Fennel Licorice from Hampsted Tea and Coffee. . . .

Fennel and licorice go hand-in-hand in my opinion.  The fennel bulb has very licorice-like notes among its green herbal flavors, complementing the black-jellybean anise flavor we recognize as licorice.  This blend from Hampstead Tea & Coffee also adds a touch of peppermint to provide a more dynamic flavor profile.

In order for me to drink tea all day long, I need naturally caffeine-free herbal teas to balance out the menu. I love popular herbal tea flavors like ginger and mint, but I am always on the lookout for more unusual herbal teas to add to my cupboard.  Fennel and Licorice certainly qualifies as a less traditional herbal blend to keep in the rotation.

Beyond the flavors, these herbs offer some healing effects.  Fennel helps with digestion and is said to promote feelings of comfort and relaxation.  Licorice root works as a natural sweetener, helping you cut down on the sugar, as well as serving as a sore-throat soother if you are coming down with a cold, or if you need to prepare yourself to perform an opera.

If ginger teas are too spicy and mint teas too much like menthol, try this Fennel and Licorice blend to invite a new set of herbs into your teacup.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea & Coffee

Keeping harmony within you is important to help balance the demands of a busy and impactful life. Fennel and Anise seeds in with selected Liquorice root and Peppermint leaves will keep you focused and posed for action.

Fennel is an excellent digestive and breath freshener, valued for its comforting and balancing effects. Our unique infusion blends fennel seeds, liquorice root and peppermint leaves to help regulate the digestive system.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Royal Camomile from Hampstead Tea. . . .

Hampstead Tea has been around since the 1980’s. They are committed to biodynamic practices in producing what they sell; i.e. putting in more than is taken out. They offer organic tea with fair trade options.

This particular tea came in an individually wrapped tea bag. And yes, they spell it Camomile. Is that a British thing? Is it just the Americans who spell it Chamomile?

This particular tea came in an individually wrapped tea bag. And yes, they spell it Camomile. Is that a British thing? Is it just the Americans who spell it Chamomile?

If the herbs are fresh, I don’t detect huge differences from one chamomile to another in the ones I have tried, so a deciding factor for me is going to be whether the product is fresh and whether it is organic. Adding on biodynamic and fair trade makes this company even more attractive.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea

A beautiful golden infusion made from prized sweetly scented camomile petals. Camomile relieves inflammation, soothes and relaxes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Energy Chai from Hampstead Tea. . . .

“Organic Energy Chai” by Hampstead Tea was originally “BIOCHAI” (all caps). The original bag (which I am sampling here) touted the ingredient “biodynamic black tea leaves.”

They’ve since changed their branding to a more delicate branding scheme that involves a white background and no more claims of things being “biodynamic.” Which is sort of a relief, because when I see “BIOCHAI” or “biodynamic,” I ironically don’t think of something being biological at all. I think about things that are biologically enhanced, like a Terminator/Borg situation. Like this tea got taken over by nanobots.

This delicate, sweet tea doesn’t seem like it’s going to “harness your inner energy and bring the diva out in you!” I actually find this to be more soothing than HYPE. It’s just a tasty blend that is helping nudge me into wakefulness on this cloudy Monday.

Speaking of which, I definitely have “a case of the Mondays” today. I went to the gym, but all of my usual companions slept through it, which was lonely. So I watched YouTube videos of people painting while walking slowly on an incline on the treadmill. It was the saddest workout you’ve ever seen.

Which is not to say my workouts are usually zesty, but at least if people I know are there, I half-ass it instead of no-ass it.

This lackadaisical attitude toward fitness means I am the slowest, pant-iest drag on the group’s speed of all time.

This is why I am the group’s Resident Black Tea Drinker. It’s the only thing that will nudge me into the next gear. I’d just rather be drinking tea than hustling.

I’m sure you gals understand.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Hampstead Tea

Chai comes from India where Darjeeling Black Tea is blended with exotic herbs and spices to make luxurious,aromatic drink. Let it harnessIngredients:Black Tea, Ginger, Lemongrass, Peppercorns, Cardamom seeds and Cloves

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Saffron from Hampstead Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Hampstead Teas

Product Description:

Our saffron infused black tea is a unique brew full of youthful capriciousness. In ancient India Saffron was used as a medicine sent from the gods to heal the body.

Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea, saffron

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the more temperamental teas that I’ve encountered, but it is well worth the effort to find the “sweet spot” with this tea, because once you brew it right – it is so good.

The first couple of times I steeped this, I steeped it the same as I would most tea bags, that is, I used two teabags in my large tea mug (which holds about 14 ounces of liquid).  Using boiling water, I steeped for 3 minutes.  For most black teas, this would have produced a perfect brew.  However, when I did that with this tea, I ended up with a very strong black tea flavor that was extraordinarily bitter – and that was really all of the saffron I could taste was the bitterness of it.

So, I went “back to the drawing board” and decided to change how I brew it.  This time around, I used a smaller teacup, just one tea bag, and just 6 ounces of nearly boiling (but not quite boiling) water, and steeped for just 2 1/2 minutes.  PERFECTION!

The black tea is brisk with a very strong character, but it is not bitter when I steeped with these parameters.  It has a solid quality to it, though.  This is a seriously bold black tea!

But what makes this tea stand out is the saffron!  Although the black tea is not bitter, I do taste the distinctive savory bitter notes from the saffron, but here they are much more subdued than they were in the first couple of infusions that I had of this tea.  There are honey-esque sweet tones to the saffron as well as the faintest earthy quality.  This really is unlike any other teas that I’ve tasted and because of that, it really is worth the extra effort to brew it properly.

Another great tea from Hampstead!