#MusicandTeaMonday: Sweet Dreams Herbal from AstroloTea

Sweet Dreams is part of AstroloTea’s Transformative Loose Tea range, which combines ingredients with specific properties to create teas designed to have an effect on either mind or body. Sweet Dreams, true to its name, is supposed to be a relaxing blend, with the intention of promoting sleep or rest. Like many blends of this kind, it contains a selection of herbal ingredients known for their calming properties, including rose petals, hops, jasmine, lemon balm, and lavender. It also contains more unusual ingredients, such as poppy, catuba, gotu kola, dogwood, yarrow, brahmi, kava kava, and mullein. Many of these I’ve never come across before. All of the ingredients are organic, except the kava kava which has been cultivated without the use of chemicals.

I followed the recommended parameters and used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, added to boiling water for 5 minutes. The resulting liquor is a bright orange-brown, with a mildly herbaceous scent. The flavour is more delicate than I expected, initially quite generically “herbal”, but with clear flashes of rose and lavender. There’s a distinctive thick sweetness from the hops in the mid-sip, and a touch of aniseed-like fennel. A light lemony-citrus note rounds off the sip.

The proliferation of ingredients made me wonder whether it would be possible to distinguish any one of them at all, but in actual fact it is possible to pick out the stronger, more dominant, flavours. Many of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me, though (and probably to most people), and it’s fair to say that the overall effect is herbal with an edge of floral. I’m pleased the the floral doesn’t edge over into perfumey, and it’s not too strong, so you might get along with this even if floral teas are not typically your thing. In flavour terms, its reminiscent of a lot of similar blends, only with more unusual, carefully selected, ingredients.

I didn’t notice much of an effect straight after drinking, but I can certainly appreciate having another caffeine-free pre-bedtime blend in my cupboard. With its light, delicate flavour, it’s a pleasing choice for late night drinking whether you buy into the “sleep-aid” aspect or not. I’d happily seek out more AstroloTea blends in the future.

And since today is #MusicandTeaMonday, we couldn’t help but pair this tea with this song! Don’t forget to join us on your favorite social media of choice with #MusicandTeaMonday!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: AstroloTea

at_logo_headerDescription:

Sweet Dreams Organic Loose Leaf Tea is only available as an herbal tea blend. It is a powerful sedative tea for nighttime relaxation and sleep. It has been used to help relieve insomnia and sleep disturbances.

This soft and dreamy tea is the perfect way to close every day. Slip into comfort and notice how gently everything floats away as you easily drift off to dreamland. Sweet Dreams tea is a luxurious gift to give yourself for a day well lived.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

DigestTea from Raizana Tea Company

DigestTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Raizana Tea Company

Tea Description:

You shouldn’t have eaten that monster burrito or third slice of pizza, and you’re paying for it now. Get relief from gas, bloating and sensation of fullness with DigestTea, our natural remedy for digestive problems.
DigestTea is gentle enough to soothe stomach problems in children. Raizana uses natural herbs sourced in California to provide all-natural support for gas and other digestive problems.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have issues with eating certain kinds of food and then feeling disgusting, heavy, and bloated.  This especially happens when I have any kind of carbs.  So lately I have been doing a lot of research to see if there was some herb or tea that I could drink that would help.  That is how  I stumbled upon this company, Raizana.  They have several different kinds of herbal remedies for what “ails you”.  I don’t necessarily believe that there is a skinny tea out there but I do believe that some herbs can make you feel better.  So I decided to take a chance and pick up their sampler.

Now to be honest, I am a huge fan of herbal teas.  I love chamomile and adore lemongrass in teas.  I’m also a huge mint fan and tend to like most mint teas I come across.  The biggest reason I picked this tea up was because it had cilantro in it.  I had never even heard of a cilantro tea before.  I have a love affair with cilantro and sneak it into as many foods as I can.  The ingredients also list dill weed and passionflower.  I just had to try it!

