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
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!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea
Hold on to your summer year round, with this cuppa. Combines the flavors of cherry, apple and blueberries with a hint of rum and wine to make the perfect sangria year round.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is my second sample from A Quarter to Tea! I chose it for a couple reasons; the big one was that the other two samples I picked out were oolongs and I wanted to get to taste at least one of Lauren’s other tea types. However, I was also interested by the fairly unique ingredients. I’ve never seen Sangria with blueberry, for starters. Finally, I wanted to find a Sangria tea that was an improvement on the other two I’ve tried. DAVIDsTEA had a seasonal Sangria blend which I didn’t mind but didn’t love, and Red Leaf Tea has a Sangria flavour of matcha I currently own but don’t particularly like. And the idea of Sangria with a white base sounds awesome, too!
It was hard to form much of an impression of the tea dry: I could see several chunks of the dry ingredients in the blend, but there wasn’t a distinct aroma. Part of that, I feel, is that in the package Lauren mailed to me the Cherry Chocolate Latte was really a dominant flavour and I think possibly may have contaminated the other teas it was packaged with or, at least, “cancelled out” their aromas – which weren’t as potent/strong. Since Lauren suggests on her Etsy page to ice this and since Sangria really is a drink best consumed cold I decided to go with a cold method of preparation. However, instead of icing I went with cold brewing because that style of preparation is a favourite of mine.
I do find this tea to be very mildly/delicately flavoured overall, with softer and less prominent notes of apple and blueberry and a jammy stonefruit quality which I suppose is the cherry. I want to point out that mild and subtle isn’t actually a bad thing, however Sangria doesn’t have a ‘delicate’ flavour to begin with so it’s not reading as the most accurate flavour profile. Plus it’s a little odd for me to neither taste “orange”/citrus which is such a common Sangria flavour or the wine/rum. As such, while I really like the flavour that I do taste, I find it very hard to drink this and think of it as ‘Sangria’ flavoured. The name just doesn’t seem to match, you know?
I’d be interested to see this tea rebranded as another flavour, maybe even some kind of ‘punch’? This is a refreshing, light, fruity cuppa but in my ‘quest’ for the perfect Sangria tea my expectations just haven’t been met.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons
This beautiful estate is set off to the side, away from most other Darjeeling estates, and this discreet locale aptly suits the owners of Gielle. They do what they think is best – in particular, to use the old “Chinese” tea bushes and to make an older style First Flush Darjeeling. Our tea mentor, Bernd Wulf, helped to develop this older style back in the 1960s. It was less oxidized than the Darjeelings of that time, thus lighter and greener, yet still with enough body to handle milk and sugar. Bernd was the father of our tea supplier Marcus Wulf – a cornerstone of our Tradition of Tea that ensures you excellent tea, produced and sourced with great care over generations.
Learn more about this tea here.
I should probably say upfront that first flush Darjeeling is one of my favourite varieties of black tea, so this one is preaching to the converted with me. The dry leaf itself is a thing of beauty – light and medium green leaves, and some downy silver-white buds. They’re a little twisted, and of about 1-2cm in length. The scent is mildly grapey with hints of stone fruit. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-orange.
To taste, it’s pretty much perfection. The main flavour I can discern is dried apricot – quite rich and fruity. It lingers beautifully right until the end of the sip. There’s a very light hint of muscatel grape, which develops primarily at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, and something that’s reminding me just a little of frangipane – a sort of nutty, almondy sweetness. It pairs beautifully with the apricot. There’s the slightest touch of what I can only describe as briskness – not bitterness or astringency, but a slight sharpness that takes this tea to a whole new level. It seems to enhance the grape notes a little, cutting through the initial rich sweetness. Certainly no bad thing!
This is a fine example of a first flush Darjeeling – clean-tasting, and beautifully light and delicate. Each one I’ve tried seems to have a slightly different character, and drinking this cup has been another pleasant experience. I’d not hesitate to recommend it to Darjeeling fans.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Ave
Go ahead, search the world—you won’t find another tea quite like Oriental Beauty, the luxurious, highly prized oolong tea so exquisite that it made its way from Taiwan to Queen Elizabeth II, who gave it its name. Processed entirely by hand, Oriental Beauty is produced only once a year, during summer. Our Oriental Beauty grows in the Ping Ling area of Northern Taiwan, known for its breathtaking scenery. The perpetual mild climate and rolling fog makes the growing environment truly unique.
Learn more about this tea here.
Tea Ave. is a fairly new company that I was fortunate enough to get to sampler prior to their official opening; while I really enjoyed each tea I got to sample there was only one I personally wanted to restock and so I waited for a good opportunity to place that order. Well, they recently announced a Summer Sale where you don’t pay for shipping, which was the perfect chance to place that small order! In addition to the tea I wanted to stock (Ginger Lily), I received a few samples of their other teas as well as a little bit of “swag” in the form of a reusable branded tote bag.
