Tulsi Pure Leaves from Davidson’s Organics

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an herb used in herbal teas that I discovered more recently in my tea drinking experience.  The green leaf smells and tastes like a gentler cousin to the Italian basil you use in cooking. Tulsi Pure Leaves blend from Davidson’s Organics uses three kinds of tulsi, Rama, Krishna, and Vana, to make up the single-herb brew.

I am always impressed by how much flavor plain tulsi has in tea form.  It tastes green, without being grassy like green teas, and buttery without being too vegetal like white teas.  It has the brightness of cooking basil without being too savory or pungent. There is an almost-cinnamon earthiness buried amongst its flavors and a sweet, crispness that reminds me of spearmint.  If you want to play up the Italian basil flavors, brew your tea with a slice of lemon and a dash of cracked pepper.

If you like tulsi on your own but want to spice it up a bit, Davidson’s Organics also offer a variety of additional blends using tulsi and other ingredients, like licorice, rooibos, mint, or hibiscus.  Don’t wait as long as I did before discovering the goodness of tulsi herbal teas, and start brewing a relaxing, restorative cup from Davidson’s Organics.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Davidson’s Organics
Description:

Davidson’s Pure Leaves blends three adaptogenic varieties of Tulsi (Krishna, Rama and Vana) to create the perfect balance of earthy and minty flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Spotlight on Fraser Tea Bags

Sustainable business models are so hot right now. Seriously, Zoolander aside, I’m all about capitalists that care about future generations. Fraser Tea sells organic tea blends in corn-based, sustainably produced pyramids. I think it’s a great option to consider bringing in to your cubicle or on vacations. I received several of their pyramids in my tea mail this month, so their spotlight is a little from Column A and a little from Column B…

Spicy Chocolate Chai – flavored puerh

First things first, a girls gotta have her chocolate. There were oils on top of brew, which always equate to having been carefully handled and thus retain more of the goodness we expect from full leaf teas. A sneaky Chai taste followed by a  mellow chocolate aftertaste. The tiniest bit of sweetener rounded out these flavors. I want to point out for later on, those of you hardcore readers, that this tea has 60 mg caffeine.

Chamomile Dream – herbal

To me, Sleepy-time teas are the most swoon-worthy. There’s always something about them that is so restorative and comforting.  This pyramid has sweet smelling dry leaves. As soon as that scent connects in my brain, there’s that instant calming response. I know i’m not the only one!

The blend of wet leaves smell just as sweet, and I notice an enticing hint of a berry red in them now. This tastes like soft, pillowy, dreamy meadows… full of sheep, so many sheep, mmm and it feels like time to say goodnight.

Turmeric Ginger Green – flavored green

Ok, preface, turmeric and I got off on the wrong foot when it stained my gravity strainer for no good reason. I have been suspicious of its health claims ever since… but that’s a personal bias which does not discount dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies…  I also need to state that my toddler helped me brew this and ripped the bag 😬 kay, so still waiting for the great feelings. Moving on, I found I prefer this ingredient in bag form because it eliminates my first problem with staining. So my palate has started to open up to tea for health reasons, as opposed to familiar tastes. There is an acquired taste to this tea, but it is not in your face. It certainly would be a perfect finish to a savory lunch.

Yerba Mint – alternative tea

Until now I never realized how powerful other plants could be in the caffeine department! I guess I should have known that from coffee beans, but I never put it all together until I saw there was 70+ mg caffeine in this non-camellia sinensis plant!!! Yikes! That probably explains a few restless nights after “just some herbal” tea… The juxtaposition between earthy and gentle is juuuuuuust right here. I can imagine putting this over ice would be a delightful way to ignore a humid summer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Variety
Where to Buy: Fraser Tea

https://frasertea.com/products/organic-spicy-chocolate-chai

Spicy Chocolate Chai Organic Pu-erh Tea is a fusion of cocoa nibs, spicy chili peppers, and delicate, sweet oranges combined to craft a flavor sensation with maximum health benefits. Striking a delicate balance between heat and sweetness, spicy chocolate chai is a smooth and flavorful tea that supports weight management and wellness.  Enjoy any time. Try it as-is or add milk and sugar.

https://frasertea.com/products/chamomile-dream-organic-herbal-tea.