When I popped open the bag, holy sweetness is all I can say! This definitely has a very sweet bakery smell to it which I think comes from the papaya flavoring and stevia.  I steeped this one up per their parameters and was pleasantly surprised.  This is one of the sweetest herbal teas I have ever had.  And it isn’t that artificial sweet taste.  This has an almost dessert quality to it.  Like a freshly baked treat. I don’t taste the cilantro at all but definitely pick up the minty notes and chamomile.  The lemongrass is also prevalent and letting itself be known but not in an obnoxious way.  I even tried this one iced and still had the same outcome.  A lemony baked treat. Yum!

Now to whether or not it helps with my digestion, that I really can’t say.  I have completely overhauled my diet as of late and am cutting junk food out all together, which was a major cause for a lot of my discomfort.  All I can say that this is great for when I have that sweet tooth craving and am looking forward to having this one again.

Reading Nook Tea Blend from Plum Deluxe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe

Tea Description:

The reading nook blend is our signature organic tea created for enjoying while perfecting some of our dearest passions: reading, writing, and enjoying conversation with friends.

One needs a touch of caffeine to keep the conversation flowing, the pages turning, or the pen on the move, so we start this blend with a wonderful cream black tea. We then added rosebuds for creativity and sustenance, passionflower and lavender for flavor and aroma, and top it off with a bit of chamomile which adds a calming balance to it all. Customers often tell us this is our prettiest tea!

All Plum Deluxe teas are hand-blended and infused with love in Portland, Oregon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh wow!  This tea has a delightful aroma!  I can smell the floral notes – the passionflower, the lavender and the rose … along with hints of chamomile – and these beautifully fragrant flowers mingle with the notes of vanilla cream and it’s intoxicating!   I imagine that this amazing scent would be the perfect accompaniment while reading a favorite book, a fantastical fragrance along with the fantasy of literature.

On the Plum Deluxe webpage for this tea, there are little snippets of customer responses about the tea.  One that stood out to me was this:

A black tea with an herbal taste. Very cleansing aftertaste.

I think that this really describes the flavor of this tea quite well.  I probably would only edit this comment to add the word “floral” behind the word “herbal” because I think that these two descriptive words better clarify what I’m tasting.  It’s a black tea and the black tea base is mellow – I suspect it’s a Ceylon – and the herbaceous tones and floral notes come through as the strongest, most forward flavors, but without completely overwhelming the flavor of the black tea.

Now, usually, I’m in full support of a tea tasting more like tea and less like it’s additives.  However, in the case of this blend, I think that I rather like the way the floral notes dance upon the palate.  I like that the black tea is more of a supportive background ‘voice’ that allows these flowery tastes to take on the lead of this tasty symphony of flavors.

It’s really quite dreamy – the flavor of this cuppa!

And what makes it so dreamy is not the floral notes or the black tea – but the cream notes.  The cream is not a dominant or aggressive flavor in this cup of tea, but it seems to be the stage that brings everything together so harmoniously.

When it comes to brewing this tea, I recommend using a slightly lower temperature.  I think that the floral notes are better expressed when the water is just below boiling (I used water heated to 200°F).  After giving the pouch a shake to redistribute the ingredients, I measured a heaping bamboo scoop into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added the water and let it steep for 3 minutes.  Perfection!

Beauty & The Beet White Tea from Lemon Lily

Beauty_and_the_BeetTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Lemon Lily

Tea Description:  

Organic, delicate, earthy but not grassy. This blend of organic white tea is gently paired with organic beetroot Powder, organic lavender, organic passionflower, organic rosehip, organic rose buds Dry, it’s beautiful to look at. Steeped and allowed to rest for about ten minutes and you really start to taste the floral notes. But the touch of earthy sweetness from the beetroot balances out the floral, keeping it from tasting soapy.

Learn more about this month’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

The photo above doesn’t really show the beetroot powder.  When I received my pouch of this tea in my Postal Teas box this month, I was kind of surprised by the hot pink dust that had settled to the back of of the pouch.  It kind of looked like freeze dried lipstick that had been pulverized into a powder.

