What Herbal Are You Drinking

Tisanes prepared from plants not belonging to the Camellia genus
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LeoFox
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Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:50 pm

debunix wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:44 pm
Beautiful. The blend is interesting: I’m trying to imagine the taste and thinking of rose water added to cinnamon in a rice pudding: if the floral and spice are delicately handled, should be as fine a taste as it is a fine vision.
I think I should have added 1 less slice of ginger. The ginger was slightly overpowering the other components as steeps progressed. But overall it was nice!
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Victoria
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Tue May 11, 2021 9:26 pm

I’ve been boiling a lot of ginger root and mixing the extract with some dried mint leaves, and sometimes adding a splash of lemon or blood orange. Ginger very quickly settles the stomach from nausea. Day two, I ran out of fresh mint leaves that I dried from my local farmers market, so I grabbed organic peppermint tea bags from Germany that I happen to have. Smelled pretty good, 1st steep tasted ok, but a real problem is the amount of tea dust coming through the teabag because the particles are so fine. Seriously, can’t remember ever seeing so much dust, except when matcha is mixed in with sencha in some of O-cha’s and Kagoshima Seicha’s high quality sencha teabags that are nice for grab-and-go. In the future I’ll be more careful -when and if- I get herbal teas in bags, that dust is spent after one dunk, and then is just like dead dust.
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Victoria
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:14 pm

Wow, I just steeped some Hydrangea leaf that @debunix recommended. I couldn’t remember why it was recommended, but was curious so got some. The dark twisted leaf looks nice, and they have a subtle pleasant aroma. On the canister steeping recommendation is .5g/12-15oz (340-425ml)/200f/3-4 minutes. I though hmm must be a typo, so I used 1.2g/140ml/200f/3.5 minutes :shock: this is super sweet! Added at least 300ml of water, and it’s pretty tasty now, and I remember why debunix recommended this tisane - because it can be used as a sugar substitute with other roots and herbs. This is probably the best alternative sweetener I’ve tried. Now I’m curious what persimmon leaf and mulberry leaf taste like from the same Korean company, Hankook Tea Store.
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debunix
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Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:39 pm

Yulan Magnolia blossom tea, floral, spicy, citrusy, very nice, grandpa style in a Shyrabbit chawan.
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John_B
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Thu Aug 12, 2021 11:16 pm

I tried a couple of commercial blend compressed bars of tisanes from Moychay recently. I'll not mention more about the details or the post here (in Tea in the Ancient World), since part of the idea of mentioning this here instead of the blogger corner is to pass on that.



To me it's an interesting theme and form. Of course there is no extra function in pressing those, beyond making them easier to store, easier to measure out, and looking catchy (probably the main thing). Some of the blends I've tried before have been really good and others just kind of so-so, and one of these I liked more than the other. One was made on a cherry theme, which sounds good, but it ended up a bit tart, and the other was more complex, with warmer undertones. I Gongfu brewed them, which may not be ideal, but I'm so on that page that it's now a default. It was cool seeing how the different herbs transitioned, but only one of two versions actually did (the Romantic version versus Cherry Sea).

The last part I didn't get to, or never really get to, is evaluating if these are really healthy or not, if the combinations draw on any traditional practices to use herbs as a dietary input. I suppose even if that's true it's more a concern if that actually works. I may look into that, since Moychay mentioned that a trained herbalist designed at least one of these. I'm not that concerned, it's just one more thing to consider and possibly look into, since wasting time is one goal of my tea habit.

Another one that looked interesting (a vendor sent a half dozen for me to try and review, based in part on helping them with some editing work) was a mix of Da Hong Pao and willow herb (aka fireweed / Ivan chay). Then that's only half tisane, but that might be nice. I have no problems with caffeine but I do sometimes drink tea mixed with tisanes if I'm having it later in the day, cutting an inexpensive sheng version with some chrysanthemum or something such, usually to drink grandpa style while driving somewhere.
Last edited by Victoria on Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Turtles
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Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:29 am

Hello all :D

So I've been trying to make a blend resorting cranberries.. and I have some questions. I live in Portugal and I have been searching everywhere for organic dried cranberries, but I only manage to find sweetened cranberry.. which makes me wonder how bad they taste. Anyway, is it ok to make tea blend with sweetened cranberry (they are like 55% cranberry and 45% sugar)?
Last edited by Victoria on Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ethan Kurland
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Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:23 am

Welcome to TeaForum.

