Orange Dreamsicle from Wise Ape Tea Co. . . . .

Wise Ape Company might be best known for its Chocolate Hustle tea blend, a high-caffeine yerba mate blend, but recently, the Wise Ape has branched out to feature an assam black tea blend and an herbal blend as well.  Orange Dreamsicle is the new herbal tea offering from Wise Ape.

I love the names and designs from Wise Ape, not to mention their videos featuring a big ape hand brewing tea.  Orange Dreamsicle is a great name for a bedtime tea, evoking the flavors of a favorite ice cream bar.

The blend itself is very chamomile-driven, with the gentle lemony tones from that herb taking the lead.  Behind the chamomile, I taste vanilla and orange as well, contributing to the creamy ice-cream-inspired flavors in the blend’s name.  The vanilla and orange add sweetness without being too artificial or sugary; they are gentle yet flavorful and let you add more sweetness to suit your own tastes.  For my personal preferences, I will say that I wish there was a bit more citrus and a bit less chamomile, but it makes sense that there is lots of chamomile for a sleepytime brew.

Smooth and easy-drinking, a great cup of tea to ease you into sweet dreams.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Wise Ape Tea Co.
Description: A dreamy blend of chamomile flowers with subtle hints of orange and cream, combined with adaptogenic super-herbs to support your nightly zen. This relaxing elixir is designed to calm the mind, ease the body, and help you sink into a restorative night’s sleep.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

#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!

Serene Herbal Tisane from The Honest Leaf

SereneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This tea does exactly what its name promises – brings serenity to your day. Ingredients like chamomile, jasmine and lavender really do have that affect. We taste the apple-like flavours of chamomile, a perfect lemon squeeze and smooth mint. There’s tart and sweet florals playing off one another and hints of relaxing lavender that come out mid-sip.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After my first few sips of this Serene Herbal Tisane from The Honest Leaf, I found myself contemplating whether or not I actually liked it.  I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t too sure whether or not I was enjoying what I was tasting.

That is to say, it’s quite unlike other teas I’ve tried.

Now that I’m about halfway through the cup, I can say that yes, I do like this.  It’s different, it’s tasty and I like it.

The flavor starts out quite subtle.  I notice a soft lemon-y note from the lemon peel and flavoring.  This flavor develops over the course of the sip – starting off with a delicate whisper of lemon.  The finish is bright with lemon notes and the aftertaste is quite lemon-y, as if I had just taken a sip of lemonade.  The aftertaste lingers a while.

After the subtle introduction of lemon, I pick up on flowery notes of jasmine, lavender and passion flower just before mid-sip.  These floral notes are also quite subdued.  They don’t develop the way the lemon does, but I do pick up on a few more floral notes mingling with the lemon notes in the aftertaste.

Just after mid-sip, I notice the crisp peppermint.  I like that the peppermint follows the example set by the flowers and lemon and is understated.  The cool peppermint is a nice contrast to the lemon-y flavor, but the mint doesn’t slap you in the mouth with it’s minty presence.  It’s just a slight ‘peppy’ sort of flavor that perks up the flavors of the tea without tasting like someone spilled a little bit of mouthwash in my teacup.

I didn’t really notice the chamomile until I reached mid-cup.  The chamomile is more of an undertone, offering a indistinct apple note and hint of honey.  I can smell more chamomile in this than I can taste.  After the mid-cup point, the chamomile notes develop somewhat, but they never become a strong, prominent profile to the cup.

Happily, I notice no hibiscus in this, unless the hibiscus acts as a ‘tart’ agent to help amplify the tartness of the lemon, because the aftertaste does have a tartness to it.  Not too puckery, though, but as I said, I do get a lemonade-y sort of experience in the aftertaste.

Overall, I found this to be a relaxing, enjoyable cup.  It’s certainly different than the typical ‘nighttime’ type of tisanes, and different is good!

Honey Vanilla Chamomile Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

HoneyVanillaChamomileTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

Egyptian chamomile, sweet licorice root roasted in honey, and grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans! This is a great herbal infusion for the late night: perfect for relaxing. Our Honey Vanilla Chamomile is just that: honey (with licorice root), vanilla, chamomile. Nothing else. This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends. Note: Honey Vanilla Chamomile contains no tea, as it is an herbal infusion. We chose to include the term “herbal tea” in the title due to its categorical popularity.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a little while (at least a week or so!) since I last had chamomile and tonight I’m in need of relaxation:  chamomile style!  So, I grabbed this Honey Vanilla Chamomile blend from M&K’s Tea Company.

To brew it, I poured the contents from the sampler pouch into the basket of my Kati tumbler and added 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F.  I let it steep for eight minutes.

The aroma is distinctly chamomile, but I can also pick up on the notes of honey and licorice root.  The vanilla notes are not as noticeable but there is a very faint vanilla fragrance.

