Herbal "teas" are not technically tea because they do not contain any part of the Camellia sinensis plant. More accurately, drinkable herbs and herbal combinations should be called "tisanes," "herbal blends" or "herbal infusions." Here at The Jasmine Pearl there are three bases we use for our herbal blends:
- Rooibos (or Redbush) - A South African bush that is harvested and allowed to oxidize. It is similar to black tea in body and flavor, however it contains more nutrients than tea but no caffeine!
- Green Rooibos (or Greenbush) - Comes from the same bush as rooibos, but is unoxidized. Green rooibos brews and tastes similar to green tea but has no astringency as well as no caffeine.
- Honeybush - another South African herb that is similar to rooibos. It is bold, has lots of body and contains honey and vanilla notes.
Since caffeine is not a concern when tasting herbals, we sampled a pretty extensive list of our blends at The Jasmine Pearl! Some notes on each, including their ingredients:
Rooibos, natural honey flavoring and bee pollen. This is a lovely, sweet cup with honey flavor that is great on its own - no sweetener or milk is needed.
Lavender Honey Spice -
Rooibos, cardamom, lavender, bee pollen, and natural honey flavoring. A full, slightly spicy blend with just a hint of floral notes from the lavender.
Rest Easy -
Rooibos, chamomile, lemon verbena and lavender. True to its name, this blend is calming and great in the evening. It's sweet, fruity and floral all at once.
Clementine Sunset -
Rooibos, chamomile, orange peel, orange essential oils and clementine essential oil. Clementine Sunset is delightfully fruity and light. It is wonderful both hot and iced.
Red Chai -
Rooibos, cardamom, cinnamon, anise, peppercorns, nutmeg and cloves. Great as an after-dinner or dessert tea since it doesn't contain any caffeine, this chai is full, spicy and sweet.
Lime Twist -
Green rooibos, ginger, lemon myrtle, lemongrass and lime essential oil. This blend is mellow, fresh and unique and is enjoyable both hot and iced.
Yoga Blend -
Ginger, cinnamon, honeybush, fennel, black peppercorns, cardamom and nettles. On top of being quite tasty and a tiny bit spicy, this blend stimulates digestion and warms up the body.
Dandelion root, milk thistle seed, sarsaparilla, yellow dock, ginger, lemon myrtle and honeybush. This blend is composed of naturally detoxifying herbs and has a mellow, earthy flavor.
Rose Verbena -
Lemon verbena, spearmint, rose petals and rosebuds. Rose Verbena is a great bedtime beverage as it doesn't contain any caffeine and is mellow, with citrus and floral notes.
Women's Blend -
Raspberry leaf, cinnamon, lemon verbena, orange peel, nettles, sarsaparilla, red clover and red and pink roses. The herbs were combined specifically to cleanse and balance a woman's body. It also produces a nice-smelling brew that tastes great any time of day.
Feel Better -
Chamomile, ginger, lemon myrtle, eucalyptus and peppermint. A delicious and calming combination.
Mint Medley -
Peppermint, spearmint and lemon myrtle. This blend is great for those who enjoy mint. The small amount of lemon myrtle helps bring out the best flavors (and calm the intensity) of both mint types.
Lemon Hibiscus -
Hibiscus, lemongrass and lemon verbena. Lemon Hibiscus produces a gorgeous deep pink brew that is tart, fruity and floral in flavor. Because of the bold flavor of the hibiscus, this tisane is great iced.
Red Hot Hibiscus -
Cinnamon, hibiscus and orange peel. This infusion gives a bright pink brew and is sweet and tangy. It's delicious cold and tastes similar to cinnamon candy.
Yerba mate is a shrub in the myrtle family that grows in South America. This herb has a very unique, smoky, strong flavor. It also contains less caffeine than coffee, but more than black tea, so it has become a popular drink for those trying to reduce their coffee intake.
Mint Mate -
Yerba mate, peppermint and spearmint. A refreshing combination of the earthiness and smokiness of yerba mate and the zest of mint.
Yerba Chai -
Yerba mate, cardamom, cinnamon, anise, peppercorns, nutmeg and cloves. Best with milk and sugar, this chai is more earthy and mellow than other chai varieties.
Why drink herbals?
- A lot of the astringency in tea comes from the caffeine; since herbals are often caffeine-free, astringency is not a concern.
- Herbals are very forgiving with how they are brewed. They can be brewed too hot or for too long and still taste good. If tea is over brewed it often becomes bitter but this is not true of herbals. Herbals may become stronger in flavor, however will not become bitter.
- Some herbals are said to have medicinal qualities. A couple examples: Citrus is known for providing clarity to the mind, which is good for studying. Ginger can help settle the stomach.