Chamomile takes center stage in Compassion For Mrs. Bennet’s Nerves. An herbal remedy known for alleviating stress-induced aches and indigestion, this flower looks a lot like a daisy thanks to its golden, fuzzy head. Peppermint, the second most common ingredient in Compassion, is also believed to help with upset stomachs. Finely chopped sprigs of this plant are mixed in with the chamomile, along with dashes of pink and purple from the passion flower, rosehips, and lavender. (By the way, Compassion comes with a printed warning that pregnant women should be careful with this tea due to the passion flower.)
One whiff of Compassion For Mrs. Bennet’s Nerves and – whoa! The fragrance punches its way out of the package with equal parts fresh, zesty peppermint and sweet, mellow chamomile. Maybe there’s a trace of fruit in there… but it’s hard to tell. Either way, the strength of this tea’s aroma shocked me. It’s invigorating enough to perk your eyes open. Which isn’t such a bad thing; it’s just not what I had expected.
For my first cup of Compassion For Mrs. Bennet’s Nerves, I brew 1 teaspoon with boiling water for 5 minutes. Out comes a honey-colored infusion that oozes the refreshing qualities of its two main herbs. Imagine a river of chamomile with the bite of peppermint flowing over your tongue. That’s pretty much what Compassion is like. This tea also finishes with a medium astringency that catches me by surprise. Each sip leaves a little dryness on my tongue and causes my cheeks to pucker slightly, especially as the liquid goes down my throat. Most herbal teas don’t have this effect on the drinker, and in my opinion it somewhat defeats the purpose of Compassion.
Experimenting with longer brew times and more dry “leaves” (1½ teaspoons) doesn’t change the experience with Compassion. Each cup blooms with bright yet somewhat sharp contrast. For this reason, I’m not sure whether I’d call this a “relaxing” tea. The peppermint acts like a stimulant, overriding any calmness the chamomile would provide. So, instead of feeling relaxed, I feel awake – not in a caffeine- or spice-induced manner, but in a pleasantly natural way. This herbal is therefore a better choice for an afternoon pick-me-up instead of a nighttime wind-down. (EDIT: Maybe my sample had a larger amount of peppermint than usual…?)
My only other comment about Compassion For Mrs. Bennet’s Nerves is that its clean-up can test a tea drinker’s patience. The wet ingredients clump together and create a thick, fuzzy carpet at the bottom of my infuser. (In case you’re wondering, I use Teavana’s Perfect Tea Maker for a western-method brewing.) I’m not sure whether the chamomile or the lavender causes this, but it takes a thorough wash and rinse to get everything out.
Flavors: Floral, Peppermint