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.
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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: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Bird’s Eye Tea
Ingredients: Chamomile, Skullcap, Catnip, Spearmint, Rose, licorice
This is a simple blend to help calm the body at the end of the day. My sister grew the catnip for this blend. The skullcap and chamomile come from farms in Oregon. I like to use a variety of mild relaxants when I make any evening teas because everyone has a really specific combination of tensions in their body. Some folks hold tension in thoughts, others in their muscles.
Learn more about this tisane here.
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I put off trying this Slumbering Slope Tisane from Bird’s Eye Tea for a while … and the reason is chamomile. I don’t dislike chamomile (although at one time I did dislike it) but, it’s also not my favorite herb. And … I usually only prepare a chamomile tisane later in the evening, when I want to start getting ready for rest because chamomile does have that relaxing effect. Actually, it makes me sleepy. But, usually, when I’m getting ready for bed, I’m not really thinking about preparing a tisane … although I think I should get myself into that habit.
And this would be a great tisane with which to get into that kind of habit! This is a tasty tisane. The chamomile is the strongest flavor, followed by the spearmint. I like that the spearmint is there to add a nice minty tone to the taste, but, it isn’t an overpowering taste, as I think a stronger minty flavor would be a bit more invigorating than it should be for a blend like this.
I can taste the rose, and again, I like that this is a soft, sweet rose note. The licorice is faint, but, it adds a hint of sweetness and an interesting contrast without coming off too zesty.
Everything about this blend is calm and soothing. It is a very relaxing blend that is not too medicinal or herbaceous tasting, and not overly sweet. It has a pleasant, easy to drink flavor. I like it.
Where To Buy: Good For You Teas
SIMMER DOWN TEA
A nourishing blend with a hint of berry and sweetness. A relaxing tea to help build a wall against stress. Great for the nerves and the heart. Hawthorn berries are the main ingredient, which are amazing for the heart. Made for the Heart Chakra. INGREDIENTS: Hawthorn berries, milky oat tops, nettles, schisandra, alfalfa, gingko, Eleuthero root (Siberian ginseng), Rhodiola rosea root, rosemary, skullcap, pink roses & lavender flowers. (NO CAFFEINE) All the herbs were purchased certified organic or grown in my garden. Over 50% New England grown.
I have been waiting to try this tisane. For a few reasons, actually. One being I really have to be in the mood to drink most herbals. The 2nd reason being I wanted to NEED to be Simmered Down to get the full effect of this Herbal Tea.
I’ve been a “Nervous Nelly” the last few weeks because of the Holiday Hustle Bustle (I still haven’t even started shopping yet because of the awful weather we have been having) and scrambling with work, home, and crafting problems and projects! So I figured this week was as good as time as any to give this tea a whirl!
I assumed this would taste REALLY herbally and I wouldn’t like it but I will say I was pleasantly surprised and I enjoyed this cup pretty well.
ALL of the ingredients play nice and are on the mild side!
I would say a little berry and a little herb – but again – the flavors blended well and were gentle! I LOVE that this tisane did NOT shout!