Wildest Mints from Story of My Tea. . . .

Sometimes I can’t believe I haven’t tried a combination of some simple, favorite ingredients.  Wildest Mints from the Story of My Tea blends peppermint, clove, and licorice into an herbal brew.  Three simple, flavorful ingredients, no added flavoring, no caffeine. Wildest Mints is a great herbal blend to keep in your cabinet for soothing mint with little something extra.

Story of My Tea recommends this brew be iced.  Drinking it cold enhances the already refreshing rush of brewed peppermint and is just the right flavor for an especially hot day.  The licorice and cloves add some herbal sweetness and bring more texture to the feeling of this tea on your tongue and throat.

I also like this as a hot brew, maybe as an after dinner cup with plenty of peppermint to help with digestion.  When warm, the peppermint brings a little creaminess to the cup along with its familiar cool, crispness. The cloves are more prominent in a warm brew, and I adore their dark and spicy aftertaste and buzzy mouthfeel.  As always, the licorice is sweet and soothing.

Who knew there could be so much going on with just three classic ingredients?  Story of My Tea clearly did!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Story of My Tea
Description:

The main ingredient of this calming blend is peppermint, this herb has several millennia of history. There are records that show Peppermint was used by the ancient Egyptians around 1,000 B.C. The Romans grew peppermint gardens for its use as a digestive aid they also used it as a grown cover between the stepping stone pathways. The Japanese valued it so highly that they carried peppermint in small silver boxes that hung from their belt. Peppermint was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as a hybrid between water mint and spearmint. Today this plant is cultivated in many regions of the world.

The second ingredient is licorice root, a plant native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia. It brings a natural sweetness to this blend and is valued by both eastern and western medicine for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and “harmonizing” properties.
Finally, the cloves. These aromatic dried flower buds used in Asian, African, Mexican, Near and Middle East cuisine add just the right spice balance to this blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Soothing Chamomile from Balcony Teas. . . .

This is one of the only teas in my current review box that came in a sachet, and I’m so glad that it did! The visual presentation of the pyramid sachet with the large floral accents within this blend made this tea a beautiful pre-brew piece of art. This blend has a distinctive chamomile aroma due to the fact that this blend has the full chamomile flower. In addition to the visual of the chamomile flower, you can also see the lime flower that is included in this blend. The sachet that Balcony Tea uses for this blend is an exceptional choice as the smallest tea leaves did not get into my brew, but this particular sachet also allows for an even flow of water to the leaves and provides an option for those of us who need to brew on the go.

I opted for this tea as we’d had a tantrum filled night at my house with a toddler who was still testing the ability to stay up as late as she wanted. Once brewed, I continued to be able to smell both the chamomile as well as the wildflowers included in this blend. I was able to enjoy this blend straight or with a splash of honey. Balcony Tea does suggest that you do not add milk to this blend, and I would agree as I think the milk would mask some of the brilliant (but delicate) flavors in this tea. This was great for both calming my nerves after a rough day and getting me ready to relax in bed. Great chamomile blend!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Balcony Teas
Description

Feel transported to a beautiful evening in the Mediterranean. All is calm and you can smell wild flowers. Perfect for a moment to yourself or to wind down after a busy day.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger.

I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it steep for about the next four minutes. It smelled all nice and licorice-y while steeping and became a nice light yellow color, which reminded me a bit of a medium-strong green tea.
When I sipped it, I noticed right away the very present flavor of anise (licorice). It reminds me of the “throat coat” tea I grew up drinking whenever I had a cold, except that it’s a bit more delicate and refined in how it presents the licorice flavor. The licorice still manages to overpower the other flavors in the cup, though. I tried really hard and detected a hint of tingly spiciness from the cloves (I think. Or was I just making that up? I may have been just making that up), but I didn’t detect a noticeable presence from any of the other components. This was a little surprising as I’d seen citrus peel in the cup and that’s generally pretty strongly flavored. Fortunately, the licorice flavor itself was quite pleasing.
The effect of the tea is definitely soothing and relaxing to the throat. It’s a bit viscous as if it had lots of honey in it (likely because of the marshmallow root), which makes it even more soothing. It’s also caffeine free, which means it’s non-stimulating. This can be important when your throat is irritated and you’re trying to relax-soothe it, and it’s also good for singers in general especially near a performance because, according to some experts, caffeine can have a detrimental effect on the voice (the vocal cords, that is).

 

I’d say this tea would probably great for reducing throat irritation/scratchiness/etc, whether you have a cold or allergies or have just overused or abused your voice recently. (Which I haven’t. But I’ll be sure to use this tea next time my throat is feeling under the weather!) It probably can’t work miracles, like if you have laryngitis and are hoping to still go on stage or something, but it does have a markedly soothing effect. Also, this tea can be re-steeped! So you can use it over and over again, although I personally didn’t test to see how many cups of tea it will make so I can’t give a figure. I’d recommend this tea for not only singers but anyone who might sometimes overuse their voice or who might have to use their voice while sick, like teachers (can’t stop teaching just cause you have a cold!).


