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Recent Tasting Notes
The more I drink the Pukka nighttime infusions, the fonder I become of them. The herbs used strike me as very good, in addition to being organic. Yes, it’s filterbag dust, but it seems to be much fresher than the standard grocery store fare. I especially the blends such as this one, Relax, which contain chamomile and oat flowering tops.
My son (8yr) was having problems falling a sleep as he felt restless and unfocused (and then worried about not being able to fall a sleep). I picked this up for him, thinking it would at least give him some placebo effect.
I don’t know if the tea really works, or if it is just because he thinks it works, but now he claims that this tea does wonders and requests to have his night-time tea every evening.
After two more glasses of Pukka Night Time, I’ve decided to increase my rating a notch or two. It tastes pretty good for a tisane, I have to admit! I also like the freshness of the chamomile, as evidenced by the vibrant yellow liquor.
One of the main taste contributors is the oatstraw flower—I think! Not sure, because I have no idea whether I have ever encountered it anywhere else before. This blend does strike me as unique, and I am happy that it is certified organic.
Could I really go an entire 24 hours without any tea-esque beverage sipped hot? It almost happened today, because though my top-floor space is fully equipped with an air conditioner (which I grudgingly acquired, though now I am grateful…), the living space downstairs feels like a sweat shop!
My solution: take a shower, and then sit in front of the air conditioning until I felt cold. Now I am sipping a bedtime glass of Pukka Love. This is a decent chamomile blend. I stand by my earlier rating, though I still do not taste much in the way of rose. The chamomile itself is very and tasty, and there is a thickness and slight sweetness to the brew—though nowhere near Tazo Rest, which is more like sugary roses somehow.
I consider Pukka Love to be a successful filterbag because I am pretty sure that this blend would taste about the same brewed from a sachet or perhaps even loose. The bright yellow hue of the liquor is the first clue that the chamomile is fresh.
Love is a genuine like for me.
I picked this up in England, and I think I only had one cup of it while I was there. I wasn’t quite ready to head off to bed yet, I wanted to organize my studio for a couple of minutes, but didn’t want anything with caffeine. I found this in the cupboard and decided to give it another try.
Initially, I don’t like it that much – it’s overly sweet, and I didn’t add anything to the tea. I think it’s from the licorice root, but I’m not sure. After a few sips, I get used to it somewhat though, and it doesn’t seem as bad. I don’t really taste the lavender though.
I’m still not sure if I like it. It could maybe do with some mint, but that might not be good in a sleep promoting tea. Maybe it’s the chamomile that I am not liking – I’ve never been much of a fan.
I am sleepy though, so I’m going to head off to my bed.
Good night, Steepster!
I am normally not a huge fan of chamomile, but I really want a good night’s sleep tonight, so this tea, which I got a bit of from Jude seemed like it would do the job.
I can taste the chamomile, and perhaps the fennel, but not much else. It’s kind of medicinal tasting, which is what I want right now.
I had fairly low expectations for Pukka Revitalise, as the first ingredient is cinnamon bark. I like cinnamon, mind you, but as a condiment or spice, not as the featured note.
It turns out that the cinnamon does not really dominate, despite its hefty proportion (26%). While detectable, the cinnamon rests on a solid base of licorice root and ginger. The liquor is golden and has the viscosity characteristic of some licorice blends. Overall, the flavor is fairly pleasing but also common to a number of other functional tisanes. Revitalise actually contains some green tea (though one would never know from the taste) and is said to be based on ancient Ayurvedic principles.
(Blazing New Rating #22)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice
My first observation about Pukka Detox is that it tastes better than Yogi Detox. Of course, they contain completely different ingredients. But that is in part why I am surprised. The number one and number two ingredients are anise seed and fennel seed, so I was predicting that I would not like this blend. Nonetheless, I was willing to give it a try!
What I find is that Pukka Detox does not smack overwhelmingly of fennel seed, which sometimes seems quite harsh to me. It’s fine in sausage (though I no longer eat mammals…), but as a major component in an infusion I usually find it to be too much. One recent example was Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Egyptian Chamomile, which has a huge fennel component nearly wiping out the chamomile.
Here the fennel blends in with the licorice and the cardamom somehow. Not sure how celery seed is contributing in a positive way, but I am happy to report that I do not taste it at all.
A solid functional tisane. I’ll probably reach for this more as a digestive than as a detox, but it’s nice to know that it does that, too!
(Blazing New Rating #6)
Flavors: Anise, Fennel, Licorice
I was feeling a bit queasy—more of a headache than a stomach ailment—so this seemed like a great time to try another one of the Pukka functional blends: Three Ginger.
