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!

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 11 from Teanzo 1856

It’s Day 11 in this Holiday Countdown!  After this, my 11th tea in the Advent Calendar from Teanzo, I only have 13 teas left.  Which means that there will only be 13 days left to shop, and 14 days until that magical day!

day2-1For today’s artistic inspiration, I chose this adorable little tree ornament created by Carol Westphal.   Isn’t it cute?

The ornament is crafted on heavy card stock to give it some weight, and the papers have been layered to give it some dimension.  There are cute little sparkly accents that were added to draw the eye to the ornament, including a ‘frame’ of silvery Krylon paint pen.  It may seem like a rather “simple” piece but it’s one that always seems to catch my eye when it’s hanging on the tree.  The bright white color is a pleasing contrast to the other colorful ornaments.  Sometimes the simple things carry the most impact.

Organic Chamomile

chamomileTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

The Ancient Egyptians dedicated Chamomile to their Sun God and valued it above all other herbs. Chamomile tea has a fragrance reminiscent of an apple blossom, and is calming after a long day. Sip Chamomile tea it by itself or for added pleasure mix with a squeeze of honey or lemon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Just as today’s ornament might be called “simple” – today’s tea is one of the simple “staples” that just about any tea drinker usually has on hand.  But just because Chamomile is one of those “staples” doesn’t mean that just any Chamomile tea will do!  It’s smart to find a good quality Chamomile, like this one from Teanzo!

I liked that when I opened the sample pouch and emptied it into the basket of my Kati Tumbler, I could see big, whole chamomile blossoms, not a bunch of crushed flower dust.  Sure, there were some smaller bits in there too – that’s normal because some damage does incur in packaging and such.  But, about 95% of the contents of the pouch was whole ORGANIC flowers.  When it comes to chamomile – this is the good stuff!

The dry aroma was a combination of flower and honey, with light, fruit-like notes.  It’s quite a pleasant aroma.  Having never really been a big fan of chamomile in the past, I haven’t spent a lot of time smelling chamomile.  But I actually quite enjoy the fragrance.

To brew this, I steeped these blossoms in 195°F water for 8 minutes.  I usually let chamomile steep for a full 10 minutes, but I decided I’d try it at 8 and see how it tastes.  And it’s quite pleasant!

The flavor is sweet, with notes of honey and pollen.  I also taste notes of sweet apple.  As I taste this, I find myself thinking it might be quite tasty with a bit of cinnamon (apple and cinnamon work quite nicely together).  Hints of flower.  It always kind of surprises me that chamomile has less floral taste than other flowers.  It’s still a flower … I guess I always expect more of a floral note from it.

Over the past few days, I’ve been battling a cold.  I was fortunate to have quite a few reviews “on queue” waiting for their scheduled publication because I’ve not been writing many reviews over the last few days because of this cold.  My taste buds were not quite up to snuff and I didn’t want to attempt to write a review with an impaired palate.  This is actually the first review that I’ve written since that time – and I feel like my taste buds are back in working order.

I shared that bit of information with you because while many of my symptoms have diminished, I still have a bit of a scratchy throat from coughing.  This chamomile is quite soothing on the itchy throat!  I have never really tried chamomile as a soother of a throat, I’ve usually turned to teas with ginger or lemon (or a combination of both) and sweetened them with honey to calm the throat, but chamomile is quite a lovely, comforting tea too!

Above I mused about combining chamomile with some cinnamon, I suspect a bit of ginger would be quite nice too – perhaps some candied ginger!

Really, it’s a nice cup of chamomile.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s certainly nice to sip on as my taste buds have just recovered from my cold and my throat still needs comforting.  I like the quality of this chamomile:  I like that these are whole blossoms and they’re organic – this is top notch.

Royal Camomile from Hampstead Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Hampstead Tea

Product Description:

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

Naturally caffeine free.

Ingredients: Fairtrade camomile flowers

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the pouch of this tea bag, I was amazed at just how fragrant the chamomile was.  Yes, I’ve smelled chamomile before, but, usually it is a much more subtle aroma than this.  The scent here is so strong, much stronger than other bagged chamomiles that I’ve tried.  Such a lovely fragrance – sweet and flowery.  Beautiful.

And the bouquet is not the only unexpected thing about this tea – the flavor is very surprisingly good.  I know that I have been harsh in the past about chamomile, especially bagged chamomile.  But this bagged tisane is changing my beliefs about chamomile in a tea bag!  This is lovely!

The flavor is light and flowery with a crisp apple-like note.  It is a very soothing, comforting tisane – especially later in the evening when I’m getting ready for bedtime.  Especially good with a drizzle of honey.

I do recommend steeping this (and all botanical teas) at a below boiling temperature.  When the water is too hot, it really seems to destroy the flavor of the chamomile.  I think this is one reason why I disliked chamomile so much in the past – because I was brewing at too high a temperature.  Keep the temperature below boiling, and you too will be rewarded with a pale gold cup of tasty goodness!