Need to ask why are so interested in using cranberries? (I live in Massachusetts where most of the world's cranberries are grown but most people use them rarely.)

They do produce a strong tart flavor. Buying it bottled & ready to drink, cranberry juice cocktail is popular. There are several juices that frequently get mixed with cranberry juice, water, & sugar. Less often one sees pure cranberry juice & even less frequently concentrated cranberry juice (which could serve you well). I would recommend searching for concentrated cranberry juice first.

I got some a couple of times & enjoyed adding it to some drinks (not teas of any kind). A little goes a long w
Turtles
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Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:34 am

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:23 am
Welcome to TeaForum.

Need to ask why are so interested in using cranberries? (I live in Massachusetts where most of the world's cranberries are grown but most people use them rarely.)

They do produce a strong tart flavor. Buying it bottled & ready to drink, cranberry juice cocktail is popular. There are several juices that frequently get mixed with cranberry juice, water, & sugar. Less often one sees pure cranberry juice & even less frequently concentrated cranberry juice (which could serve you well). I would recommend searching for concentrated cranberry juice first.

I got some a couple of times & enjoyed adding it to some drinks (not teas of any kind). A little goes a long w
Well because I'm trying to produce a blend aiming to reduce urinary infections, and cranberries are kinda gold in this field. Since herbal tea is all about the leaves and fruits, adding sweetened cranberry doesn't seem right to me, since it adds unnecessary sugar.
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Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:19 am

My local supermarket, Whole Foods, sells pure cranberry juice in glass jars. Even a little of that goes a long way or should I say that I always mixed it w/ orange juice.

Concentrated cranberry juice came in much smaller vessels. Usually about 8 ounces compared to the juice or cocktail which came in 48 ounce bottles.

Good luck.
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Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:36 am

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, eating dried cranberries would seem the most direct path. No matter how those are prepared they won't infuse properly.

That said I do like the idea of resurrecting tisane blends for health purposes. I wouldn't trust anyone to have put in enough research and development to actually get that right, but it's still a cool idea. Moychay's pressed tisane bars are probably the best example I'm familiar with, and even for them I have no idea how well grounded any claims to health benefits are. At least they understate that, to their credit, mentioning it as a selling point but stopping short of making specific claims, which seems to be the starting point being discussed here. There is potential there, but to me it's not a good sign that the first step being considered is how to add fruit. People can just eat fruit.
Turtles
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Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:37 am

I enjoyed reading your comment!

I understand that, but the whole point was to use the cranberries in a blend that would help prevent urinary infections. I read and still read a lot on herbal teas, although nothing of what I read is based on cientific articles approved by the medical community. I get my information from books mostly. I would never say "Drink this blend and your imnsonia will be fixed", because these infusions are only supportive (at its most). So from what I understood you would just recomend me to swap the fruit for a herb that would give equally benefits?

"There is potential there, but to me it's not a good sign that the first step being considered is how to add fruit." Although I only do this for this type of blend, I often see people making tea with fruits.
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Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:10 am

In the name of more complete conversation it will work to go further here, and consider what I'm talking about related to standard blends and health claims. These are going to be random selections, but it should make some point:


https://www.davidstea.com/us_en/tea/pom ... 68472.html

David's Tea pomegranate echinacea immunity blend:

Inspired by ingredients traditionally used in folk medicine, we’re excited to bring you a deliciously hydrating blend.

