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!

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 16 from Teanzo 1856

It’s Day 16 of this Advent Calendar/Holiday Countdown with Teanzo 1856.  There are eight days left to shop!  Every year, I tell myself that I’ll start my shopping early, but every year, I end up waiting until the last minute.  (Sigh!)

12day1giftFor today’s artistic inspiration, I am turning to another piece that I received in a 12 Days of Christmas mail art swap.  The artist I’m featuring today is Gwynn Thoma, and she made this beautiful rustic heart ornament for my tree.

This is another one of those ornaments that’s just FUN to discover every year when I start “unwrapping” all my ornaments for the tree.  It’s so cute and there are so many neat little details about it that I seem to keep finding something new about it every year.  I also like the bit of rustic whimsy it adds to my tree.

Another thing that really stood out to me about this particular ornament was the packaging.  Gwynn stitched together little “envelopes out of Kraft paper and adorned them with bits of aged sheet music and a swatch of the burlap that she used to create the heart ornament.  It’s a very clever and lovely package and I love how it “matches” the gift that was tucked inside.

I hope that you guys are enjoying my art “roundup” as well as the countdown to Christmas with teas from Teanzo this year!

Seasonal Relief Herbal Tea

Seasonal-ReliefTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

In India, licorice root is used to soothe sore throats, and the tulsi plant is revered for its many health benefits. In this delicious herbal wellness tea, we’ve combined licorice root and tulsi with a powerhouse of helpers: peppermint, hibiscus, honey bee pollen, and eucalyptus. Not only is the tea delicious, but it is soothing too.  Enjoy this tea hot or iced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I suffer from seasonal allergies that seem to last all year long now.  I never used to!  Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, I didn’t have allergies.  But I guess with all the pollen in this area, I soon started feeling unwell in the spring with allergy symptoms, but because I never had allergies before, I thought maybe it was something else.

Then I started taking allergy medication and my symptoms disappeared.  At first, I only needed these toward the end of winter, through spring and at the very start of summer.  Then I started needing it through summer.  Now, I need the medication year round or I start sneezing, eyes start watering and I’m just really uncomfortable with my symptoms.

So, I am always looking for a tisane that I enjoy that might help me alleviate my symptoms so that I don’t have to take so much allergy medication.   So when I saw that this was a Seasonal Relief blend, I was excited to try it.

Unfortunately, I’m just not enjoying this one very much.  Perhaps it’s the eucalyptus, but I feel like I’m sipping on liquefied VapoRub.

At first, I enjoyed the peppermint and licorice-y notes, and I could taste notes of tulsi that I enjoyed.  But after drinking about 1/4th of the cup, the flavor of the eucalyptus seemed to build and it got to the point where all I could taste was the eucalyptus and this does not create a very pleasant cup for me.

On the plus side, the hibiscus is not a heavy flavor or texture.  I think that this could be much nicer if maybe there was less eucalyptus, and maybe a little more peppermint and tulsi.

Overall, this just wasn’t my cup of tea.  They can’t all be, though.  Teanzo has had some real winners with this Advent Calender, this just didn’t do it for me, so hopefully tomorrow, we’ll have something yummy!

Sen Cha Fukamushi from Sugimoto America

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where To Buy:  Sugimoto America

Product Description:

This is our signature Sen Cha. Our Sen Cha is “Fukamushi.” refers to the deeper (longer) steaming process after the harvest. This extra steaming time results in fine leaves, and the taste is richer and more full-bodied than regular Sen Cha. Depending on steeping conditions, it has a bit of sweetness and outstanding fragrance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am finding myself just as excited to learn about the theme that Steepster has selected for the latest Steepster Select box as I am to receive the tea itself!  This month, Steepster chose “Steep for Japan” as their theme.

Here’s some more information on this theme:

To say Japan has had a difficult year would be an understatement.  This past March, the island nation experienced one of the most powerful earthquakes since the beginning of modern record-keeping.  The quake and resulting tsunami have devastated the country, and while tea production was largely unaffected, the damage to Japan’s infrastructure has severely impacted thousands of Japanese people and businesses. 

As rebuilding continues, we’d like to introduce you to a few classics from a country synonymous with green tea, as our own small way of supporting the cause. 

All proceeds for this box will be donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, which assists organizations providing aid and emergency services to the victims.  For more info visit bit.ly/steep-for-japan.

This Sen Cha Fukamushi is the first of the three teas that I’m tasting from December’s box, and I’m loving it!

The aroma of the dry leaf is incredible… very fragrant.  Sweet and floral.  I don’t get much of a grassy smell from the dry leaf at all, which is really unusual for a Sen Cha.  At least, in my experience, it is.  Normally, I can smell a strong vegetative sort of quality, but, not here.  Interesting.

The brewed tea does have a vegetative aroma, smelling faintly of steamed vegetables – something mild like spinach, perhaps?  I still detect notes of flower and that sweetness that I noted in the dry leaf, but, with the brewed tea it has become more of a unified fragrance that is a little sweet, a little savory and a little flowery.

The flavor is quite unlike any Sen Cha that I can recall tasting.  It is remarkably light in color, but the flavor and texture is quite another story.  The texture reminds me a bit of a light broth.  The flavor is full and sweet, with a savory tone that hits the palate by about mid-sip.  This savoriness is difficult to describe, because it’s not quite bitter, it is not quite briny and it is not quite sour … but it is a little of all three, and it arrives just in time to rescue the palate from what might otherwise be a sip too sweet – delivering a sense of balance.  Very nice!

I’m finding this Sen Cha very enjoyable – a rich, smooth, satisfying green tea with very little astringency.  Take the leaves for a second infusion – it’s just as lovely as the first!  Another excellent choice from Steepster Select!