Leaf Type: Herbal/Functional Tisane
Where to Buy: Algonquin Tea Co.
Peace Tea instills the tranquility, patience and beauty of the earth. This rich, bittersweet blend grounds us in a flowing meadow of healing herbs. Peace tea is ideal for calming down before, during or after any busy period.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.
So, my Postal Teas box arrived the other day! Yay! A beam of happiness shines like a ray of sunshine when tea is in the mailbox! And I do really enjoy the Postal Teas subscription. So far, with every box that I’ve received from them, I’ve tried teas from companies that are new to me. I like that. I like that a lot!
I’ve never really made a big secret of the fact that I prefer camellia sinensis blends over herbal teas/tisanes. Not a big surprise, right? So, I was a little less than enthused when I opened the box this month and found not one … not two … but ALL THREE teas in the box were herbals.
So, it probably goes without saying that this month’s box was a little bittersweet. I was not thrilled about receiving three herbal teas in the box BUT I was happy to be trying teas from a new-to-me company: Algonquin Tea Co.
And while I do prefer camellia sinensis, I am willing to try herbal blends, and I actually do like to have an herbal tisane later in the evening to encourage some peace and quiet so that I can get a good night’s rest.
Which is why I chose to try this Peace Tea first. The ingredient list suggests that there are quite a few calming herbs in the blend.
Ingredients: Blue Vervain, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Oat Straw, Red Bergamot, Chamomile, Hops, Motherwort, Valerian, Skullcap and St John’s Wort.
To brew this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler and measured 1 1/2 bamboo scoops into the basket. I heated 12 ounces of water to 195°F and then let it steep for 8 minutes.
As the description suggests, there is some bittersweet going on here. This is a tisane that I recommend adding a dollop of honey (raw, locally harvested honey if you’ve got it!) to help tame the bitterness a bit. After I added a little bit of honey, I found this to be an enjoyable cup.
The vervain and the hops is where a lot of the bitterness is coming from. I taste hints of mint-like flavor from the catnip and there is a touch of citrus flavors from the lemon balm and bergamot. I was really hoping to taste more of the bergamot in this.
Mostly, what I’m tasting is a very herbaceous flavor. It is bittersweet. Almost medicinal. There’s a light floral note that is nice and it develops as I continue to sip. I pick up on more of the chamomile flavor as the tea cools and guess what? I was actually happy to discover the chamomile! I think that the reason for that is because it’s more of a familiar flavor amid the medicinal notes.
All that said: this isn’t a bad tisane. I’m not hating this. It’s not horrible. It’s alright. But this is not something I’d want to reach for on a regular basis. The citrus notes and the hint of mint are this tea’s saving grace, because without those notes, I don’t know that I’d enjoy this.
The pros: there is no hibiscus in here. I enjoy the citrus-y notes and the touch of mint. The floral notes are pleasant. With a bit of honey this tastes much nicer and I am noticing myself relaxing and calming down a bit – I feel the peace that the name of the tea promises. These are good things!
The cons: It does have a strong bitter tone to it and while I can appreciate a contrasting, savory bitter note in a tea or tisane now and again, this is a stronger bitter taste than I’d like it to be. It has a medicinal quality that makes me feel like I’m drinking something functional or “good for me” – which I am, but I don’t like to feel like I am. I like to get my functional, good for me teas in sweeter, better tasting blends.
I think I’d like this a lot more if it had more citrus-y flavors, or more flavors that I don’t normally associate as “herbaceous.” As a drink, it’s alright. As a source of peace and calm, I appreciate how this tea is inspiring those things in me at the moment. I feel noticeably more relaxed now than I did before I started sipping.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Driftwood Tea
This second flush Doke Organic Silver Needle White Tea shows how this family run garden is constantly innovating (Chinese Silver Needles are only harvested once per year). Like most second flush pickings these loose leaves are slightly darker yet, here this simply concentrates the delicious white tea flavours – a truly extraordinary Silver Needle tea.
Key Flavours: Soft dried fruits – apricots and peaches – hints of straw and a delicate sweet long lasting aftertaste.
Learn more about this tea here.
Doke Organic Silver Needle Second Flush from Driftwood Tea offers a crisp, clean, and juicy sweet cup.
It seems that it has been a long time since I reviewed a white tea, or at least a straight white tea. This tea from Driftwood is a nice reintroduction to a quality white tea.
The mouthfeel is what I can only describe as medium, not light yet not heavy, it is somewhat brothy but it has a very nice cleansing effect on the palate.
There is a slight drying sensation in the after effect of the sip.
The natural sweetness is delicious but I find the fruity notes very light, more apricot than peach on my palate.
The straw note is stronger than the fruit note but it is a sweet straw which makes for a contemplative cup.
This tea is quite grounding and I find it would be good for meditation relaxation.
I must admit this is not my all time favorite tea from Driftwood tea, but then again they have so many teas I have throughly loved, and obviously white tea is not something I drink a lot of. I enjoy it, but have to be in the mood for a straight white tea.
With that said, this is a very unique white and I respect that Driftwood Tea takes such great care in selecting cherished teas for us to purchase.
You can read more about Driftwood Tea and its founder, James Henderson Robe, here.