Wow!  I’m liking this.  The licorice root is the strongest flavor here, but the often sharp flavor of the licorice is softened somewhat by the honey roasting.  And I like the honey in this, it complements the natural honey-like flavors of the chamomile.

The chamomile is also prominent.  It has that expected honeyed, apple-y flavor.  I like the way the zesty, warm flavor of the licorice contrasts with the softer, lighter flavor of the chamomile.  It’s a really unique flavor combination, but it’s working for me.

The vanilla is the softest flavor of this blend, but I do taste a subtle sweet and creamy note from the vanilla bean.  It may be the softest flavor here but it ties everything together.  I don’t think this blend would taste quite the same without that whisper of vanilla.

I drank this while it was hot.  I’m not a big fan of chilled chamomile.  But, I did find that after the tea cooled slightly – still warm but not piping hot – the flavors seemed to become slightly more seamless.  It was like the vanilla came forward a bit more and softened everything just a little more.  The licorice seemed smoother, and the other flavors seemed to meld together to create a very unified flavor.

I know not everyone out there is a big fan of licorice root – if you’re one of them, this tisane isn’t for you.  But if you like that snappy flavor of licorice, you should give this herbal tea a try.  I found it to be quite delightful and it also does what it’s supposed to do:  it helped me relax!  It’s a very soothing, calming drink that doesn’t taste like every other chamomile blend out there.  Bonus points for that!

M&K’s earns another thumbs up from me for this blend.

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 9 from Teanzo 1856

Day12Wow, can you believe that it’s day 9 already?  I hope you’re enjoying lots of wonderful teas this holiday season.  I know that Teanzo has certainly kept me happy with this calendar of tea!

For today’s inspirational piece of artwork, I am again looking to one of the gifts that I received in one of the 12 Days of Christmas mail art swaps that I was involved in.  This cute mitten was made by Sue Foster, and it hangs proudly on my tree.

I love how perfectly the stitches are on this.  It would take me hours – literally, hours! – to do something like this.  I’m not as handy with a needle and thread, I’m afraid.

Thank you, Sue, it’s beautiful and whimsical and a perfect addition to my handmade tree.

Today’s tea from Teanzo is one that should inspire happy dreams.

Dream Spa Blend Tisane

Dream-Spa-BlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Spice Melange

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

Ingredients:  Cardamom, saffron, licorice root, fennel, ginger root, cinnamon, rosebuds, lemongrass & rose scent.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:  

This tea smells amazingly good, especially after it’s been brewed.  The dry leaf smells remarkable as well, but the brewed liquid is almost intoxicating – it smells so good!  The combination of the spices and the rose is simply amazing.  It doesn’t smell too spicy, it doesn’t smell too rosy, it just smells dreamy.  Much like the name of the tea suggests.

Seriously, this scent should be made into potpourri or something.  Or soap!

To steep it, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of my Kati and added 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and let it steep for 6 minutes.  Originally, I thought that I’d steep it for 10 minutes, the length of time I would normally steep a tisane without hibiscus, but the aroma of the dry leaf was strong and I felt that if I went for the full 10 minutes that this would come off tasting too strong.

After I finished steeping, I kept the cup up to my nose for several minutes, just inhaling the fragrance.  So beautiful!  Then the thought that enters my head before I take a sip is:  should I be drinking this?  It smells TOO GOOD to drink, as in it smells like something I’d want to wear or possibly perfume my living room with but would I want to consume it?

But the ingredients suggest to me that this should be alright to drink.  There are some of the “usual ingredients” for a chai and I like chai.  There’s saffron and I like that too.  Licorice root and fennel are two of my favorite tea ingredients.  And I love rose teas and I enjoy lemongrass.  There’s nothing here that offends my palate so even though it smells like perfume hopefully it won’t taste that way.

So, I let the tea temperature drop to a drinkable temperature and took my first sip.  This is actually really nice!  It’s a strong taste – I’m glad I didn’t go ahead and steep it for my usual 10 minutes – but it’s quite pleasant.  There are a lot of layers to the flavor because I can taste each ingredient.

I notice hints of citrus at the very start of the sip.  It’s a warm, spicy citrus note, and about half a second after the citrus comes through clearly, the cinnamon and ginger come into focus.  Then I pick up on the rose and the saffron.  By mid-sip, the licorice and fennel are recognized by the palate.  In the aftertaste, I notice notes of rose and a cola-like flavor that I attribute to the cardamom.  It’s a warm and soothing cup, but it does have some invigorating quality to it too.

It’s a really unique beverage but I find myself enjoying it much more than I expected to.  To be honest, when I saw that today’s tea was an herbal, the thought going through my head was “again?”  You know, a kind of disappointed “again.”  But now that I’ve tasted it, I’m really happy with this!

Thank you, Teanzo for this beautifully fragrant dream of a tisane today!