drank Comforting by Aveda
7 tasting notes

Edited via more words, not different… I know it’s long, but hey, you can save $15+ and even EFFORT just reading this tasting note… er more like tasting novella.

My review pretty much would read like Jason’s except that I’m anxious to get back to Cloud Atlas… what made me come here is that I ordered, from the God of Tea Purveyors (seriously, only someone with special holy powers can have 666 teas on his regular holding list plus another several dozen only available in-store or if-you-ask!!), the licorice root to make this—I have plenty of mint—loose, as tea, etc—and have 2oz, which btw, is like effin HUGE dried (literally a foot tall, 2" diameter bottle here) blissful but too much to use in food container of sweet basil, a pretty useless-otherwise bottle of fennel seed (just not something I am crazy about too terribly often and grinding is a PAIN for that stubborn one)… and yeah, bought 2oz licorice root, which is right at a cup, for a few bucks and voila… my try at Aveda tea.

YES I have had the real deal. Like I said, Jason’s review is pretty spot-on for what I think, as are the other snarky ones :) I dislike licorice when it’s the candy taste (isn’t that a diff part though?) but this… this is the licorice that occasionally makes teas loverly and occasionally makes them just odd. I steeped it SUPER STRONG for my home concoction, and yknow, it’s awesome, just… mmm. I’m really glad for something sweet that needs no sweetener. As for how I did it… oh, that. Well, in my masterful mug professing my super expensive education, I put a bag of Moroccan mint Numi tea (Stash seems way too harsh and my loose mint is on the old and pathetic side thanks to getting lost for months)… why bagged? Simple—my thought was “the mint will steep quick and could overpower” and in fact I DID take the mint out at 8mins (double size cup, 1 mint bag to be clear) while the rest got 12 (super strong—a bit darker than theirs but exact flavor match)… the fennel, while the water was heating in the Ibis, was chopped in half (seeds, that is, cheap McCormick seeds I got for 50c and got for the intrigue but more for the great quality bottle since I grind my own spices for teas often)… so yeah, my cutting board kept the powdery remnants and the seed halves and some wholes went in. The basil weighs SO little that basically its amount was… well, about the same as the fennel’s, but it’s definitely, considering the 1.6oz fennel bottle is tiny and the Spice Islands Sweet Basil is the restaurant size sold at (shameface)bigdollarbuybigsizestores… yeah, equal parts in terms of SIZE… now the mint bag… weight is tricky there, too—it’s light, but there’s a LOT in the Numi bag, and b/c mint goes stale fast when not individually bagged, even in the Rx bottle with UV protectant they use, well, I figured that one strong but not “whoa PNW mint, cough Halls drops taste cough” strong bag was fine. The licorice was um well just… I eyed it. Oh that sounds awful, huh, but really, I looked and sort of thought "if this beast is 2oz of basil and THAT McC jar is almost 2oz of fennel and this bag is 2oz of loose licorice and a box of 18 bags is almost 2oz of mint… let’s go for 40%licorice root, 30% mint but steeped less cause roots take longer than leaves, and 15% each fennel seed-partly halved in my sloppy haste—and 15% Spice Islands sweet basil, which is the ONLY sweet basil suited for tea that I can imagine. Literally, you smell it and think, ahhh THAT is what makes that tea aroma, well, that and GOOD QUALITY licorice root, which is like… 70% of the flavor. The fennel being steeped, not mixed with acidic tomatoes and such maybe helps it be tongue-tickling and not so soapy-anise tasting :) Considering I’m not a huge fan of licorice (at all in stuff like Yogi teas!), of fennel, or even of basil in big amounts, I’m pretty proud I managed this successful and CHEAP blend just days after my haircut, that tea grating my nerves with its ridiculous price tag!

EDIT! Yes, yes, here only 20 ounces of cheap-o avedo and a solid few letters (from one person to another, that is, not A, B, C!) in Cloud Atlas later… I RE-experimented. Not satisfied with simply recreating… here’s the deal. Want nuance, do it all or maybe toss the fennel since its impact is sort of redundant… BUT want it to honestly taste 95% like what you had there? Do this: leave out the fennel unless you want a licorice CANDY taste, and honestly, the basil, too, can go (it’s the nuance in the aroma but doesn’t play so prominently in the TASTE, only in the smell, and I know they go together but trust me, me). Steep a cup of mint tea—again, Moroccan Mint numi is perfect for this; it’s the right KIND of mint. Stash is NOT. Stash would kill the delicacy of this. So yeah, steep the mint tea like… 8 minutes. Steep separately a huge cup of LICORICE ROOT tea for… well, 12 mins is good. This way, you can find your perfect proportion if it was, say, too sweet or you are really a mintaphobe (Moroccan mint may change your mind—I hate harsh mint for drinking, but that stuff is SMOOTH like when I was in the Algarve and addicted). The amount of licorice would be about a tablespoon per 6 or 8 ounces, I think, but really, it’s a matter of its quality, which I honestly can’t judge beyond my 2 plays.

