Tea time … bedtime

Since the fantastic Mel already brought up the subject, I thought it’d be a good idea to share my perspective on the subject of sleeping and tea.

To be very blunt my sleep habits leave a lot to be desired. I’m a night owl through and through, just for the fun of it, but years of university left me with a bad habit of studying late and thinking that 3am is an absolutely reasonable time to go to bed. Surprise! It isn’t. It doesn’t help that, for a variety of health reasons, I have a lot of trouble either falling asleep,  getting enough hours of sleep per night, or quality sleep. As a result, I’m very much invested in getting better sleep and I’m working on a new routine to help me, but it has been a process and tea is a fundamental part of it.

My most successful bedtime routine so far comes down to turning off the lights in my room and turning off my tv. I wash my face, brush my hair and then slip into my workout clothes for some bedtime yoga. It might be a shorter flow or a more demanding practice, but it’s always soothing and relaxing. Once I’m done with my yoga it’s teatime.

Now, I don’t have a fixed bedtime tea. Just like with yoga, I choose which tea to drink depending on what my day has been like, but I have a few favourites.

Verano Francés

Verano Francés

Verano Francés (French Summer), by one of my favourite local tea shops – Milagritos – always does the trick. It’s basically an Earl Grey blend, with rose and with cornflower petals, amongst others.

Verano Francés loose leaf tea

Verano Francés loose leaf tea

It’s light, flowery and with a subtle perfume I just can’t get enough of. It’s also very refreshing.

Violeta (oops, need to change the label soon)

Violeta (oops, need to change the label soon)

Also from Milagritos, Violeta (Violet), a black tea with violet flowers and hibiscus petals. It’s a little stronger – you get more of a proper black tea taste -, but the violet flowers and hibiscus petals make for a very smooth flavour.

Violeta loose leaf tea

Violeta loose leaf tea

Sadly not pictured: the actual violet flowers to be found in this delicious tea.

Lady Grey

Lady Grey

A new favourite from Twinings is Lady Grey tea. Had some at a relative’s house and spent weeks trying to track it down. It was well worth the effort. It’s a light black tea, with orange and lemon peels, along with cornflower petals. It comes together with a very subtle flavour. You can’t really feel any strong orange or lemon taste, just the hints of it, which makes it even more suitable for bedtime in my opinion.

While I believe that lighter teas are definitely the way to go when it comes to bedtime teas (as much as I love Russian Caravan blends I don’t think they are very relaxing), I’ve found that Pu-Erh teas, particularly if they’re mixed with flowery components, can be very soothing at night, especially if you’ve had a little too much to eat.

Rojo Lychee

Rojo Lychee

A new favourite from the Pu-Erh corner of my tea collection is Rojo Lychee (Lychee Red), also from Milagritos. It’s Pu-Erh with lychee flavour. I’m not quite sure how the lychee comes into the tea – no little lychee chunks to be found -, but the flavor sure is there, sweet and bright. It might be a little too stimulating for some, but so far it’s working really well for me as a bedtime tea.

I also tend to make my own blends at home, usually because I’ve heard of a blend that I can’t get my hands on. I tend to prefer flowery teas, so my default is to add rose tea to anything and see what happens. Unsurprisingly enough, it works really well with regular Pu-Erh tea for a softer, bedtime cup.

Organic Pu-Erh

Organic Pu-Erh

From La Tetería, my go-to Pu-Erh. I’ve tried quite a few and this one has become my favourite. It’s got that strong, woodsy flavor you expect from a Pu-Erh, but it’s well-balanced. I’m not one to usually care if a product is organic or not (can’t afford most organic produce to be honest), but I appreciate it in a tea, especially when you think about the workers’ health.

My homemade Rose Petal Pu-Erh is simply one part Rose Petal Black Tea, one part Pu-Erh.

I also love Rose Petal Vanilla tea for bedtime. I think Dilmah had such a blend some time ago, but I was never able to find it, so I decided to make my own. As with my Pu-Erh blend, it’s one part of each.

Vanilla black tea

Vanilla black tea

Also from La Tetería, my current favourite vanilla black tea. For some reason I tend to associate vanilla with chocolate, so I rarely drink it on its own. The bedtime Rose Petal Vanilla bedtime tea can be very warm, so it’s more of an autumn/winter blend than a summer one, but it works beautifully every time I have it.

I love Earl Grey tea, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise it’s become a bedtime favourite. I enjoy it on its own or – yet another surprise – with rose tea.

Twinings Earl Grey

Twinings Earl Grey

I love it. Earl Grey was something of a gateway drug into flavoured teas, but that’s a story for another day. Maybe some other day I’ll try a different brand, but so far Twinings is working for me.

Rose petal black tea is another favourite, one that I’ll try time and time again from as many vendors as I can get my hands on. I don’t add sugar or any kind of sweetener to my teas, so I tend to use rose tea as a sweetener for stronger, harsher teas.

Whittard's English Rose black tea

Whittard’s English Rose black tea

I ran out from my usual rose tea (from La Tetería), but I’ll let you know how this one turns out.

As you see, there are lots of options when it comes to bedtime teas, and that’s not even trying green teas, white teas or herbal teas. Each and every one of the teas I’ve told you about is both soothing and refreshing and I’ll fall asleep almost as soon as I’ve put down my tea cup.

I hope you’ll enjoy our suggestions. Let us know what you think!

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