Oh, how I have been spoiled all summer long with my tea garden! Bursting with herbs of every variety, multiple times a day I am out there clipping this-and-that for fresh teas (and drying some herbs for later).
Given the stressful nature of my summer – adopting FOUR KIDS at once ! – I have been relying heavily on teas that provide a calming/soothing/nerve-unjangling component. And now that we are in that part of the late summer when everything in my garden is looking sun parched and withered, I am back to my dried teas.
I prefer loose leaf, but as of late I have found myself reaching for bags, for convenience sake. I picked up Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm at my local market, because I ran out of my loose leaf and needed something to help me chill out.
The smell from the bag has that nice lemon-balm scent, with a touch of astringency, which should be there as lemon balm itself is a bit astringent (makes a good face toner!).
I steeped for 8 minutes, covered. A bit disappointed by the weakness of the taste – not that the tea itself is weak, but it doesn’t have that fresh full flavor that some of my other lemon balm loose leafs have. I feel like I would have to push this at least to 10 minutes of steeping to get the more medicinal effects of it, but then that astringency would overtake the delicateness of the lemon balm. I think I will end up doing an infusion with the bags – a few hours in hot water – and then adding some hibiscus and chilling the whole thing for a cold tea.
Anyway, all that to say, not my most favorite tea. I usually have decent luck with traditional medicinals, but I wouldn’t buy this again. However, it does make me feel mildly relaxed, so it is effective.