I guess I could have said it looks like powder blush in the pouch, but, I couldn’t see anyone wanting to wear this particular shade of pink on their cheeks, but I could see it on someone’s lips or possibly their fingernails.  Then again:  freeze dried nail polish that had been pulverized into a powder – that seems like it would be a lot more effort to pulverize nail polish into a powder than it does lipstick.

Anyway … this blend has been dusted with powdered beetroot and it’s a vibrant shade of pink.  And when you steep the tea, the tea becomes a ruby red color.  It almost looks like it has hibiscus in it.  Almost.  Fortunately, beetroot doesn’t taste like hibiscus.  I prefer beetroot.

This is one of the more interesting teas I’ve reviewed lately.  First of all, love the name.  Love it.  And I can’t recall having a tea blended with beetroot powder.  I may have.  It’s just nothing comes to mind immediately.  And you would think that something as unique as beetroot powder would stick in the memory, you know?

Similar to the Maple Leaf tea that I tried a few days ago from the same company, this tea is very floral.  I am tasting notes of lavender and rose distinctly.  The passionflower is a bit more demure in this blend, which is not surprising as it tends to be rather mild tasting.  I like how the beetroot softens the flavors of the flowers a little and brings it’s own unique flavor to the cup.  It’s sweet and I can taste a hint of the vegetable flavor of the beet.

The white tea is a little less discernible in this blend, but I do taste it.  The light, airy, hay-like note of the white tea seems to complement the floral notes.  This tea is earthy (which also complements the floral notes), floral, very slightly vegetal, and very enjoyable – albeit different! – to drink.

I steeped this in my Kati Tumbler and I chose to steep it in this cup for one reason:  the beetroot powder.  I didn’t want to have to scrub the jug of my Breville One-Touch after beetroot powder had steeped in it!  It’s a lot easier to scrub my Kati Tumbler!

After shaking the pouch thoroughly (to redistribute the powder that had settled), I measured out 2 bamboo scoops of tea into my Kati and heat the water to 170°F and steeped the tea for 3 1/2 minutes.

Postal Teas recommends letting these teas cool a bit to let the flavors develop and I agree with that.  As this particular tea cools, the flavors not only develop but the texture develops too.  The beetroot seems to thicken somewhat to create a pleasant, brothy type texture to the cup (without it feeling syrupy the way a hibiscus blend would).

I’m really happy that I had this opportunity to try this tea!  Thank you, Postal Teas!

Calming Tea from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Type: Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy: Byron Bay Tea Company

Production Description:

An exquisite, soothing evening tea combining Chamomile and Limeflower with Vanilla bean and Cinnamon. The perfect way to relax and unwind at the end of a long, stressful day. Pure bliss.

Ingredients: Chamomile* Lime blossoms Passionflower* Vanilla bean* Cinnamon*

  • Certified Organic

Tasters Review:

I’ve said it before and I will say it again…YOU DON’T KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY.  The reason I say that is generally speaking I am not a fan of most Herbals…unless they are minty.

When I tried this CALMING TEA from Byron Bay Tea Company I had several things running thru my mind…

1. WOW!  I’m drinking a tea/tisane that traveled all the way from Australia!  COOL!

2. The Labels are simple yet colorful and eye catching and I like that!  The colors are vibrant and beautiful!

3. They have excellent customer service – I corresponded with them via email – and it was excellent!

4. This is surprisingly incredible! I was afraid it was going to be herbally and/or boring but it’s a delight!

5. It sort of smells like Adagio’s Foxtrot with a little lime and sweet flower and less chamomile. Well, to the eye, there is a lot of chamomile, but when you taste it – it’s just enough and everything else works well with it! The Cinnamon is barely there…but I think that is perfect- I think any more cinnamon and it would ruin what’s going on with the tisane!

6. This is a tisane I would have again.  I am so glad I was able to try it!

7. CALMING by Byron Bay Tea Company just maybe my favorite non-minty herbal to date.