I was delighted to receive a box of Teatonics teabags in the post this week, beautifully packaged in silver foil and wrapped in tissue paper in brown box with an equally lovely floral postal label too. Expectations were high given the presentation of the product and I am delighted to report, weren’t disappointed.
Teatonics are a new company, launching in March this year. Charles Grummitt and Rosie Marteau were travelling through South America when they first tried mate (pronounced mat-ay). Inspired by the traditional Paraguayan way of taking it as a remedy in combination with other herbs and flowers, they decided to get blending on their return to Dorset with yerba mate as their starting point.
The company have produced two blends of tea, designed to compliment one another and bookend your day – Mind Awakening Yerba Mate for your morning brew and Laid Back Botanicals to soothe in the evening.
Starting with the teabags in order I opened the Mind Awakening Yerba Mate around 10 am after the school run. Normally at this point in the day I am already tired after the usual routine and craving builders tea and biscuits. The packet yielded the delicious fresh smell of grapefruit and mint. I followed the instructions which indicate that water at 80 degrees is best, and so I added some cold water as well as water from the kettle to steep the bag in. I left it for around 4 minutes. The smell intensified as the bag steeped and the first sip provided me with a lovely warm fruity taste, rich with grapefruit and citrus flavours. Although I could smell the peppermint, I couldn’t immediately taste it, but the tea was no worse off for that. Unlike so many herbal and fruit teas, which seem to smell lovely but taste only of the bag, this tea actually tastes every bit as good as the initial scent promises. No need for sweetener, this was refreshing, with a slight smoky grassy after flavour, and ideal for morning drinking.
Dr Charles Grummitt, a biochemist turned tea blending entrepreneur explains the attractions of the South American ingredient:
“Yerba mate contains all the stimulation of coffee, tea and chocolate, but with none of the jitters and has a fantastic grassy, smoky flavour – reminiscent of a full-bodied green tea, but better. It’s used to boost metabolilsm and mental alertness, as well as to sooth indigestion and other ailments. We’ve complimented it with fresh, bright ingredients, like peppermint and grapefruit to give you a tea that is delicious and unlike any other tea you’ve tried.”
Interestingly, there are health benefits to the tea which include the following:
- Better cognition and sharpened focus throughout the day, thanks to the yerba mate plant’s triple stimulation of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline.
- Unique profile of antioxidants, vitamins and micronutrients to boost your immune system
- Aid for weight loss, yerba mate activates your metabolism and reduces hunger
A member of the holly family and hugely popular in South America, yerba mate was analysed by the Pasteur Institute who concluded:
“it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value. It has almost all the vitamins necessary to sustain life”.
Now, I can’t tell whether my metabolism has been boosted after a few days, but I can report feeling much more alert and efficient after starting my mornings with a cup of MIND Awakening Yerba Mate as opposed to my former tipple of English Breakfast tea.
The second foil packet contains the second complimentary tea ‘Laid Back Botanicals’ which is a caffeine free blend of green rooibos, hops, elderflower, chamomile and lavender flowers. The primary smell from the packet on opening is lavender, which is a favourite scent of mine, and oft used during my pregnancies for a restful night’s sleep. Already a keen drinker of red bush tea also containing rooibos, I was looking forward to trying this blend. This tea is best using boiling water straight from the kettle and I left it to steep for around two minutes. No one flavour dominates this blend, the chamomile, the elderflower and the rooibos all feature strongly with mere hints of the lavender and hops. Whereas I could take long draughts of the Yerba Mate, this tea demanded to be sipped slowly. A soothing blend, and one which did induce a relaxed state, quite a feat in this household of seemingly a million children (ok just two, but that’s plenty) under five. Fans of chamomile tea will certainly like this blend, which takes chamomile tea and makes it better.
The health benefits of this tea include:
- Better digestion: green rooibos and elderflower cleanse and relieve indigestion
- A more restful night’s sleep, care of hops, chamomile and lavender
Rosie, a Spanish translator and tea fanatic explains:
“Our blends are full of fresh, loose leaf ingredients, individually milled and gently infused – we think even coffee drinkers will be converted.”
I can’t comment on giving up coffee for these teas, I’ve never been a coffee drinker, too bitter for my taste, but I will certainly be cutting down on the English Breakfast tea in favour of the Mind Awakening Yerba Mate blend, which of the two, was my favourite.
The teas are sold in two week supplies, lending themselves beautifully to being one-off treats for yourself, or a gift for others, or in a three month course as part of a commitment free subscription. A two weeks supply costs £14 including postage and packaging, reducing to £12.50 if you take up a subscription.
You can order a beautiful box of teatonics by visiting their website http://www.teatonics.co.uk
Teatonics generously supplied the teabags for review, views are my own.