Name: Mint Verbena
Brand: Harney & Sons
Type: Herbal tisane
Form: Silken pyramid tea bags
Review: Spring is here and it is time to start drinking lighter, more refreshing tisanes. Of course, it is also a big bonus when the tisane works equally well as a hot drink for colder nights and as an iced beverage during warm days. Fortunately for us, Harney & Sons’ Mint Verbena performs well on both counts.
Mint Verbena is a blend of both mint leaves and lemon verbena, an herb that, as its name suggests, possesses a lemony flavor. (Lemon verbena is often used in tea and tisane blends in place of dried lemon rind or lemon flavoring, which can sometimes taste stale.)
The tisane should be prepared with boiling water (mint and lemon verbena are tough herbs and the very hot water extracts flavor well). Experiment with steep times: Unlike true tea, herbals don’t become bitter during a prolonged infusion, though the mint may dominate more than you wish if you let it sit too long.
The hot tisane showcases the mint, with the lemon verbena taking a supporting role. The mint used in this blend is extremely crisp, making this a good choice for when you don’t want caffeine, but need to perk yourself up. This tisane is also naturally sweet, so don’t add any sweetening until you have tried it.
Mint Verbena takes on a different character when iced. The ice tames the mint, and the lemon verbena becomes more obvious. While the tisane is never quite as “tangy” in the way that lemonade or fresh lemon added to tea would taste, the lemony quality balances out the crispness of the mint nicely.
Incidentally, this is an awesome food tisane, either as a hot or cold beverage. It is particularly good with intensely flavored food and makes a nice accompanyment to lamb, making it a wonderful choice for Easter meals.
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