Friday, March 13, 2015
Tasting: Tulsi Teas from Organic India
Tulsi, also known as holy basil is a popular herb for tisanes. It is an herb used in Ayurveda and religious practices, and can also be found in Thai cuisine. If you do a quick search for tulsi online you'll find lots of health claims, such as it reduces stress, supports the immune system, aids digestions, etc, etc. I don't tout any health benefits of tea so putting all of that aside, I recently tasted two Tulsi teas from Organic India. Let's talk about my thoughts on the flavors.
I'm familiar with tulsi because I've purchased this tea from Happy Earth Tea in the past. I wanted something I could drink at night since I'm very sensitive to caffeine, and I hate rooibos. I find tulsi to be soothing and uplifting.
I tried the Tulsi Sweet Rose tea first since it is caffeine free and sounded interesting. The ingredients are an organic tulsi blend, organic chamomile, organic rose, organic lemon myrtle leaf, and organic stevia leaf. The dry leaves had a strong herbaceous, citrusy scent. There were notes of mellow rose and chamomile as well. I wasn't getting much tulsi, but there was quite a lot going on in the mix. The brewed tisane was slightly sweet but barely so, which is nice. I was worried that all I would taste is sweetness but it worked out well. There was a nice floral rose note which was very gentle (if you read my blog regularly you know I only like subtle rose flavors). There was definitely earthiness from the tulsi with a grassy undertone. This tea was very soothing, and is something I'll consider drinking in the evenings. It felt sunny, yet calming. The Littlest Tea Critic loves chamomile tea and I think she'll like this one as well.
I prepared the Tulsi Breakfast tea in the morning, to see how it worked as a first tea of the day. This tea is a blend of organic tulsi leaves and organic black tea. The dry leaves had an earthy, grassy, herbaceous aroma. The herb-like flavors of the tulsi were smoothed out by black tea. The flavors were pure and simple, nothing complex. I can't say that I'd drink this as a breakfast tea since I like a super bold, punchy tea in the morning. Something that will get my mind, body, and taste buds going. I'm sure this tea would wake up my mind nicely, but I think I'll save it for an afternoon pick me up.
Organic India has an interesting story that you can read about here. I was pleasantly surprised to read that the founders worked to train impoverished farmers in India to produce their products with sustainable practices. I have a couple more varieties of tulsi teas to try, and I'm curious to see how they are. Thank you to Organic India for all of the teas!