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Lemon Balm

Catnap from Aka Tea

I misread the name of this tea at first, and thought it said “Catnip.” Turns out I wasn’t far wrong, because this blend does actually contain catnip. It’s even more fitting when you consider that the company logo, and indeed the majority of their blends, are cat themed.

Catnap is purportedly a relaxing blend, containing chamomile, mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm…and catnip. In my head, catnip isn’t something I typically associate with relaxation – it conjures images of bright-eyed, mischief-making kittens. Maybe in humans the effects are different.

Noticeable amongst the dry leaf are small whole chamomile flowers, pieces of lemongrass, cinnamon chips, bright blue cornflowers, and finely shredded mint (and, assumedly, catnip) leaves. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 4 minutes in boiling water, no additions. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow-orange, the scent generically herbal with an edge of sweet mint.

To taste, it’s a little danker than I was expecting, more a dark, sludgy herbal than a bright, clean, refreshing one. Mint is the main flavour – there’s the characteristic cooling peppermint, the sweeter edge of spearmint, and then a borderline vegetal flavour that I’m assuming is the catnip. I’m putting it with the mints because that’s how it comes across to me – minty, but with a definite swampiness about it. Underneath all of those runs the cinnamon, adding a warming spiciness. I’m not sure that it pairs 100% successfully with mint, though. It’s not a flavour combination I’ve come across many times before, and I’m pretty sure there’s a reason for that…

The lemon emerges in the mid-sip, and lifts what could have been a fairly uninspiring cup into brighter territory. The lemongrass adds another layer of sweetness, combining hay-like notes with a light citrus, and the lemon verbena and lemon balm also help to heighten this impression. The chamomile makes itself known at the end of the sip, with its typical thick honey notes. It pairs well with the lemongrass, and moves this blend more firmly into “relaxing tea” territory.

To me, this is a tea of two halves. The initial sip is very heavy on the mint and cinnamon, but that fades pretty quickly and is replaced by the citrus-honey flavours that seem to develop further as it cools. It’s certainly a unique blend, but I’m not sure it’s one I’d seek out especially frequently, primarily because I find the flavour combinations a little too jarring.

Having said that, this is an interesting caffeine-free option, and it’s different from most other “relaxing” blends I’ve tried. If you’re looking for something a little unusual to brighten up your evening tea drinking, this could well be the blend for you. Cat lovers may well award extra points also!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Aka Tea

akateaDescription:

CatNap, anyone? Sometimes that’s just what the doc ordered. Catnip is not just for cats. It has been known to help humans relax, relieve headaches, and calm the nerves. Curl up with a cup and “cat”ch some z’s.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

#MusicandTeaMonday: Sweet Dreams Herbal from AstroloTea

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

at_logo_headerDescription:

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!

High-C from Red Clover Tea and Herbs

HighCTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Red Clover Tea and Herbs

Tea Description:

A hibiscus base tea infused with citrus, berries and spices all known for their Vitamin C content is formulated to provide you with an extra does of Vitamin C while the Wood Betony and Lemon Balm are known to support the nerves leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. The blend is a beautiful light pink color and produces an exotic aroma of spices and berries. A sweet and warm flavor gently soothes the body and warms the belly giving you a sense of comfort and ease. It’s great warm or cold as a spritzer. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Have you ever looked at a tea and just thought this tea is going to be amazing? The smell was fabulous and you could tell that this tea was going to have the wow factor?

I had never heard of Red Clover Tea and Herbs until the other day when I was on Twitter.  I checked out their site and couldn’t believe the amount of teas they offered.  I was excited when my nicely packaged box arrived with a few teas to sample.

High-C has this amazing delicious fragrance to it.  It has that smell that reminds me of apple butter but with quite a bit of cinnamon thrown in for good measure.  Such a nice jelly/jammy flavor. I steeped this up according to the packaging on the tin, enjoying watching the color of the water turn  to a lovely pink color.

