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#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!

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea

summer_rainTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White Tea

Where to Buy: Art of Tea

Tea Description:

The taste of fresh sliced melon washes the palate and refreshes the spirit. A special blend of organic white tea fully infused with the fresh essences of cantaloupe and jasmine. Perfect as an iced tea or after a meal.

Caffeine Content: Medium

Tasting Notes: Fruity, Crisp, Light

Learn more about this tea here. <– Update this link to the vendor’s product page. Don’t forget to remove this instructional text!

Taster’s Review:

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea is a wonderful delight!  This loose leaf white tea is fruity, crisp, and light in touch, feel, smell, and taste.  The dry leaf smells very much like cantaloupe and when you add the hot water the natural jasmine aroma comes into play a bit more.

I have enjoyed this tea both hot and cold.  The thing I find almost as fascinating as the flavor is the sight of this tea once infused.  This is one of the darker white teas I have seen to date!  Just by looking at it in the cup you may mistake it for a light to medium strength black tea instead of a white tea.

Summer Rain by Art of Tea makes me want to get back into the white tea phase of my tea drinking days!  It helps warm these winter moments and promote dreams of summery weather once again!  Two thumbs up on this white tea – Summer Rain – from Art of Tea.

 

Ginger Beer Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

10526dt01var0028998-bi-1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tisane

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Sweet, spicy, refreshing…is there anything tastier than a good ginger beer? Since its introduction in 18th century Britain, this fizzy, golden drink has been a hit everywhere from the lunch counter to the cocktail bar. And with warming ginger and sweet apple, this tasty blend is our take on the classic. We love sipping it after a heavy meal, or to soothe a sore throat. Up for experimenting? Brew it strong and top up with sparkling water and a splash of vodka, for a twist on a Moscow Mule. Cheers!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Last week I stopped at DAVIDTEA after work around when I was starting to get sick/just realizing I was sick and I picked up some tea to drink later and grabbed a hot “To Go” cup of this as well. I picked it out because it’s the new Tea of The Month but I realized much later it was actually probably a good choice because of the ginger as well since that’s a good thing to drink when you are sick.

I was a little taken aback! I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Ginger Beer. Every time I’ve tried it it’s just been a little too concentrated and spicy for my liking. And actually, I’m also just not a huge fan of ginger in general. However, that said, I actually found this pretty enjoyable. It’s not like it didn’t taste like Ginger Beer either; the ‘zippyness’ and almost ‘bubbly’ ginger flavour was accurate to my memory of Ginger Beer and very well captured the spirit of the drink. This was just much lighter overall and didn’t have that ginger burn that comes with too concentrated ginger. I dislike that sensation so much. Instead it was more of a mild ‘tingle’.

Of course, ginger isn’t the only flavour going on in this blend. I also tasted notes of honey and apple, both of which were quite nice and provided a sweet juxtaposition from the ginger. However, the most interesting flavour I tasted was lime!? I’m not sure where that’s coming from at all because there are no ingredients that should be contributing that flavour however it’s definitely something I tasted, and I quite liked it. Maybe it’s because I was slightly sick and my sense of taste may have been a little off. I’m not sure.

Overall? I wouldn’t buy this again but I liked it and for me that’s more of a ‘win’ than I ever expected with this blend. If I did drink it again, it would probably only be to see if I could taste the lime again when I’m not sick.

Gielle 1st Flush Darjeeling Black Tea from Harney & Sons

gielle_1st_flushTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.

Organic Mango/Pear Deluxe White from ESP Emporium

mangopearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

The natural friendship of “East meets West” is portrayed when we look at the flavor composition mango and pear in this organic blend. Any possible early shyness as to whether this is really the perfect match was gone the minute these two fruits met on the delicate white peony tea. A must have organic creation!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mango isn’t always a flavour that appeals to me, but I’ve tried a few paired with a white base and they’ve all been pretty enjoyable. On top of that, I really like pear though honestly I’m unsure how the pairing will do. It’s not one I’ve seen done often, and I’m worried that the mango may mask the pear if it’s not over the top.

I made this one as a cold brew, and honestly I’m not loving it though I don’t hate it either. The white base is acting as a very good blank canvas for the flavour; you can hardly taste any contributions from it except for maybe some lighter honeysuckle notes. Whether that’s good or bad would I guess depend on your personal tastes. The main reason I’m not all over this is that it might as well just be a mango tea; I can’t taste the pear at all. The mango is nice though; it’s got a light ‘spritzer’ kind of vibe to it, and is tropical but almost in a citrusy tangerine sort of way. I’m enjoying what I’m tasting, it’s just totally not what I was hoping for.

That’s alright though; you can’t love every tea and somewhere out there someone’s looking for an organic mango tea on a white base and this is probably perfect for them.