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!

Organic “Latvian Sun” Sampler from Lauku Teas

I recently tried the organic “Latvian Sun” sampler from the Lauku Tea company.  The set came with a honey rooster on a stick, carved apple wood spoon, cute postcards and more.  The three teas included are Anna’s Brigita’s Daylight blend, Anna’s Afternoon blend, and Evita’s Evening blend, all are herbal and naturally caffeine free.

The blends are truly handmade, with the leaves, berries, and roots very chunky and visible in the brew. I appreciated their beautiful online guide to the ingredients used in their tea. For the best flavor profile and a consistent brew, be sure to try and mix up the bag and put a balanced scoop of leaves and berries into your cup.  Too much of one or the other ingredient doesn’t show off the true blended flavor of the teas.

Brigita’s Daylight blend was the original blend that inspired the company.  It was a unique herbal with fermented apples leaves. This was a great departure from the sweet apple-pie-with-cinnamon teas I’ve tried over the years.  Brigita’s Daylight blend was still sweet with apple flavors, but had a more subtle, natural taste, coupled with the gently fruity and floral notes of accompanying black currant leaves, lemon balm, and clover flowers.

Anna’s Afternoon blend might be my favorite of the bunch.  This tea was driven by smooth berries, earthy herbs like oregano, and topped off with fresh and lemony chamomile.  There was also a nice taste of mint in the blend, not as cold or sharp as peppermint, but sweeter almost like the wintergreen taste from a birch tree cutting.

Last is Evita’s Twilight, which is definitely meant as a bedtime tea with relaxing valerian root in the blend. This tea was a little less focused on the sweet green notes of berries and leaves, and featured more herbs like thyme and heather.  The valerian root brought a different kind of sweetness, not quite like licorice, a bit brighter almost like non-spicy ginger or crushed pine needles. The grounded flavors suited the low-key bedtime brew.

All of these teas went incredibly well with a splash of honey, which helped the flavors pop and made the teas all the more comforting and soothing.  Maybe that’s why the sampler set comes with a honey rooster, though that guy is almost too cute to brew. I’ll have to save him for my next cup.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Lauku Tea
Description: Brigita’s Organic Daylight Blend is sunny and stimulating, when you need a clear head and good spirits.
Anna’s Organic Afternoon Blend is uplifting and indulgent, for when you need a reminder that all is good.
Evita’s Organic Twilight Blend is elegant and calming, when it’s time for rest and reflection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic. . . . .

My family carries on the old school art of drying flowers to “preserve” the heartwarming memory from when they were given, and this bag of Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic is a full on bouquet of petite yellow love from Mount Olympus!

The thick flowering stems smell of basil, and crushed mint, but feel fuzzy like sage leaves versus the roughness of traditional camellia Sinensis tea leaves. Quite a bit smaller as well, with dozens of tiny pale flowers, light green buds and silver glistening leaves.

I brewed at 175 F and immediately the scent morphs towards the hints of sage I got earlier. There are a lot of essential oils on top, and a good amount of natural sweetness in this veridian brew that would probably be fine for most folks, especially given the light citrus aftertaste. My sweet tooth, however, preferred to add a few drops of plain stevia.

Being naturally caffeine free, this is a mind clearing tea, as it’s unique flavors make you step away from the daily grind and focus on the surprise in your mug.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Klio Organic

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia. It has been tested for antioxidants by Brunswick Labs, (www.brunswicklabs.com) the leader in bio-analtyical testing. It has a mild and very pleasant taste and aroma.

One ten ounce serving of our certified organic Mount Olympus Greek Mountain Tea has an ORAC 5.0 antioxidant score of 6,600 and 160mg of polyphenols.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Headache Relief from Virginia Tea Co (with help from Mary Poppins). . . .

Once upon a time, I had sad news to give, and I was up all night thinking of how to break it. The next morning came with a pretty rough headache, but also the right words to say. Good thing this headache curing tea was in to ease some of my mental turmoil!

It’s got lots of pulverized leaves, I can recognize lavender and chamomile and there’s definitely spearmint in there too, though there are lots of fragrant flowers I can’t ID.

Virginia Tea Co is a Kickstarter crowd-funded company, whose done all the herbal medicine research so we don’t have to. They also source fair trade ingredients, and that’s a relief too.

When I tasted this, it seemed bitter to me, almost tasted like aspirin. Was it my conscience affecting my taste buds or was this just not my cuppa?

A few weeks later, I served some to a friend who’d been having a lot of headaches and thought he might benefit from it. He often describes himself as having “the palate of an eight-year-old”, but he liked it!…. After adding Paula Deen amounts of simple syrup…. in about 15 minutes, he noted his head felt less tense,  and later that night it hadn’t come back.

Well now we know Mary Poppins had it right, a (few) spoonful(s) of sugar helps the medicine go down! I know that some folks are sensitive to OTC pain relief options, or prefer not to use pharmaceuticals and this is a great option for them.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.

Lavender, feverfew, chamomile, skullcap, and spearmint are blended together to help fight those awful headaches. They do this by relaxing your mind and allowing for better thoughts to enter.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!