Echinacea is a popular ingredient used to help boost defences & soothe colds.
Not only are pomegranates vibrant & colourful, but they’re also known for their antioxidants.
Rosehips are popular in traditional folk medicine

Product Specifications, Ingredients:

Apple, Hibiscus, Rosehip peel, Echinacea, Sweet blackberry leaf, Candied pineapple (pineapple, sugar), Natural pomegranate flavouring, Beetroot, Licorice, Pomegranate



Not that bad, actually. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in most of this personally but probably some of these probably are related to traditional use in immune system response, and then some probably aren't. I don't think apple, pineapple, and beet would help much.


https://www.adagio.com/wellness/tea_tox.html

Naturally caffeine-free with both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, this blend is specially formulated to aid you in restoring your body to its natural state.

Ingredients & Lore

Blended With Burdock, Milk Thistle, Green Rooibos Tea, Cinnamon, Lemon Balm, Dandelion Root & Peppermint Leaves

Burdock is a plant with prickly heads known as burrs. The burrs can be a bit of a hassle when they cling to pet fur or clothing, but the usefulness of the rest of the plant more than makes up for any other irritations. The roots are common in Asian cuisine, and in the past, leaves were simmered in milk to counteract snake venom. Milk thistle is another plant with a spikey top, though with a lovely purple flower instead of a burr. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine.



It's not fair to Adagio to compare immune support and detox, since that "detox" theme is questionable to begin with, but who knows, maybe this does contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant related ingredient compounds. Or maybe not, beyond antioxidant being a really broad category.

Anyone with almost no knowledge of traditional use of herbs could probably Google around and come up with blends on par for effectiveness with these, but that's the problem. It would be hard to evaluate the material a Google search would turn up, and impossible to guess at whether combining these specific ingredients makes sense or not, related to final function or any other evaluation context (the "folk medicine / traditional lore" they are talking about).

It seems to relate more to what might sell than what might work. Or maybe that's flawed and hasty judgment on my part, and both David's and Adagio consulted reputable and skilled herbalists in creating these blends, and they really do work.

Adagio hasn't really explained what "detox" even means, and the very concept is problematic. To some extent "inflammation" might be a general problem a lot of people struggle with, even if it has nothing to do with the effect of "toxins," which would be removed by your liver and kidneys if those were in your body. Probably not eating McDonald's food would help you restore your body to a more natural state, and drinking a lot of water, and getting some exercise.

I'm actually more sympathetic to traditional herb use than all this probably comes across. I researched the background for a tisane blend a Hawaiian family friend sent me once, and the short version related to that (as I see it) is that some herbs probably are effective, but they were also used in combination with others in traditional practice, which may or may not have carried over to modern product versions:

http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.co ... ealth.html
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debunix
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Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:40 am

Tonight's too late for caffeine T was a little gamro/hydrangea, rose hips, hibiscus, birch bark, sarsaparilla and a touch of cardamom. Fruity with a smooth sweet base, and just a hint of tart. mmm
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Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:18 am

It's funny looking back at this last comment I made, mentioning David's Tea and Adagio, about how I've seen relatively disturbing allegations about both owners in the last week.

The issue with the "David" guy--who probably already sold his David's shares--stemmed from claims his new tea business was making sketchy cultural claims to sell tea (maybe not true; I didn't see anything about them rejecting that tea is mostly popular with women and hippies). Then the Adagio owner was alleged to be homophobic, and to treat employees unfairly (again maybe true or maybe not; he probably is at least a little dodgy, but that doesn't make any one person's allegations true).

To me it's nice that we can talk about tea, and encounter hearsay about producers or vendors, and then still focus on positive themes instead. Adagio, David's, and Firebelly (the new company) are all promoting tea and producing products that help expand awareness, in positive ways. If those products have issues people can move from those gateways onto other steps.
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Bok
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Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:35 am

John_B wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:18 am
Then the Adagio owner
Unrelated but – Did they actually manage to kill off Steepster by now as well since taking over? It is safe to say that Teachat is dead by now, nothing of substance added or said there anylonger...
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