What I DID was steep all 4 ingredients in the same proportions as before in SEPARATE GLASSES, identical (yay for sets of 4), with the same le creuset ceramic adora-lid (for some funny named mini-casserole ramekin) on each. Again, set of 4. The licorice water IS the main sweet thing. The basil water is sweet but mostly AROMA so it should be steeped strong or it’ll be lost flavor-wise and be scented water. The mint is good mint, hence me owning it (I have stash strictly for making Afghan/other middle eastern food/yogurt sauces—they were free at a hotel and I hated drinking them but recognized good mint for FOOD or toothpaste!). The fennel, hmm… well… smells like fennel, tastes like licorice but not as strong, just like the pack says “faint licorice flavor” and honestly, I’m done chopping it. I actually, for steep 2, tried TWO ways: the McC fennel and… I got out my good, kosher, vivid and whoa strong smelling organic fennel seed and yeah… just not worth it to me. Basil, maybe, but here’s my thinking: mint tea, 6oz, licorice tea a solid 12, more for you mintaphobes, and that seems the right mix to get it sweet and light without needing sugar. Licorice needs NO sugar—it’s the cloying part mentioned elsewhere. I couldn’t handle it as anything but “stevia schmevia, here’s my REAL alt-sweetener (as long as there is NO high blood pressure, as licorice root ups it, ironic for a relaxing tea), ha!.” Definitely liking the ROOT, which is totally weird… smells like sawdust, brewed smells like wet plywood… and tastes sweet with honestly little BUT the sweet. The mint gives the sweetness flavor, the others adding scent. The fennel quality will matter! The old fennel steeped was just an aroma, like theirs in what I was served, I have figured. New vac-sealed whoa. For the variation in reviews, I have this to say: those who taste the “licorice” the way candy licorice is, you actually taste that fennel and you got a newer jar, less air contact, or maybe their ridiculous tea bags (cmon a dollar a cup??) are wisely individually packed and that’s what you had at the salon. What I had was from the jar—I saw—and yeah, again, 1 part mint tea steeped 8 minutes, 2 parts licorice root tea, steeped 12ish=95% like theirs, and that… is honestly good enough, right? Oh, I was saying something practical: basil is messy. Fennel not too bad but it takes some time as this TRULY needs the whole cup to swirl in, NOT a tea sac, I can’t stress enough with the size of roots, NOT A TEA SAC (I strained the first attempt over a coffee filter, and it was great, but… no need, as licorice root is a BREEZE to just spoon out, mint bags simple. So yeah, making 18-22oz (and it reheats well—mine got cold typing to you fellow tea junkies!!), I can say for sure that for THEIR balance as I had it, you want to have 1 Moroccan mint bag you take out at 8 mins then 2-3 TBSP (it’d be that true “heaping” term b/c it’s so irregular and mostly square-pieced) licorice root you leave in 12 or to taste; I’m gonna retry the supplies from these 2 cups for another and probably NOT report back, thank me very much! Anyway, to start, I’d do them SEPARATELY (and you can concentrate the mint especially, of course, and water down with fresh boiling agua later) I’d test it as you go and once it hits the sweetness YOU want, voila, you’ve found it. If you hate it sweet, you’ll want to lessen the licorice but then you’ll be having more prominent mint. This is basically a 2 core ingredient tea with 2 dispensable things that make it sound more important, add mystery because like me, nobody seems to know a thing about licorice ROOT since everything we’ve had it in has stuff like anise and fennel that make for licorice CANDY flavors (now I get why panda, etc, is considered fake by my adored ones who like the “generic sweet like sugar pills sweet” licorice candy, doh!)…

Enjoy it or not… but yes, licorice as steeped is naturally VERY sweet, so do NOT add sugar til you’ve sipped a few sips and acclimated to the peculiar product of someone’s wild, AvedaLavenderOverloadObsession-charged dreams…

Boiling 8 min or more

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