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company
Description

A singer’s best friend! This herbal blend was originally designed for Portland’s very own Hampton Opera Center. Licorice, marshmallow root, cinnamon and mint are some of the ingredients used in this blend to provide relief and aid to the throat. Aria satisfies, soothes and warms.

Caffeine-Free.

Licorice Root*, Fennel*, Clove*, Cinnamon*, Orange Peel*, Ginger*, Peppermint*, and Marshmallow Root.

*Organically Grown.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Floral Herb Tisane from Chi Whole Leaf

Floral HerbTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Chi Whole Leaf

Tea Description:

A beautiful blend of Indian Rose Petals, Egyptian Hibiscus and Jasmine. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I keep wanting to call this matcha…

Honestly; I was a tiny bit scared to try this one. Hibiscus is one of three ingredients in this one, but frankly the entire thing looks like ground up, powdered hibiscus and unless you’re really into hibiscus in the first place that sounds pretty horrible.

That said, after the hot water hit the powder in the bottom of the mug and I had this all whisked up all of that fear melted away. The aroma is very floral and feminine but maintains a wonderful delicateness. How often do you get to call a blend with hibiscus delicate!? Not often – that’s for sure. More so than anything else I thought the rose was the most flavourful component of this tea but it’s not even close to the intensity necisarry for this blend to come off tasting chemical, artificial, or even perfumey. As a whole, it’s actually delightfully mellow.

Maybe it’s because hibiscus is so often paired with berries, but in addition to the sweet and supple floral notes I feel like there’s a hint of watered down berry flavour. The jasmine is the hardest part of this for me to taste; it’s blending in with the rose very well. I really enjoy this blend a lot. My only word of caution would be for people who dislike overly floral teas; but even they might like this because it’s been tastefully done. Even people who are generally turned off by hibiscus would likely like this. Bonus points for being quite affordable; $10.00 for 100g, and it really doesn’t take much at all to make a mug – approximately 1/2 tsp.

Also, many thanks to Will at Chi Whole Leaf tea for sending me the full range of teas currently offered on their site for reviewing! He was very quick to ship things, and in addition to the tea itself he included a very informative pamphlet that broke down the ingredients of each tea. I look forward to trying the rest of the set!

 

Lychee Konnyaku from Ette Tea

lycheekonnyakuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Green

Where to Buy:  Ette Tea

Tea Description:

Our newest tea formula of Jasmine green, black tea, cranberries, lychee pieces & lily blossoms. Sweet tasting & tangy as the Japanese jelly dessert, Lychee Konnyaku tea provides the added malty texture and body for the gourmet tea lover.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This, along with the Mango Sticky Rice blend that I’ve yet to try, is the Ette Tea blend I’m most excited about tasting and reviewing. I absolutely adore lychee in just about anything, but especially in tea. Plus, cranberry is also one of my favourite fruit flavours in tea so the pairing of the two got me really, really excited. It’s also a pairing that I haven’t seen done before which was really cool too.

Dry; this has some really robust smelling lychee. It’s also fairly floral which should be expected given that there’s jasmine from the green tea and also the addition of lily, but lychee is a very floral tasting fruit too so it comes from that as well. I don’t see as many cranberries in the leaf as I want their to be, though I did make sure that what I measured out for my mug had at least one included.

Wow; this smelled heavenly when it was also steeped up! It’s a very strong lychee aroma; definitely the most powerful aspect of the tea, but there’s also a really soft, soothing jasmine smell backed up by other floral elements like lily and maybe also orchid. It’s actually hard to pick out specific notes from either the black or the green tea used though. I can also smell the cranberry, but only slightly.

Thankfully the cranberry is a bit more noticeable in the taste; it cuts through pretty clearly in the start of the sip with some sweetness but also some tartness that reminds me of cranberry jelly like you’d have around Thanksgiving. However, the very lush taste of the lychee and jasmine over takes it early on leaving me feeling just slightly cheated. I want more cranberry because while it’s so different to me to see it paired with lychee the two flavours go together really well!

The lychee is juicy and rich and reminds me a lot of actual lychee or ‘cocktail’ lychee that’s been canned in its own sweetened juices. It’s mouthwatering and strong as a flavour. I can see where, paired with the sweetness of the cranberry, this could get a little too sweet but thankfully there’s the soothing presence of jasmine that brings this back down to a reasonable level and keeps it distinctly flavoured but smooth and relaxing too.

Also, now that it’s steeped I think the base teas come through just slightly more; the first half of the mug seemed to have a really light vegetal taste to it that was brought more into focus when you concentrated on the jasmine but the slightly malty black base was more present in the aftertaste along with the lingering flavour of lychee, and especially present with the last few tiny sips from the mug when everything had cooled down.

There’s definitely room for improvement, but overall this was a really impressive and well executed tea and I’m absolutely kicking myself for just getting 10g! I’ve now tried 3/5 samples and this is definitely my favourite so far. This company has yet to really disappoint me!