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soothing

Fennel Licorice from Hampsted Tea and Coffee. . . .

Fennel and licorice go hand-in-hand in my opinion.  The fennel bulb has very licorice-like notes among its green herbal flavors, complementing the black-jellybean anise flavor we recognize as licorice.  This blend from Hampstead Tea & Coffee also adds a touch of peppermint to provide a more dynamic flavor profile.

In order for me to drink tea all day long, I need naturally caffeine-free herbal teas to balance out the menu. I love popular herbal tea flavors like ginger and mint, but I am always on the lookout for more unusual herbal teas to add to my cupboard.  Fennel and Licorice certainly qualifies as a less traditional herbal blend to keep in the rotation.

Beyond the flavors, these herbs offer some healing effects.  Fennel helps with digestion and is said to promote feelings of comfort and relaxation.  Licorice root works as a natural sweetener, helping you cut down on the sugar, as well as serving as a sore-throat soother if you are coming down with a cold, or if you need to prepare yourself to perform an opera.

If ginger teas are too spicy and mint teas too much like menthol, try this Fennel and Licorice blend to invite a new set of herbs into your teacup.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea & Coffee
Description:

Keeping harmony within you is important to help balance the demands of a busy and impactful life. Fennel and Anise seeds in with selected Liquorice root and Peppermint leaves will keep you focused and posed for action.

Fennel is an excellent digestive and breath freshener, valued for its comforting and balancing effects. Our unique infusion blends fennel seeds, liquorice root and peppermint leaves to help regulate the digestive system.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wildest Mints from Story of My Tea. . . .

Sometimes I can’t believe I haven’t tried a combination of some simple, favorite ingredients.  Wildest Mints from the Story of My Tea blends peppermint, clove, and licorice into an herbal brew.  Three simple, flavorful ingredients, no added flavoring, no caffeine. Wildest Mints is a great herbal blend to keep in your cabinet for soothing mint with little something extra.

Story of My Tea recommends this brew be iced.  Drinking it cold enhances the already refreshing rush of brewed peppermint and is just the right flavor for an especially hot day.  The licorice and cloves add some herbal sweetness and bring more texture to the feeling of this tea on your tongue and throat.

I also like this as a hot brew, maybe as an after dinner cup with plenty of peppermint to help with digestion.  When warm, the peppermint brings a little creaminess to the cup along with its familiar cool, crispness. The cloves are more prominent in a warm brew, and I adore their dark and spicy aftertaste and buzzy mouthfeel.  As always, the licorice is sweet and soothing.

Who knew there could be so much going on with just three classic ingredients?  Story of My Tea clearly did!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Story of My Tea
Description:

The main ingredient of this calming blend is peppermint, this herb has several millennia of history. There are records that show Peppermint was used by the ancient Egyptians around 1,000 B.C. The Romans grew peppermint gardens for its use as a digestive aid they also used it as a grown cover between the stepping stone pathways. The Japanese valued it so highly that they carried peppermint in small silver boxes that hung from their belt. Peppermint was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as a hybrid between water mint and spearmint. Today this plant is cultivated in many regions of the world.

The second ingredient is licorice root, a plant native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia. It brings a natural sweetness to this blend and is valued by both eastern and western medicine for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and “harmonizing” properties.
Finally, the cloves. These aromatic dried flower buds used in Asian, African, Mexican, Near and Middle East cuisine add just the right spice balance to this blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Soothing Chamomile from Balcony Teas. . . .

This is one of the only teas in my current review box that came in a sachet, and I’m so glad that it did! The visual presentation of the pyramid sachet with the large floral accents within this blend made this tea a beautiful pre-brew piece of art. This blend has a distinctive chamomile aroma due to the fact that this blend has the full chamomile flower. In addition to the visual of the chamomile flower, you can also see the lime flower that is included in this blend. The sachet that Balcony Tea uses for this blend is an exceptional choice as the smallest tea leaves did not get into my brew, but this particular sachet also allows for an even flow of water to the leaves and provides an option for those of us who need to brew on the go.

I opted for this tea as we’d had a tantrum filled night at my house with a toddler who was still testing the ability to stay up as late as she wanted. Once brewed, I continued to be able to smell both the chamomile as well as the wildflowers included in this blend. I was able to enjoy this blend straight or with a splash of honey. Balcony Tea does suggest that you do not add milk to this blend, and I would agree as I think the milk would mask some of the brilliant (but delicate) flavors in this tea. This was great for both calming my nerves after a rough day and getting me ready to relax in bed. Great chamomile blend!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Balcony Teas
Description

Feel transported to a beautiful evening in the Mediterranean. All is calm and you can smell wild flowers. Perfect for a moment to yourself or to wind down after a busy day.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Aria blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

Immediately evident in the dry leaves are whole cloves and some seed pods that I thought at first were anise but, after looking at the ingredients, I decided must be fennel. The attractive-looking combination also includes bits of licorice and marshmallow root as well as orange peel and peppermint plus cinnamon and ginger.

