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Tea that Makes You Feel Good

Photo provided by Honest Tea

Photo provided by Honest Tea

I love drinking tea. It hydrates and tastes great. Of course, I picked up the tea habit early in life when I lived in Nairobi and we would often have High Tea. I also have many fond memories of having a cup of tea, with cream and sugar of course, with a cookie as an evening snack at my grandmother’s house in San Francisco. I have ADD, so the caffeine has a reverse effect on me, helping me sleep better.

As the years have passed, my tolerance of caffeine has changed. The amount that makes me sleepy compared to the amount that makes me sick like a hangover has reduced to the point where I just avoid caffeine pretty much altogether (except when it comes to chocolate, of course!).

That’s why I’m always keeping an eye out for caffeine-free teas that still taste great. I’ve had many a decaffeinated tea that just tasted watered down — no matter how strong you made it.

That said, I don’t have that problem with naturally caffeine-free herbal teas. But they just aren’t the same. So I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I received a sample of Honest Tea’s Heavenly Lemon Tulsi to review for this blog.

I’d never heard of Tulsi before, so I had no idea what to expect. According to the bottle’s label, tulsi is “also known as ‘holy basil.” It “is a naturally caffeine-free herb that has long been revered in its native India as a healing balm for the mind, body and spirit.” Although it is related to the basil commonly used in pesto sauce, “tulsi has a unique flavor that’s been used in tea for thousands of year.”

tulsi leaves

Forest & Kim Starr [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


With a little research, I discovered that tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. Modern research has shown tulsi having promising results in reducing pain, reducing blood glucose levels and reducing total cholesterol levels, as well as some promise for protection from radiation poisoning and cataracts. Tulsi is also a sacred plant for Hindus and used in Thai cuisine. I doubt I’ll get all these benefits from drinking one bottle of Heavenly Lemon Tulsi, but it’s nice to know that the beverage is good for me.

At first taste, I was a little shocked. It tasted like unsweetened black tea … I kid you not. The bottle says the beverage is “just a tad sweet,” and they are right. But after have a couple more tastes, the flavor grew on me. Unlike most herbal teas, this one tasted like a cross between green tea and the more traditional black tea. It reminded me of nights sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen, playing Pachisi … all that was missing were the cookies!

But that’s not the only reason I say that this tea makes you feel good. Yes the herb is supposed to have healing properties and yes it brought back fond childhood memories, but Honest Tea goes a little bit farther than that. Their line of teas are all natural and organic. They are also produced by workers who work in a safe environment and receive a fair share of the profits. Their business mission is to be fair and honest … I guess you can say that honesty is paramount at Honest Tea.

You can purchase Honest Tea … which has a nice selection of flavors including Honey Green Tea, Lemon Black Tea, Passion Fruit Green Tea, Pomegranate White Tea with Açai, Cranberry Lemonade, Superfruit Punch, Black Forest Berry and many more … at their website, or find a store that offers their products using this store locator.



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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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