Chamomile Dream Organic Herbal Tea soothes the mind and body.  Supporting health and digestion, this relaxing organic tea blends gentle, floral notes of chamomile, cleansing and bright lemongrass, tart hibiscus and refreshing peppermint. Try it anytime throughout the day, with a book before bedtime, or following a restorative meditation practice. Chamomile Dream offers gentle, soothing relaxation for mind, body and spirit.


https://frasertea.com/products/organic-turmeric-ginger

Turmeric Ginger Organic Green Tea delivers a multitude of health benefits in a delicious and flavorful way.  Green tea is blended with cinnamon, ginger, pink peppercorn, lemongrass, and turmeric offering a sweet and unexpected fresh taste. Known as a “superfood”, turmeric’s list of health benefits include boosting your body’s immunity, anti-inflammatory properties, improved brain function and heart health.

https://frasertea.com/products/organic-yerba-mate-mint

This Yerba Mate Mint Organic Herbal Tea is an energizing blend. At Fraser Tea we formulated this vibrant tea to maximize focus or help make the most of your daily workout. We combine the South American yerba mate plant with invigorating peppermint, a sophisticated green tea and an array of floral’s to amplify the natural benefits. Yerba mate is considered the healthy wonder drink grown in South America thanks to its energizing effects. Traditionally yerba mate is consumed with a gourd and a straw, however you can use your favorite teacup. Our Yerba Mate Mint tea is delicious iced or warm.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 5-Spoilers!

Day 5!

The 12 Teas of Christmas has had a nice variety of tea types and flavors so far, so I am never bored with the flavors in store for me. Today is a green tea with fruity, creamy tones: Blackberry Custard Tart Green. There nice purple dried blackberries in the dry leaf and plenty of juicy dark fruit scent in the bag.

Brewed, the creamy, vanilla pudding flavor of the custard comes through more strongly, adding a smooth mouthfeel alongside all the delectable dessert tastes. I appreciate that green tea was used as the base for this blend to give the blackberry and cream more room to shine. A black tea might have taken over with its own tartness and tannins. The green tea adds a gentle vegetal note that compliments the berries, and a bit of nuttiness that feels like the fruit tart cookie crust.

This is a nice blend for midway through your day, when you want something with a little pep but not too sweet or caffeinated. It is bright but decadent and the perfect way to treat yourself during the busy holiday season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

One afternoon as I was perusing through my Pinterest feed, I found a recipe for Blackberry Custard. It looked exceptionally good and whenever I see a dessert recipe that looks exceptionally good, I immediately think about how I’d translate that recipe to a tea flavor. Yep, I’m kind of nerdy like that. So I thought … hmmm, blackberry custard sounds like a winning idea for a tea. Then I remembered that there was already a Blackberries & Cream Shou Mei so how different could a blackberry custard really be?

So, I thought, what if it had a delightfully buttery pastry crust? Well, then it would be a Blackberry Custard Tart.

So that’s what inspired me to make this with my green tea base (a blend of organic Chun Mee and organic Gunpowder). I added blackberry, custard and pastry flavors. Then I tossed in some of those big, beautiful freeze-dried blackberries. This is really good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Memory from Virginia Tea Company

Ginkgo biloba touts an amazing comeback story. Had it not been for one monastery keeping it as a sacred plant, it would have disappeared from our planet entirely! A group of these trees in Hiroshima even survived an atomic bomb (soooooo yeah, bulletproof coffee needs to step it up a bit, eh?)

And had you all not heard that amazing story from a biology class, you’d still be in luck, because fortunately the Virginia Tea co has done all the herbal medicine research and responsible sourcing for you, Thank you Kickstarter supporters! This tea is entirely to credit (blame??) for any extra wild anecdotes I happen to remember from Fall Quarter

This offering has beautiful, large leafy components and all sorts of flavor packed little herbal goodies just perfectly balanced. There is a distinctly sweet, innocent floral scent going on here that is super relaxing, a good “stop and smell the roses” kinda moment. Very youthful and uplifting.

I love drinking these “mind-boosting” teas on exam days. As usual I personally prefer a bit of sweetener in these teas. Whether they truly help me remember how to do a crazy math skill or not, I’m at peace even with just the placebo effect.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Company
Your brain is a very powerful organ and needs to be nourished. This blend of gingko, gotu kola, spearmint, and sage are exactly what your mind needs to increase awareness and retain memory.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!