I recently received an offer of a sample from Raizana Teas. When I first checked out their site, I was intrigued by the array of mood-based herbal teas (technically tisanes, but that’s neither here nor there). Each and every one listed, as part of the ingredients/flavors, some form of tropical fruit.
Uncertain what to try, I simply requested a popular blend and promptly received a generous package of the Mood: Happy Tea. (Thanks again for the free sample!) The package states it is a Mate Hibiscus Tropical blend – a mood enhancer and herbal supplement.
My first impression was, “My god, there seem to be a lot of chamomile in that sucker!”
I opened the bag and was immediately hit with a wall of aroma. It was so sweet, it nearly knocked me off my feet. Don’t get me wrong, I have quite the sweet tooth. But this was a little too much.
Upon more careful scrutiny, I was able to detect a hint of chocolate in the aroma (though there isn’t any in the blend itself). Once I picked up on this scent, it helped to alleviate some of the harshness that first assaulted mine senses.
I won’t lie to you – this herbal tea simply did not appeal to me.
With a generous helping of the stuff in my teapot, I poured on the prescribed hot water and allowed it to take care of its business. Briefly lifting the lid after a few minutes, I was assaulted afresh with the smell of it. Brewed, it is much milder, but still rose my hackles somewhat.
The liquor was a translucent amber (courtesy of the hibiscus). My first few sips, well… not my favorite tea drinking experience. Vastly outpaced my feelings for lapsang souchong (seriously… like drinking liquid campfire… gross), but ranked low on my charts.
Despite this, I felt the need to really give it a full shot (and mug, for that matter). With continued sips, soon to be followed by gulps, the chamomile flavor really began to make itself known in the background. Grasping to that familiar flavor like an anchor, I pressed on.
I think it’s perhaps the St. John’s Wort that I’m so unused to. Orange peel, yerba mate, stevia, and even natural guava flavor are all things I’ve encountered in the past. But St. John’s Wort is a bit of a newbie without a lot of appeal.
Yet at the end of my full mug, I came to the conclusion that, while I’ll prefer not to drink this when hot, I might like it iced. So, come the next brief warm spell before Fall truly sets in, I’m going to give it a whirl and I’ll let you know how it goes.
But I never answered my initial question, did I? What the heck IS Raizana? According to their own postcard, it “combines delicious flavors and the herbal properties that help promote good health.”
It’s herbal teas inspired by the herbal remedies the founders were fed as children by their mothers and grandmothers. With everything from the mood enhancing Happy Tea to a DigestTea for upset stomachs.
So if you’re into holistic healing and natural remedies and don’t mind a somewhat sweet flavor (especially tropical flavors), then this is the brand for you.
For me? Not so much. I feel like it could be fine every now and then, but won’t be regularly stocked in my cupboard.