With 51% ginger root, it’s no surprise that this infusion is to my liking! There is a nice ginger bite, and the aftertaste is slightly sweet from the licorice root. Other interesting ingredients are galangal (familiar to me from Thai cuisine, and related to ginger) and turmeric.
All in all, a tasty and soothing golden brew!
Now: does anyone know why this is called “Three Ginger”? Perhaps they are counting galangal as a form of ginger, so with the ginger root and the ginger extract that would make three? Still wouldn’t explain why there is no plural, though!
(Blazing New Rating #5)
For my birthday this year, I got a lot of tea (and that made me happy). Since this was on sale, it was part of my tea haul. I somehow didn’t see the green tea in the ingredient list, so I thought it was herbal… and honestly, I didn’t notice the green tea in there, so I’m still thinking it’s herbal. Honestly, it’s like an unbalanced spice chai without the black tea. Since I’m more or less used to Yogi Tea’s chai blends, the spearmint and licorice weren’t surprising and I actually enjoyed the mild sweetness that developed toward the end of the cup. I’ll probably use this as a medicinal tea or for after work, but I probably won’t be buying another box.
Flavors: Peppercorn, Spearmint, Spices, Sweet
Tonight’s bedtime brew was Pukka Love. Lots of vibrant yellow chamomile is in full evidence in this ever-so-slightly sweet blend. (That would be the licorice root…)
I now consider Pukka Love to be the much less sweet second cousin of Tazo Rest, although from the other side, it could be compared to Harney & Sons Yellow & Blue or other chamomile and lavender blends. In the case of Pukka Love, the lavender is rather low-key, but still discernible. A nice change of pace from straight-up chamomile soliflores—there is lots of chamomile here as well!
I never have very high expectations for self-identified functional herbal blends, especially when they list valerian among their ingredients, which is imediately obvious from a sniff of the dried tea bag. It really smells awful in the dried form, so the higher the concentration of valerian, the stinkier the bag.
Fortunately, the brew produced from valerian blends tends to taste much better than the scent of the dried tea bag. In the case of Pukka NIght Time, the odd dominant ingredient is oatstraw flower. Perhaps it was the power of suggestion, but I felt that this was a substantial foodish beverage because of the scent and fullness of the oakstraw flower ( I presume ). The licorice adds a touch of sweetness and the lavender is detectable with being too heavy—a delicate balance I’ve found.
Well, I drank two glasses of Night Time, and I am swiftly spiraling into incoherence.
The fennel is low-key enough in Pukka Relax not to ruin the blend, as it often does, in my experience. Here the flavor of the fennel is undeniable (both sweet and wild fennel seed are listed among the ingredients), but the licorice root makes the elixir a bit viscous and sweet, and the chamomile is also in high enough proportion (18%) to mitigate the “fennel effect”, for lack of a better phrase!
It’s not that I dislike fennel, but it is so strong that it tends to hog the stage! I recently tried the Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Italian Chamomile, for example, where the fennel acts a bit like a rowdy drunk at an otherwise peaceful and civilized party. Fortunately the chamomile in Relax is of high enough quality and also in high enough proportion to be able to serve as a sort of chaperone to the rambunctious fennel.
An induction based on two cases: Pukka appears to be better at herbal blends than at black teas—at least in the filter bag format (which they misleading term on the box “sachets”). I still find this characterization somewhat problematic and misleading. These are filter bags, not pyramidal (or otherwise) sachets. It would be one thing if the company were based in France, where ‘sachet’ often means ‘filter bag’. But Pukka is in the UK, so they ought to have someone on the staff who is fluent in English and is aware that the term ‘sachet’ now means—at least in the English-speaking world—a different format, usually containing larger leaves and offering close to a loose-leaf brewing experience.
These are filter bags. The ingredients are good, so the tea brews up pretty tastily, but let’s call a filter bag what it is: a filter bag! Fortunately, there is no claim anywhere on these boxes or envelopes of herbal infusions (as on the black teas which I reviewed a while back) that the contents of the “sachet” are whole leaves. Just the facts, ma’am: Pukka puts fannings in filter bags and houses them in beautiful packaging, oversized but nicely designed and colorful boxes which could really accommodate 30 rather than 20 bags. The larger box suggests that the contents will indeed be whole-leaf sachets, not filter bags. Earth to Pukka: Fannings are not whole leaves, and filter bags are not sachets.
Okay, I think that I’ve made my point. This tisane is pretty good, if you are looking for a licorice-laced fennel and chamomile blend in a filter bag. The infusion tastes fairly fresh to me. One reviewer seems to think that marshmallow root smacks of Stevia, but to me, the sweetness of Relax appears to derive primarily from the licorice root.