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holy basil

Tulsi Pure Leaves from Davidson’s Organics

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an herb used in herbal teas that I discovered more recently in my tea drinking experience.  The green leaf smells and tastes like a gentler cousin to the Italian basil you use in cooking. Tulsi Pure Leaves blend from Davidson’s Organics uses three kinds of tulsi, Rama, Krishna, and Vana, to make up the single-herb brew.

I am always impressed by how much flavor plain tulsi has in tea form.  It tastes green, without being grassy like green teas, and buttery without being too vegetal like white teas.  It has the brightness of cooking basil without being too savory or pungent. There is an almost-cinnamon earthiness buried amongst its flavors and a sweet, crispness that reminds me of spearmint.  If you want to play up the Italian basil flavors, brew your tea with a slice of lemon and a dash of cracked pepper.

If you like tulsi on your own but want to spice it up a bit, Davidson’s Organics also offer a variety of additional blends using tulsi and other ingredients, like licorice, rooibos, mint, or hibiscus.  Don’t wait as long as I did before discovering the goodness of tulsi herbal teas, and start brewing a relaxing, restorative cup from Davidson’s Organics.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Davidson’s Organics
Description:

Davidson’s Pure Leaves blends three adaptogenic varieties of Tulsi (Krishna, Rama and Vana) to create the perfect balance of earthy and minty flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cup of Love from Big Heart Tea. . . . .

This tea has two ingredients, rose petals and tulsi, also known as holy basil. On paper, this seems too sparse. I mean I like tulsi quite a bit but I’ll be the first to stay that it shines when balanced with other herbs and flavors. Looking at the leaves in the bag, I’m slightly more encouraged. The rose petals are vibrant and numerous, and the tulsi is lush and green. Lots of big leaves, no crushed tea powder here.

Brewed, there is a lovely cinnamon-like flavor in the smell and taste. Since there is no cinnamon in the blend, I must attribute this surprising spiciness to the tulsi.  Beyond this first warm cinnamon burst, there is the familiar earthiness and sweet-herbal basil flavor of the tulsi. The rose petals are gentle, just a hint of something lighter and more romantic, which keeps the earthy tulsi from being too sour or herbaceous.

As someone who is skeptical of rose teas, I will say this one does it right: not at all perfume-like, but plenty sweet and floral.

I’m impressed by the full flavor of a this two-ingredient tea. Robust and drinkable, and a caffeine-free herbal blend to boot.

It is also a very beautiful-looking dry leaf, and with all the bright pink rose petals, which may make it a great gift for a tea-loving friend who can show off its colors in their tea cabinet.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Big Heart Tea
Description:

Cup of Love is a mild, nurturing, naturally sweet rose tea. Crafted by hand to reduce stress and soothe your soul. A floral olfactory release, just like a hug from your grandma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Holy Basil: The Secret Ingredient to My Fave Detox Tea

Fresh basil is the stuff of summer, plucked from the garden for added depth to sandwiches, or pressed between mozzarella and tomatoes for a caprese plate. Daily Detox tea from the Tea Can Company doesn’t have that kind of basil, but the smell of the dry tea leaves did bring me back to fresh summer days in our family herb garden. Instead, the ingredient this tea is Tulsi, holy basil.

There are other ingredients like rose hips or spearmint, but they take a back seat to the strong, forward flavors of lemon myrtle and holy basil.  I was surprised– usually rose hips like to make the tea pink and sour, but I had no problem sour fruit flavors, even after steeping this tea long and hot.

I love herbal teas with savory spices like sage, or chili, or fennel, and a basil tea is a great addition to this category. Lemon and basil are often used together on food, and it is no surprise that the flavors work well together in a tea. This blend sweet enough to still be a traditional tea, with plenty of creamy lemon flavors and soothing mint, but the pop of basil really sets it apart. The basil adds a “green” flavor that is very different from the usual grassy senchas or hay-like green rooibos, adding a distinctly full, leafy note.