I used a heaping teaspoon of the tea leaves in a cup of water at approximately boiling temperature and then watched it steep for about the next four minutes. It smelled all nice and licorice-y while steeping and became a nice light yellow color, which reminded me a bit of a medium-strong green tea.
When I sipped it, I noticed right away the very present flavor of anise (licorice). It reminds me of the “throat coat” tea I grew up drinking whenever I had a cold, except that it’s a bit more delicate and refined in how it presents the licorice flavor. The licorice still manages to overpower the other flavors in the cup, though. I tried really hard and detected a hint of tingly spiciness from the cloves (I think. Or was I just making that up? I may have been just making that up), but I didn’t detect a noticeable presence from any of the other components. This was a little surprising as I’d seen citrus peel in the cup and that’s generally pretty strongly flavored. Fortunately, the licorice flavor itself was quite pleasing.
The effect of the tea is definitely soothing and relaxing to the throat. It’s a bit viscous as if it had lots of honey in it (likely because of the marshmallow root), which makes it even more soothing. It’s also caffeine free, which means it’s non-stimulating. This can be important when your throat is irritated and you’re trying to relax-soothe it, and it’s also good for singers in general especially near a performance because, according to some experts, caffeine can have a detrimental effect on the voice (the vocal cords, that is).

 

I’d say this tea would probably great for reducing throat irritation/scratchiness/etc, whether you have a cold or allergies or have just overused or abused your voice recently. (Which I haven’t. But I’ll be sure to use this tea next time my throat is feeling under the weather!) It probably can’t work miracles, like if you have laryngitis and are hoping to still go on stage or something, but it does have a markedly soothing effect. Also, this tea can be re-steeped! So you can use it over and over again, although I personally didn’t test to see how many cups of tea it will make so I can’t give a figure. I’d recommend this tea for not only singers but anyone who might sometimes overuse their voice or who might have to use their voice while sick, like teachers (can’t stop teaching just cause you have a cold!).


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company
Description

A singer’s best friend! This herbal blend was originally designed for Portland’s very own Hampton Opera Center. Licorice, marshmallow root, cinnamon and mint are some of the ingredients used in this blend to provide relief and aid to the throat. Aria satisfies, soothes and warms.

Caffeine-Free.

Licorice Root*, Fennel*, Clove*, Cinnamon*, Orange Peel*, Ginger*, Peppermint*, and Marshmallow Root.

*Organically Grown.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Floral Herb Tisane from Chi Whole Leaf

Floral HerbTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Chi Whole Leaf

Tea Description:

A beautiful blend of Indian Rose Petals, Egyptian Hibiscus and Jasmine. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I keep wanting to call this matcha…

Honestly; I was a tiny bit scared to try this one. Hibiscus is one of three ingredients in this one, but frankly the entire thing looks like ground up, powdered hibiscus and unless you’re really into hibiscus in the first place that sounds pretty horrible.

That said, after the hot water hit the powder in the bottom of the mug and I had this all whisked up all of that fear melted away. The aroma is very floral and feminine but maintains a wonderful delicateness. How often do you get to call a blend with hibiscus delicate!? Not often – that’s for sure. More so than anything else I thought the rose was the most flavourful component of this tea but it’s not even close to the intensity necisarry for this blend to come off tasting chemical, artificial, or even perfumey. As a whole, it’s actually delightfully mellow.

Maybe it’s because hibiscus is so often paired with berries, but in addition to the sweet and supple floral notes I feel like there’s a hint of watered down berry flavour. The jasmine is the hardest part of this for me to taste; it’s blending in with the rose very well. I really enjoy this blend a lot. My only word of caution would be for people who dislike overly floral teas; but even they might like this because it’s been tastefully done. Even people who are generally turned off by hibiscus would likely like this. Bonus points for being quite affordable; $10.00 for 100g, and it really doesn’t take much at all to make a mug – approximately 1/2 tsp.

Also, many thanks to Will at Chi Whole Leaf tea for sending me the full range of teas currently offered on their site for reviewing! He was very quick to ship things, and in addition to the tea itself he included a very informative pamphlet that broke down the ingredients of each tea. I look forward to trying the rest of the set!