7 Tasting Notes
I am writing this from bed, happily soothed by this unbelievably beautiful tea.
I am seriously astonished by this tea. It really floored me. I mix a lot of my own herbals, and to get the kind of depth that this tea brings to the table, I usually have to do a 4-8 hour infusion. Even though the tasting notes say sweet, I got a very deep savoriness from this. It reminds me of my slow-simmered bone broth. This is a very good thing: it has the same kind of feel and healing weight of a rich stock.
I brewed this tea, and decided to drink it out in my backyard. It is a cool, gloomy afternoon, I think fall is finally at the doorstep – the clouds have taken that deeper tone of grey that comes with encroaching autumn. The crows, too, call a little more urgently and harshly, which seems to happen as they sense the air shifting. This day feels perfect for this tea, this deep, rich tea. Elderberries always evoke autumn for me, too.
Anyway. I plan on drinking a number of cups of this over the next few days, to try to kick out whatever virus has taken up full residence in my body for the last few weeks. Rest, tea, and some netflix binge-watching should set me up right.
What a day. I have had what I am now referring to as “Sore Throat Apocalypse 2014”. Three weeks of a nonstop sore throat and general yuckiness! And it just won’t go away!
Anyway, that means that every afternoon I have been napping at 1:30 or so until 2, and then wake up groggy and in need of something to ease me back to the world of the living.
This Muse Blend I bought from a little tea shop in Woodstock, NY (Yes, THAT Woodstock). I love that place. I could spend every penny I have there in an hour or so on all the pretty teaware and teas.
So, the Tea. Dry, the peppermint is nearly all I get, as tends to be the case when peppermint is in a blend. I was fortunate to have tried a sample of this at the store, as I am not a fan of heavy-handed mint, and the smell alone would have put me off.
Steeped, the scent of peppermint moves to the back of the line and lemon comes shining through.
Sipped, everything works together as a whole. Lemon first – the warmth of lemon balm -followed by botanicals in the middle – the rose and lavender shine here, and I love that combination – followed by peppermint, and finishing with lemon grass left on the palate, and a slight tingle from the spearmint. It’s a beautifully balanced tea, one that I appreciate, given how many teas I have had that strive for this type of balance but end up with either heavy mint or a strong pine-sol type effect from botanicals and lemon together.
In terms of herbal application, I also enjoy the balance here: lemon balm and lavender to calm the nerves, but peppermint and lemongrass to wake up the senses. I think especially useful after a rough night of sleep, or after a too-short nap.
Flavors: Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rose, Spearmint
My husband and I were positing the other day: WHY is it that I pour obscene amounts of hot sauce on my breakfast every morning?
Answer: Because I can’t drink caffeine.
Caffeine, even in tiny amounts, makes me feel just terrible. This, of course, runs counter the problem that I have in the mornings, which is that I am not awake, and the minute I come downstairs kids are clinging to every part of my body, and all I want is a quick pick me up.
So the heat of of the hot sauce kicks me in the head enough that I jolt up a bit and get my butt in gear.
But even before I douse my eggs every morning, I have a big mug of this Yogi Ginger Tea. Before I have the energy to make a complicated loose leaf preparation, this is the bag I reach for EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. Why?
Because steeped, covered, for 10-12 minutes, this tea does what those hot sauces do, in straight drinkable form.
Peppery hot. This is by far my favorite ginger ever. I love the heat on this. There are a lot of complex flavors happening in ginger, but this tea primarily pulls from the peppery component, and it almost takes on a chili-pepper type flavor. Count this as one of the (very, very) few bagged teas I like better than a loose version. Is it maybe a little one-note? Yeah. But, I just don’t mind. It has the kind of heat that grows and warms my stomach, shakes the cold morning fog from my brain, and gets me moving for the day.
Flavors: Licorice, Pepper
Oh, how I have been spoiled all summer long with my tea garden! Bursting with herbs of every variety, multiple times a day I am out there clipping this-and-that for fresh teas (and drying some herbs for later).
Given the stressful nature of my summer – adopting FOUR KIDS at once ! – I have been relying heavily on teas that provide a calming/soothing/nerve-unjangling component. And now that we are in that part of the late summer when everything in my garden is looking sun parched and withered, I am back to my dried teas.
I prefer loose leaf, but as of late I have found myself reaching for bags, for convenience sake. I picked up Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm at my local market, because I ran out of my loose leaf and needed something to help me chill out.
The smell from the bag has that nice lemon-balm scent, with a touch of astringency, which should be there as lemon balm itself is a bit astringent (makes a good face toner!).
I steeped for 8 minutes, covered. A bit disappointed by the weakness of the taste – not that the tea itself is weak, but it doesn’t have that fresh full flavor that some of my other lemon balm loose leafs have. I feel like I would have to push this at least to 10 minutes of steeping to get the more medicinal effects of it, but then that astringency would overtake the delicateness of the lemon balm. I think I will end up doing an infusion with the bags – a few hours in hot water – and then adding some hibiscus and chilling the whole thing for a cold tea.
Anyway, all that to say, not my most favorite tea. I usually have decent luck with traditional medicinals, but I wouldn’t buy this again. However, it does make me feel mildly relaxed, so it is effective.
First off, I am a big fan of Oat Straw tea, and was sad to see no one had listed any yet here on Steepster!
Oat Straw is such a mild, lovely tea. Great for kids and adults alike, it has a super mild, grassy and slightly sweet flavor that is like a warm summer day in a mug.
It has fantastic properties, too – high in b vitamins and magnesium and calcium, it is a great “nerve tonic” – super soothing and calming. Perfect before bed.
Anyway. This oat straw is high quality and really fresh smelling and looking. Nice mild grassy/oat flavor. I use this primarily to blend into other herbal blends. I steep for 5 minutes, but sometimes make an infusion and let steep for 4 hours.
I like red raspberry tea for two reasons: One, because I don’t drink caffeine, and it’s great as an iced tea – tastes very similar to black tea.
Two, because it has some really great health benefits, particularly for women.
I tend to turn to Yogi teas when I am feeling lazy and don’t want to brew up my loose leaf. I am happy with the consistency of the quality of Yogi for the price. The flavor is not as full as I get with my loose leaf, but it definitely does the job.
I steep for 10 minutes.