Steep of the Week-Organic India Tulsi Tea, Jasmine

March 3, 2010

Ambiguous...

Help.  I really want to like this tea.

I have enjoyed other delicious blends by Organic India whose focus is Tulsi or Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) infusions.  Perhaps now is the right time to give a shout out to my favorite one called Sweet Rose Tulsi Tea…it’s REALLY GOOD.

But back to the Jasmine Tulsi…

Let’s talk about the main ingredient of this tea.  Tulsi or Holy Basil is first and foremost a sacred medicinal plant.  I really could yarn on about this plant, but the important take home points are as follows:  Tulsi is a major stress reducing, immune system regulating, antioxidant, neuroprotective plant.  It also has numerous digestive health benefits, it’s antibacterial, and stimulates milk production in lactating women.  And the list goes on…(really.)

A brief history:

Tulsi (a Hindi word) is used daily by many people throughout Southern Asia, especially Southern India. Holy basil is sacred to the Hindi god Vishnu, and purported to balance the chakras. The stems of the plants are made into beads for use in meditation practice to give clarity and protection.  It is acclaimed  as possessing sattva (energy of purity), “capable of bringing on goodness, virtue, and joy in humans” (Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, D. Winston and S. Maimes.)

You all want a cup, huh?

Tulsi’s flavor nature is sweet and spicy.  Standing alone in water it is strongly aromatic.  As you might expect with the presence of the aromatics, it has a slightly allspice-ish clove-ish mouth numbing tingle, but somehow still manages to be delicately earthy and sweet.  It’s a balanced, complex taste, and smelling it  not only reminds me of many things, it always makes me feel better.   For instance, my brain goes to this place:  Nighttime with only the darkness and the stars, dew, bliss, the smell of (friendly) wild things… It’s a cross between walking barefoot through my childhood garden and smoking my third or fourth cigarette…and then realizing I don’t need to smoke cigs to deal with my angst-ish feelings…I’m six, then I’m 18, and the memories keep tumbling but somehow emotionally resolve…

I know it sounds outlandish, but it’s one of those plants that can transport you somewhere else.   It’s  a complex plant for a complex world.  I’ve got great expectations…

I want to cross the word "Jasmine" off this package...

So like I said earlier, I really want to like this tea, but what’s really bugging me is that I can’t smell or taste the jasmine. (And that’s the title of the tea.)

I think the problem is the Anise is too strong…I get the bitter of the chamomile, especially after a longer steeping (5 minutes plus).   I try an overnight cold infusion, which yields a slightly more refreshing cup, but still can’t find the Jasmine.  I try short hot infusions–no James Brown.

I check myself for a moment:  am I looking for that JB hip pop Jasmine taste and smell I get from my favorite green Jasmine tea?  If so, is that realistic?  This tea does smell nice and taste nice too…it’s not that it’s a bad tea…

I suspect the anise was probably added to sweeten this blend a bit, but it’s too heavy.  It completely masks the Jasmine, and I am simply sad.  I honestly think they would have had a better blend if they had left it out altogether.  Either that or just PLEASE RENAME the tea.  It’s not Jasmine Tulsi tea, it’s Anise Tulsi tea.  Or something kindred.

Try the Sweet Rose Tulsi tea instead…

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7 Responses to “Steep of the Week-Organic India Tulsi Tea, Jasmine”


  1. […] Steep of the Week-Organic India Tulsi Tea, Jasmine « Wiseleaf […]

  2. littlemissgoldenblog Says:

    I love your tea discussions! I really want to try the Rose Tulsi now- do you buy yours at Rainbow?

  3. Shalu Says:

    Thanks for this post! I bought the Tulsi Rose from Amazon a couple of years ago and was an instant fan. I was contemplating try the Jasmine but will not rethink it because well I want it primarily for the scent!

  4. source Says:

    I enjoy your wordpress web template, where did you get a hold of it?


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