Review: HELPS Kids Breathe

Blue Mallow Tea, Elderflower Tea, Fennel Tea, HELPS Tea, Herbal Tea, Medicinal Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The thyme and toasty fennel make great companions and map out an ample playground for an herbal but the prominent earthiness of the thyme might not be so kid friendly."
Raven’s Teaview: 5.7/10
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Have you ever caught your breath? I mean really. I can cup my hands over my mouth to try, but do you really know it’s in there with all them non air-tight finger gaps? I’ve been winded but with colds, allergies, asthma and other times when one’s breath seems to get lost more easily, you can wish you could catch your breath. HELPS thought tea could help at such times, as they bring an assortment of health inspired blends for both kids and adults which is a neat thing. As kids can be finicky fluid fanatics, particularly when Elmo isn’t on the box, I was interested to try HELPS' Kids teas, in particular, and their Breathe tea caught my eye. As a sixty percent organic blend of thyme, fennel seeds and the flowers of linden, elder and mallow, their Breathe mix combines familiar ingredients in a new way that sounds like it might taste as good as any benefits it might provide to clear up children's airways. Although HELPS doesn’t quite give any additional evidence to the efficacy of their remedies, they do offer a selection of unique blends. Their website is a might busy and not the easiest to navigate but it is a playful site. All of their teas come easy to brew, in bags, which makes things easy, while the packages keep the bright colours of their website logos which is fun too.

Opening the package, the bouquet took me right off the bat, although it isn’t an intensely aromatic scent. It’s really quite earthy with an almost bit of peppermint cool. The earthiness made me think of potting soil but that’s pretty much thyme or dried thyme. So in that sense, the scent has a fresh vigor, rather than being actually dry or papery scented. The thyme aroma has a pleasing base of toasted fennel seeds running below it, giving the scent good structure and some dimension, as they find a dandy harmony. The toasted fennel notes add more of a nuttiness with subtler licorice ones so it isn’t a really sweet scent but it is quite hearty for an herbal blend.

To add to the portability of the teas, the brewing suggestions are kindly provided on the package. Thus following suit, I steeped the bag for five minutes with boiling water. While the brew is a bright golden sunflower yellow, it is slightly murky as it opens with a similar scent as the dry leaves. It actually makes me a bit sad as the odds of tempting a child to have it seems wishful based on the shrivelled nose the scent elicited when I offered a sniff to a non-tea drinking friend of mine as a stand-in for my nephews. So the aroma centers on thyme, both earthy and a touch minty, but not intensely so, in a clear the sinuses kind of way, which I thought a breathing aid might, but it is somewhat reminiscent of herbal coughdrops. It isn’t a green scent, bearing more likeness to dried thyme, while having an herbal freshness without dry or stale notes. The mallow petals play into this as they lend a cooked petals or cooked iceberg lettuce aroma that isn’t floral but a bit moist. Also in stride, the fennel rolls out the bouquet with a light finish of nuttiness, more than licorice, with its kind of round toastiness. It’s not such a bad scent, but wholly, it is rather earthy.

Yet happily, the flavour is perkier, while it also has a commendable gusto to satisfy. The medium flavour opens to cooked thyme, which isn’t as earthy and is just as when having dried thyme in a broth. This leads into the warmth of the toasted fennel seed flavour which adds a nice body and is only mildly licorice-like. The touch of nuttiness to the seed flavour is the highlight with a sturdy enough spiciness to lend some weight and fullness. The flavour still veers on the lighter side, in the sense it still drinks like a tisane but the thyme and the fennel hang marvelously well together. Plus, the mildness may be better for little ones I guess. Falling into a light to medium finish, thyme lightly hangs in one’s breath.

I did attempt a second steeping of the sachet, just for chance, and the brew becomes a greener hue remaining quite colourful. However, the taste falls and shifts considerably to a very light flavour of seed hulls and light fennel but it isn’t really interesting enough to be worthwhile.

I’m an herbal remedy enthusiast, particularly for kids, when you’re not so eager to be dosing them up with cold remedies, but kids are indeed fickle. With sweet, rainbow blazing beverages tempting, I think it may be hard to get a young’in to venture a sip. But maybe that's just the kids I know. It still might be helpful to, perhaps, add some sweeter herbs or citrus to the blend to give it more kid appeal. The fennel adds more of a nutty herbal licorice that doesn't really nod to the flavour of licorice candy as I thought it might or that might win over the little ones. Yet, the fennel's nuttiness does give the tea an appealing wholesomeness. So, for adventurous or open minded kids or their parents, HELPS Breathe for Kids is a homey, harmonious blend that might be just the sip for a flavour that’s a breath of fresh air.

— To purchase HELPS Kids Breathe, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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