Obviously this is one of the extra samples I had received; while Tea Ave. does let you specify what you’d like to sample I left that field of the order form blank and so they chose for me. Two of three samples were new to me, and one a repeat – though as I’ve been pretty impressed with all of their teas I’ve tried (including this double) I’m far from disappointed about that. This sample came in sachet form, though not all three did. It’s the first time I’ve tried one of their blends in a sachet; I always have mixed feelings about teabags/sachets because I LOVE the convenience but think that most sachets don’t generally offer enough room for leaf expansion – which is definitely a bigger issue with oolong. Though in this case the sachet is very large, and that turned out to not be an issue at all.
I did two infusions of this tea, both turned out to taste very similar so I wont do a flavour summary for each like I tend to do when I steep the same tea several times. I thought the liquor was very light and gentle with an incredibly smooth and silky mouthfeel that made for really easy, calm sipping. The dominant note – though in this case dominant just means “most present” because nothing about this blend was harsh, was honey and it was the right level of sweet but natural and not cloying. Supporting notes were fresh picked Spring flowers, hay, and a soft, roasty note that reminded me of just barely toasted bread. I’d describe the overall combination as ‘ambrosia’.
I do think this was a little watery, and had it not tasted quite as diluted I’d be all over this blend – but it was incredibly pleasant for what it is as well, and a really nice balance between a greener, more vegetal oolong and a heavily roasted, mineral tasting more oxidized one.
Going back to the company itself, it’s definitely always very cool when companies go that extra mile by including samples and other goodies – just like when I received my sample package from Tea Ave. months ago, I continue to be impressed by this company’s branding, their teas, their customer service and now on top of that their quick shipping time! If you like oolong even a little I absolutely recommend giving them a chance and taking advantage of the current sale which is running throughout July.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Camellia Sinensis (However it’s no longer listed)
Here is an wulong composed of leaves varying in hue from light green to orange by way of delicate shades of silver which adorn its numerous buds. The light rolling typical of this type of clonal offers lovely large leaves which, once infused, release rich floral and herbaceous fragrances. The liquor, soft and of a substantial texture, is supported by fruity and spicy notes. Its long tangy finish evokes the lightness of spring.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster!
This is definitely an interesting looking tea, one I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself had Camellia Sinensis not included it as a bonus sample in one of several orders I’ve placed with them this year. Personally, I don’t have much experience with Darjeeling teas, and I’m almost certain that this is the first Darjeeling Oolong that I’ll have tried.
The dry leaf of this blend it fascinating to me; it definitely doesn’t look like a lot of oolong I’ve encountered. I know it’s definitely on the lower scale of oxidation, for sure – but it doesn’t even look like they even attempted to roll it which is definitely something I’m accustomed to with greener oolong. More so, it just kind of reminds me of Bai Mu Dan, but a little twisted up.
I brewed this one in one of my Gaiwans because it felt more right to be brewing it that way instead of in an infuser mug, though I did brew it Western style instead of Gong Fu. Normally I’m not one to resteep things, but I got three resteeps of this blend before I decided that was enough for the day.
The first infusion was very soft and delicate with such a lovely silky mouthfeel (which was definitely a consistent trait between all three infusions). The flavours were kind of in line with green teas and greener oolong; crisp and sweet sugar snap peas, lighter fruit notes like slightly under ripe honeydew, some floral notes, and a slight creaminess. However, the overwhelming gentleness of the brew reminds me a lot of white tea as well. I was looking forward to experiencing the “tang” like described by Camellia Sinensis, but I definitely didn’t taste anything close to that. Nor did I taste anything “spicy”.
The second infusion definitely brought about a change in flavour though; while the liquor was still very smooth and delicate and I still got some lovely snap pea notes there was also a touch of a herbaceous quality and the more floral notes were traded in for something quite a bit fruitier. More like over ripe honeydew than under ripe, and with an almost white wine like quality. I also experienced the “tangy finish” like described. I was definitely a little taken aback; the body dramatically and quickly shifted into this long, drawn out pleasantly sour finish that I wasn’t expecting. This was easily my favourite infusion of the three I did; it had a great balance between the flavours of the first and third infusions.
The third infusion was still delicate but that tangy note was even more vivid and instead of just being present in the finish it started to creep up into the body of the sip as well. In this infusion I definitely thought it was much more distinctly like white wine. In fact, I almost immediately was reminded of the few Reisling wines I’ve had (I’m not a huge wine person). It was super interesting, and still quite enjoyable but quite different from that first infusion. I can only imagine how much more interesting this would be Gong Fu brewed.
It’s a shame I can no longer find this on the Camellia Sinensis site; I want to learn more about this tea as it was very different from other oolongs I’ve tried, and quite memorable. I 100% recommend trying it, even if oolong isn’t your jam.