Tea is so soothing and calming in and of itself that it can seem somewhat redundant to write about calming teas, but in my experience there are times you need something extra to help you deal with stressful moments, especially if your brain is fun like mine.
See, there are times when I’ll feel like there’s a weight on my chest. Shortness of breath comes along. When this happens I do my best to keep my breathing as slow and steady as possible, focusing on my exhale, knowing that I can work my way around this particular mood into something closer to normal. Having a nice cup of tea while I work on my breathing makes the process much smoother and enjoyable.
One of my first choices when it comes to calming teas is Oolong. The variety I drink at the moment is a Vietnamese one called Imperial Oolong, from La Tetería. It’s quite mild, with a very gentle but defined taste. Though I love my flowery teas (as you might have noticed by now), I’ve never been tempted to add anything to this oolong. I find it absolutely perfect as it is. It also has a very lovely colour, something closer to a pale amber shade.
The reason why I find it so soothing is that it doesn’t have the sharp taste you can sometimes find on green teas, nor is it too strong, like a black tea can be. Instead, it has a very slight floral aftertaste, which only adds to the overall sense of calm. There’s nothing loud or extreme about it, just what I need to help me slow down.
Another personal favourite in my tea collection is Jardín de Flores (Flower Garden) from Milagritos. It’s a lovely Pai Mu Tan white tea with violet and rose petals.
Yes, I couldn’t resist including a flowery tea in this post, but I find that both rose and violet petals (especially violet) add flavor to this tea without distracting from its delicious taste. I don’t mind being predictable when it’s for a good cause, like helping us during moments of stress.
What I love about this blend in particular is how the flower petals bring out the best of this white tea. To be honest, it’s more about the scent of the tea than its actual flavor. You smell those lovely violets and roses before you have a sip of this tea, and it’s all very gentle. The taste itself is also fairly mild, as one would expect from a white tea. There’s nothing bitter or too intense about it, exactly what I’m looking for when my brain decides to act up, or I’ve had a long, complicated day. It certainly helps me come down and letting go.
Believe it or not, I’ve never had plain white tea. The other white tea in my collection has a pomegranate flavour and while I find it very tasty, it’s not as soothing as this one. Either way, I fully intend on trying proper white tea some day soon.
Another favourite calming tea is Sencha Jardín Sueco (Sencha Swedish Garden), also from Milagritos. It has Japanese Sencha tea, red currants and almond shavings.
Now, you’d think that a sencha tea would be too strong to be considered as a calming tea, but in this case I believe the almonds do the trick. They certainly make the tea more mellow than it’d be otherwise, adding a sense of warmth and a very soft hint of sweetness that makes it very enjoyable. The redcurrants round up the flavor, adding a little more sweetness to the blend.
It’s a slightly more intense tea than the ones I’ve described earlier in this post, but it’s also very soothing. I prefer to drink it when I think I’m about to feel unwell, before anxiety kicks in. I also feel it’s a warmer tea than, say, a white one, which is why I tend to drink it during colder days.
I also find regular Earl Grey teas very calming. Any brand you can get your hands on will do.
I hope that 2015 will be a better year for all of us, full of opportunities for us to learn along with the wisdom to be kind towards ourselves as well as others. May it also be full of tasty teas and delicious treats to go along. All the best to you, dear reader.
As always, do let us know what you think and enjoy your tea!