Review: Tealicious Egyptian Chamomile Special Selection

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Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"No surprises and no disappointments: these blooms brew up to a classic chamomile infusion."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.5/10
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I've been using lots of chamomile in the past months, mostly for its medicinal properties. Despite it's reputation as an old lady's drink, it has many potent health benefits. For more detailed information regarding chamomile's medicinal properties please visit the University of Maryland's excellent overview: https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/german-chamomile-000232.htm. I'm assuming Tea Licious' special selection is German chamomile, the variety of chamomile normally used in herbal teas, that has been grown in Egypt. Unfortunately their minimalist website does not specify whether this is the case or what is special about this selection. Looking at my sample, the flowers' bright yellow seed heads are almost entirely intact. Some even still have petals attached. Evidently some care went into preserving these delicate blossoms from getting crushed. Their scent is a lovely, summery honey-infused perfume.

Using a heaping teaspoonful in freshly boiled water, I steeped the blooms for 7 minutes. A sweet pollen and wild flower scent wafts from the brewed cup. The bright yellow liquor provides a fairly pungent, sweet and nutty flavour profile. The blooms leave their characteristically oily feel all around my mouth. No surprises and no disappointments: these blooms brew up to a classic chamomile infusion.

The flowers are strong enough to withstand a second, 10 minute brew. There is now a savoury aspect to the top notes that makes for a pleasant contrast with the honey sweet finish. Otherwise it's pretty much identical to the first infusion.

I was surprised to encounter such a low brewing temperature in Tea Licious' brewing directions – they suggest steep the blooms in water heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. For fun (and because I'm a tea nerd, let's be honest here) I did a comparison taste test. I found that instead of verging towards nutty tones, the finish was lighter and almost lemony. The feel of the tisane was also less oily. While not worlds apart from my initial brew, the cooler temperature did make for a more intricate and pleasant cup.

Other than the visual appeal of the whole blooms, this tisane is no different than the bagged or loose bulk versions widely available. This “special selection” is a perfectly adequate product. However I see no reason to pay more to have it shipped to my house when I can pick some up at the grocery store. Also, rather than relying on imported chamomile from half way across the world, I think I'll stick to more locally grown sources.

— To purchase Tealicious Egyptian Chamomile Special Selection, 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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