Took my first sip, all the while still enjoying the beautiful fragrant notes of apple butter.  Wow.  This has to be one of the best herbal teas I’ve ever had.  Their is hibiscus in the blend but not an overwhelming amount.  Just enough to provide a bit of a tart flavor.  Like what you would get from a green apple.  The cinnamon is lovely and gives that hibiscus apple note something to contrast with.  The two flavors together really taste fantastic.  The cloves are there but are not dominating like a lot of other clove teas I’ve had in the past seem to be.  Wood Betony is also listed as an ingredient.  I wasn’t sure what flavor it was bringing to the table.   From what I’m seeing from Wikipedia, this herb was considered one of those herbs that would cure what ails you. Another herbal that is in this mix that I’m not 100% familiar with is red clover.  Another herb I’ll need to research more.

This organic herbal tea is simply amazing.  The taste is perfect and matches the fall weather that is coming soon for us here in the Mid-West.  I would love to try this tea in muffin mix, as a tea pop, as an iced tea. . .The notes of the apple cinnamon jammy sort really play well with experimenting.

Dreamy from heartfeltMenagerie

dreamyTea Information:

Leaf Type: Herbal

Where to Buy:  heartfeltMenagerie

Tea Description:

Organic Herbal Tea, homegrown and carefully hand blended to please the palette and soothe the soul. The healing herbs used in this blend are helpful in relieving stress, digestive discomfort, and promoting a cozy night’s rest.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love chamomile teas.  I drink a lot of them too.  At night there really isn’t anything more soothing than to drink a nice glass of chamomile tea, relieving the stress of your day.

I picked up a couple teas from this adorable shop on Etsy.  This was the second one I’ve reviewed for SororiTea Sisters and this one I am extremely pleased with.  This tea originally has lavender in it.  I have yet to find a lavender tea that I really like.  So I emailed the owner and she was able to remove that from the blend.  Score one for Customer Service!

I first had this one hot the other night with my boyfriend.  We liked it, but it honestly tasted like a lot of chamomile teas.  The chamomile really took over.  The rest of the flavors just played to the side a bit and created a nice pleasing quality to it.  Overall I did like it, but I can’t say it would stand out among  other chamomile herbal teas.

So I dropped the tin in my work backpack and figured I’d try it at work.  This is where the tea that was the wallflower tea really stood out to me! Iced this is fantastic! It tastes like a sweet lemon dessert with hints of mint.  There is also a creaminess to it.  I am loving it.  I think iced is the one to go with this one. I recommend this one for a tasty afternoon treat or even in the morning if you are going caffeine free.  Glad I ordered two tins of this!

Keith’s Delicious Tea from Because UR Priceless

KeithsTeaTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Because UR Priceless on Etsy

Tisane Description:

KEITH’S DELICIOUS TEA is a sunny, uplifting combination of lemon balm, calendula blossoms, and peppermint. This blend is particularly good when you add a spot of honey to your tea cup. This is my husband’s favorite herbal tea blend. (I’ll let you guess who it’s named after, lol.)

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a nice, mild-tasting tisane.  It kind of surprises me to say that about a tisane with peppermint in the mix because peppermint can be a very strong and assertive herb.  But here, there is a nice balance between the lemon balm and the peppermint.

The sip starts out with an herbaceous note.  This herb-y flavor remains throughout the sip, with specific flavor profiles developing as the sip progresses.  A moment or two after I’ve taken a sip, I start to pick up on notes of peppermint.  Just before the midway point, I can taste the citrus notes of the lemon balm.  The finish is crisp and cool from the peppermint and these minty notes linger into the aftertaste.  It is in the aftertaste when I can really taste the bright lemon-y notes too.

It’s a refreshing herbal blend that’s naturally caffeine free.  It has a soothing quality to it, and the minty notes continue to build as I continue to sip.  Now that I’m more than halfway through the cup, I can draw a breathe inward and I taste and feel the minty sensation on my palate.  But even though I’m getting a strong essence of mint, the presence of the lemon keeps it from tasting like mouthwash.

To prepare this tisane, I poured the sampler into the basket of my Kati tumbler and my ‘eyeball’ measurement told me that it looked just right.  Trust me, I’ve been doing this a while.  I heated the water to 195°F and and poured 12 ounces of water into the tumbler and let it steep for 10 minutes.  Then I strained the tea and enjoyed.  The description above suggests adding a dollop of honey to the cup and I think that would make a very nice addition.  I drank the tisane straight up and it was enjoyable but I think that a little sweetness is called for with this.  The crisp peppermint and the sunny lemon-y notes of the lemon balm would benefit from the contrast of a little honey.

Overall, an enjoyable cup.