Both holy basil and Linden blossom have long histories of sacred respect and healing properties, so the detox they provide might be both physical and spiritual, if you buy into that sort of thing.  If nothing else, you will experience the peaceful moment of enjoying a tasty cup of tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Tea Can Company
Description:

This unique blend of Medicinal Herbs and Berries provides a host of antioxidants and health benefits. A feel good drink that lasts all day. Serve hot or cold.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Poppy Fields Tisane from Indie Tea

Poppy-Fields

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi & Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tisane Description:

Tastes like jujubes :) Sweet aroma of berries, apple and chamomile. Slightly sweet on the tongue, lightly minty with a tart finish. This tea is full-bodied and rich. Sip this tea and it will calm your body and relax your mind. ahhhhh.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

So, I’m a bit behind on my Amoda Tea reviews!  This Poppy Fields Tisane from Indie Tea came in my July Tea Tasting Box, but, I’m just now getting around to reviewing it.  What can I say, when it comes to tisanes … I always seem to be reluctant to try it!

But this is one of the prettiest teas I’ve seen in a long time!  Big flower buds of chamomile, poppy and rose.  And BONUS:  No Hibiscus!  Yay!

I was excited to see Tulsi as one of the ingredients in this tea (here, it was called “holy basil”) because I have enjoyed the tisanes with Tulsi that I’ve tried.  I like the herbaceous, slightly minty, slightly spicy taste that Tulsi brings to a tisane.

In this tisane, the Tulsi offers subtle hints of the minty basil tones which are especially noticeable in the finish.  I’m noticing more of a peppery warmth during the sip from the Tulsi than the cooling mint taste.  But I like the way the Tulsi comes through in this blend, because there is a strong fruity character to this cup, and the spice gives it some added interest and depth.

The description from Amoda Tea suggests that this tastes like Jujubes … and I don’t know that what I’m tasting is Jujubes.  I’ll be honest and mention though, that I’ve not had Jujubes since I was young.  They were never really a favorite candy of mine (I didn’t like the way they stuck to my teeth).  But I did like their bright, fruity taste, and while this tisane does have a fruity taste to it, I can’t say that this reminds me of that candy.

But it is sweet with lots of fruit notes:  apple, orange, and hints of lemon.  I don’t really taste a lot of  ‘berry’ as mentioned in the description by Amoda, but, I do notice the tartness that lingers in the aftertaste.  Given the sheer number of flowers in this blend, I did expect it to taste more floral than it does.  It does certainly present a floral note to the palate, but, it’s a smooth, subdued floral taste rather than the sharpness that I often associate with floral tones.

Then again, everything about this particular blend is very calm and relaxed.  The flavor is gentle and mild.  It is a really tasty tisane … certainly better than I expected it to be given my hesitancy to actually try it.  I like the fruity overtones, I like that it doesn’t taste overly herbaceous or medicinal, and I like that there is a pleasant warm yet sweet taste to it … without adding sugar.

As I mentioned in my review of The Road To Hana (also from Indie Tea) – a tea that also came from my Amoda Tea Box for July – I have already tasted and reviewed the third tea that came in my box:  Lover’s Lane.  I was really happy to see that Amoda Tea focused in on Indie Tea, because they are a company that I really like.  They are a fun company with a youthful vibe … I like the jovial attitude they give their teas!

So this tea review gets me all caught up with my July reviews for Amoda Tea … and a good thing too, because I have August’s box waiting for me!   I can’t wait to try the teas in that box from their featured blender:  Tea Xotics … a company I’ve not yet tried!  Yay!

Marigold Lemon Tulsi Blend from The Tao of Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  The Tao of Tea

Tisane Description:

Tulsi with hints of lemony flavor makes a great combination. We chose 100% organic Australian Lemon Myrtle for the blend because it had the perfect strength to balance the brew. Complemented with the fragrant sweetness of calendula flowers.

Caffeine free.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, what a pleasant cup.  So gentle and relaxing … perfect for later in the evening (which it happens to be right now), it seems to instill a sense of serenity – I can feel the stress of the day melting away as I sip this.

It has a slight medicinal taste, but I don’t find it to be medicinal in an off-putting way.  I think a better word to describe it would be herbaceous, although there are those who would say that herbaceous and medicinal are quite similar descriptive words.  I don’t think so, though I can see how some might construe them as similar.

The slightly peppery, slightly minty tones of the tulsi meld beautifully with the light citrus-y tones of the lemon myrtle.  I don’t usually notice too much flavor from marigold petals, but because the overall character of this tisane is rather subtle the sweet floral tones do present themselves in the flavor here.

A very enjoyable, naturally caffeine-free cup – perfect for those evenings when you want to unwind.  This tea will calm your spirit and mind, and even help relieve your tension.

Very nice.