind of taste and aroma. It reminded me a little bit of the smell of a dentists’ office – an environment I’ve had a lot of exposure to recently. Of the two halves, this was definitely the one I least liked.

And on the note of ‘medicinal’ stuff – apparently there are a whole lot of health claims for drinking nettle leaf tea. I want to be really clear that I’m no expert on the health claims here nor do I necessarily believe all of them; and that’s definitely not why I’m drinking this tea. My personal belief is that any ‘health benefits’ I get from tea is a great added bonus, but I completely drink tea for the taste – and I review it for the sense of community, and to learn from other people’s experiences.

The iced version of this was very similar; incredibly grassy with sweet and pleasant bitter notes – however I didn’t taste anything especially medicinal and the aroma seemed less powerful too. It was just the taste of very obviously herbal tea. I’d definitely drink this plain again were it iced; I’m not so sure I’d be as willing to try it hot again unless it was sweetened, and I don’t normally sweeten my tea so that’s probably just a safe no on that front.

At least it gave me some good ideas of what to blend this with for my next herbal mix! Or I might just finish it off plain too; this was one of the ingredients in the box that was actually in a reasonably small quantity.

 

Awakening Tea from The Algonquin Tea Co.

awakeningTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Functional Tisane

Where to Buy:  Algonquin Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Blends nutritious and supportive herbs with stimulating herbs, producing a balanced, uplifting tea that energizes without the side-effects of caffeine.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

This is tasty … for an herbal tea.  And that last part is the problem.  I’m not big on herbal teas.  I never have been.  I’d rather drink Camellia Sinensis.  And unfortunately with the Postal Teas 9th edition box – all three selections were herbal teas.  Herbal teas from Algonquin.

Now, granted, all of these Algonquin herbal teas were unique and quite different from anything that I’ve ever tried.  And that’s both a blessing and a curse because while there may be an ingredient or two that I recognize in this blend, for the most part, I’m drinking herbs that I’m not really familiar with so it makes it difficult to recognize and reconcile what I’m tasting.

But I still tried it because that’s what I do.  I taste teas and then I write about what I’m tasting.

In this blend, the most easily identifiable ingredient and flavor is the mint.  It’s crisp and adds a nice, refreshing element to the cup.  There’s ginseng – not a favorite herb of mine.  I can taste the earthiness of the ginseng.  Nettle is in this too and I’m glad to report that while I get hints of the bitterness that goes with Nettle, it’s not a strong or dominant flavor.

Then there are some other ingredients that I’m less familiar with, like alfalfa (oh, sure, I know what it is, I just don’t recall having it in a tea any time recently), astragalus, angelica, joe-pye and calamus.  It also has labrador, which I’m pretty sure I’ve had before, but again, it’s not something I’m familiar enough with to taste it and say, ‘yep, that’s labrador’ with complete confidence.

The combination of these ingredients is supposed to be a stimulating and energizing tea without caffeine.  OK, but, I kind of like my caffeine.  The only time that I’m not up for some caffeine (tea caffeine, that is, not coffee!) is when I’m getting close to bedtime.  So, I can’t say that I really want an herbal, caffeine-free stimulant.  I like my stimulants caffeinated, thank you.

Overall, it doesn’t taste bad.  It tastes minty with an herbaceous and earthy background.  Mint is the top note.  It’s tasty.  If you’re looking for a caffeine-free stimulant, you should try it.  If I were looking for a caffeine-free stimulant, I might first consider that I’m trapped in a bad dream.  But if after determining that I’m not in a bad dream and I’m not having some kind of mental breakdown and I still – for some unfathomable reason – want a caffeine-free stimulant, this is something I’d consider.

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed to learn that the 9th edition box from Postal Teas was all herbal selections.  While I did enjoy these herbal teas for the most part, herbal selections just don’t excite this tea drinker all that much.

That said, these teas from Algonquin were alright and I drank them and didn’t hate them.  There were definite “pros” to them.  For example of the three herbals that I tried, there were no hibiscus in any of them!  Nope, not even a little bit of hibiscus.  Big bonus points to Algonquin for crafting herbal blends without that horrible hibiscus stuff.  And I also appreciate that they’re unique.  There are ingredients that I’ve not been exposed to, and like I said, that’s both a blessing and a curse.  I would like to be able to taste something and say “oh yeah, that’s the __.”  But, I can’t really reconcile some of the flavor notes because there are ingredients that I’m not so familiar with.

But the benefit is that it’s something different.  This doesn’t taste like the average herbal blend from ABC company, you know?  So like I said, blessing and a curse.

Overall, I’d say that while my experience with this 10th edition of the Postal Teas subscription was not the most exciting and thrilling of boxes that I’ve received over the past 30 days or so, I didn’t dislike the teas that I drank from the box.  And that’s a “pro” too.

Bali Bamboo Leaf Tisane from Wise Owl Tea

BambooLeafTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tea

Where to Buy:  Wise Owl Tea

Tea Description:

Our delicious Bamboo Leaf and nettle tea will leave you feeling refreshed, and conjure up images of the tropical island of Bali in the Indonesian archipelago. Long sugary beaches leading into hillsides terraced with Bamboo. The tall supple plants gently swaying in the coastal breeze. One sip and the Island of Bali is just around the corner This fabulous blend is a mild, sweet, green tea flavour. 

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I haven’t had a lot of bamboo teas/tisanes during my time as a tea reviewer, and I’m finding myself a little surprised at just how much this Bali Bamboo Leaf Tisane from Wise Owl Tea tastes like green tea!  It has that sweet, light, clean flavor of a pure green tea, although I’m finding this to be a wee bit sweeter.  There is no bitterness here and no astringency.

The brewed liquid even LOOKS like a green tea, which had me zapping myself over to the website to check out the ingredients of this tisane again to make sure it wasn’t actually a green tea.  Nope, this tisane contains only bamboo leaf and nettle.  Of course, the addition of the nettle in this blend probably contributes to the “green tea” taste of it.  Nettle tends to have a sweet, grassy taste – just like green tea.

This has a slight buttery tone to it, and that vegetative taste that falls somewhere in between freshly steamed veggies and sweet grass.  It has a flavor that is reminding me of a Chinese Sencha, but it’s free of caffeine.  It’s a pleasant cuppa and would make a great substitution for a green tea for someone who needs to refrain from consuming caffeine but still want to drink green tea.  I don’t need to restrict my caffeine consumption and I’m still finding this lovely to drink.  It is a tasty, refreshing beverage!

So far, I’ve been very impressed with the tisanes that I’ve tried from Wise Owl Tea.  I’m hoping to try more from them in the future!