Tea Review // Spring Tonic by Storm in a Teacup

Brand:   Storm in a Teacup
Tea:       Tisane/ herbal, loose-leaf
Name:    Spring Tonic
Cost:      $12/ 50ml

Spring arrived out of nowhere today. The sky turned to a pale hazy blue, the sun morphed into a white-golden blur and the air became thick with the buzz of crickets, birds and cicadas. For the first time in a while, the asphalt warmed my bare feet. Later in the evening, the air is balmy and still, the insects sing, mosquitoes nip at my ankles and moths charge at the window pane.

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I’ve been waiting for a magical, light-filled evening such as this to try out a new tea. Several weeks back, I asked my husband, in the midst of a trip to Melbourne, to visit a tea room I had discovered on Instagram. I stumbled across Storm in a Teacup when I searched for the song of the same name. To my delight, the user turned out to be a tea blender and tea room/ bar based in Collingwood, Melbourne (@tea_room_bar).

The tea tasting

Upon opening the packet, I was greeted by the familiar sweet scents of lemon, mint and what can only be compared to as fresh hay. Not only does this tea smell like spring, it looks like spring. Inside, I found a pretty mix of dried green leaves, yellow petals and whole calendulas.

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After steeping the tea for the recommended two minutes, the calendulas literally blossomed in my teapot. The tea sparkled with a golden-sunshine hue. Initially, the taste was sweet with mellow floral undertones. As I swirled it across my tongue, the distinctive yet subtle flavours of lemon balm, clover and calendula emerged. As I set my teacup back down, I was left with the reassuring cooling of spearmint.

The Tea Lady verdict?

A subtle and refreshing herbal tea, perfectly suited to the nurturing season of spring. A fantastically well thought-out blend (created by naturopath Misha Moran) to detoxify and balance the body.

I actually prefer it iced to hot. I steeped the tea for a second time, this time for a little bit longer (3 minutes) and added a couple of lemon slices and fresh mint from the garden. I then placed it in a jug inside the fridge for 3 hours, bottled it and took it to yoga – where it kept me energised and refreshed throughout the class.  A fantastic fitness alternative to water or energy drinks!

Where to buy? Visit Storm in a Teacup online, or if you’re in Melbourne head to their Tea Room and Bar in Collingwood.

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Liquorice tea + how I became a liquorice lover

Never in a million aeons did I ever think I’d learn to like liquorice. Growing up with a Swedish grandmother, I spent Christmas-after-Christmas surrounded by Scandinavians diving into tins of liquorice allsorts, twists and even SALTY liquorice.

I fell in love with liquorice tea quite by accident, after ordering a pot of cinnamon tea from a local café. It had a sweet, buttery aftertaste that I immediately fell head over heels for. Later, when I stumbled across that same tea in a health food store, I was flabbergasted to discover it contained liquorice root. What, me?! Like… liquorice?

Liquorice tea

What’s the deal here? How can a liquorice hater love liquorice tea? So I did some research: while both candy and tea are made with liquorice root, aniseed oil is added to liquorice confectionary to reinforce the liquorice flavour. Or ruin it, as far as I’m concerned! So all this time, it wasn’t the poor liquorice that was the problem: it was the aniseed oil, or possibly just the combination of the two. And considering liquorice is so polarising, I’m presuming there are a great deal of people out there, who like me, wrote off liquorice tea and are missing out.

So why do I love it so? Liquorice root tisane has an initial salty, mineral taste, which gives way to a sweet, soft, mellow flavour. My favourite part is the aftertaste: buttery, sweet and delicious, it lingers and tingles on the tip of your tongue.

It’s also good for you. Liquorice root tea has been used medicinally for centuries. It is said to treat upset stomach and heartburn, reduce inflammation, and treat the common cold. And that sweet flavour is not sugar but the liquorice root itself, which is up to 30 times sweeter than sugar cane.

Here are five of my favourite liquorice teas:

The Tea Hut – Liquorice Tea
Loose leaf, straight up liquorice root from Egypt.

Madame Flavour – Luscious Liquorice Tisane
Pyramid teabags containing large pieces of liquorice root, organic peppermint leaves, Australian aniseed myrtle leaf and whole fennel seeds.

Attic – Tea Clinic Stress Busting Tea
I picked this one up at a market in the UK. Loose leaf tea. Ingredients: black tea, peppermint, rose and small pieces of liquorice root.

Higher Living – Cinnamon (the tea I mentioned earlier!)
Teabags. Ingredients: cinnamon, whole fennel seeds, liquorice, citrus peel and ginger.

Tea 2 – Liquorice Legs
Loose leaf tea. Ingredients: liquorice root, peppermint and fennel.