Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ethos from Art of Tea (tisane)

Scent in package: mild, herbal and mint
Brewed in: unbleached filter bags
Steeped: 5 min or so @ boiling
Cup: Café mug

I got this tisane as a free sample with my last order from AOT. I was interested in it since the blend – chamomile, rooibos and mint- is the same as Adagio’s Foxtrot, which I love very much (helps with uhem…female ailments). So I turned over the package to look through the clear back, and was surprised to see mostly chamomile heads, with a few mint leaves here and there, and the teensiest rooibos leaves I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, while there are the same herbs in the mix, they are definitely not the same proportions, so I was interested to see if they would taste much different.

I have to put a disclaimer here – I’m fighting a head cold, and am completely “stuffed up” on one side of my face/head. This means that my taste buds may not be working as well as they should be, but it is the perfect time to try this particular tisane, as I tend to drink it as a decongestant. Something about the blend of these herbs together help to clear my head when I’m stuffy, so I do drink more herbals when I’m ill. Just know that my tasting notes are probably compromised at the moment.

That said, on to the tasting. I made my first cup of this mid-morning, and noted a couple of things then. First was that the taste was milder, and much more subtle than Foxtrot. Again, that may be my sinuses, but it seemed like the rooibos didn’t play as much a part, letting the chamomile take the lead instead. This does make sense, as the chamomile is the prevalent part of this blend. It did work like magic though, and by the time I headed home for lunch, my sinuses were much clearer and my headache somewhat abated, which is all I can ask for on days like these.

My second cup was this afternoon. I tried to get more of the rooibos and less of the chamomile, and the cup was a bit stronger in flavor, which I enjoyed. Unfortunately the mint doesn’t seem quite as strong as it should be, but again, we’ll blame my faulty taste buds for now. It does provide a good backdrop for the other herbs to play off of.

Taste notwithstanding, this tisane does take the “sting” out of a head cold for me, which is mostly what I’m after with it anyways. It helps clear my sinuses, and my foggy, aching head, and makes the whole thing a bit more tolerable. In that respect, Ethos does every bit as good a job as the Foxtrot.

This leaves only one other consideration when deciding which to purchase next time I run out (which will be a while, since I just ordered a larger quantity of Foxtrot). Ethos sells at 2oz. for $6.00, and Foxtrot is 3oz. for the same price. So they’re fairly comparable in price, but naturally, all other things being equal (as they seem to be), I’ll probably stick with the “bargain” and order this one from Adagio. No matter the vendor though, this tisane is a “must have” on my shelves, even if only for medicinal purposes.

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