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I love north African and Middle Eastern food but when I go out for a meal I almost always have to do without a dessert because they tend to contain either almonds or pistachios (or both), both of which I am allergic to. It's a shame because not only am I partial to a pudding, I love the flavour of rose water which is also commonly found in sweet dishes from this part of the world. In Yogi Tea's 'Rose Organic Herb & Flower Infusion', however, I've found that flavour and fragrance that is so redolent of the Middle East and the best bit is I can have it anytime. Yogi Tea is a German company that makes loads of different fruit and herbal teas (or 'infusions' if you like). When I think of Yogi I think of the lovely packaging which usually has a colourful illustration of a decorative vessel of whatever infusion is in the package, and the words of wisdom on the paper tag at the end of the string on the teabag - the last one i had bore the motto 'Challenges create strengths'. Yogi products have a kind of 'right on', hippyish vibe which is reflected in so many different ways. The black bar code has been cropped to resemble the silhouette of an eastern style temple, and on the base of the box there's there are diagrams demonstrating a Tai Chi move (each variety has a different position); these Tai Chi diagrams used to be inside the box and could be seen if you opened the box out flat. The location of the Tai Chi position is not the only change of late. When I first bought Yogi Tea each packet contained twenty teabags: in the box I am currently using there are only seventeen but you can also buy boxes of fifteen though shops tend to stock one or the other and the price does not always reflect the size of pack so one chop can charge more for fifteen than another charges for seventeen. The box I am using now cost £2.19 from Holland and Barrett on the high street, yet the company's online shop is selling the smaller pack for the same price. Basically you need to shop around for the best price. The instructions, on the paper envelope that each teabag is wrapped in, are precise; we would expect no less of something made by a German company. Use 300ml of boiling water: that's not water that's a few minutes off the boil - it's stated quite categorically that the water temperature should be 100 degrees Celsius. At work we have to go along to what's called the 'beverage bay' and fill up our insulated jug to take back to the office. Although the jug keeps the water hot I doubt that I ever make this drink at work using water that is properly 'boiling'; at home I tend to switch on the kettle and walk away; when I return the water is still hot enough to make a drink but, again, definitely not 100 degrees. Clearly it doesn't matter very much because I'm pleased with the results I get (it has crossed my mind, though, that I might taste something even better if I was to follow the instructions more precisely). Oddly slightly different brewing instructions are also found on the box tab when you open up the packet: here you are told to use 250ml of water. A brewing time of seven minutes is recommended. I've followed this recommendation to see if it makes a difference and I've found that five or even four minutes is adequate and waiting as long as seven minutes doesn't appear to perceptibly alter the flavour. This infusion has an instantly recognisable aroma of roses; it is delicate and slightly musky but rather one dimensional which I find a little surprising considering that there are other ingredients in this infusion that have distinctive scents. The water quickly becomes a medium red colour and doesn't take on that murky colour that many such infusions do if brewing for more than a couple of minutes. The overwhelming taste is that of rose but it's hard for it not to be when the aroma is so strong. This drink is as much about the flavour as it is the aroma. My partner won't even consider trying this infusion; he says he knows that it's going to taste 'like perfume' and to a degree he's right: if you don't like the flavour of rose you aren't going to like this drink. The essences of seven blossoms and flowers have been used to make this infusion though it takes a bit of effort to discern anything more than the rose. One of them is hibiscus which is a common ingredient in herbal and fruit infusions, used because it adds some sweetness: this is not a sweet infusion but I would imagine it would be less so without the hibiscus. It also contains linden flower - the blossom of the lime tree (not the citrus fruit lime but the huge deciduous tree). I can taste the linden flower in this because it's a flavour I've come to know well in the last few years: the linden tree is one of the symbols of Slovenia and its blossom is used to make herbal teas and can be tasted in honey made by bees that have fed on linden flowers. I don't pick up camomile when I drink the infusion, but I can just discern a sniff of it in the aroma though it is overshadowed by the rose. I should be able to pick out both the aroma and taste of lavender but the rose is so strong that I can't. I have no idea what sunflower would taste like in an infusion like this, but it's there along with elderflower which I think I can pick out but only just. The rose flavour is much more vibrant than the rose flavour of Turkish delight or a chocolate filled with rose cream. It has a touch of acidity and leaves a slightly dry aftertaste, a bit like a crisp apple juice. I find this much more refreshing than the warm aroma would suggest and find it is a great drink to have with a piece of cake because it counters the sweetness. If you don't like floral flavours - and many people don't - this won't be for you: it's an acquired taste and the smell may be enough to put you off. Personally I love this organic rose infusion and I love the whole concept with the wise sayings and the pretty packaging. Yogi really does need to sort out the package size - pricing issue but other than that I have no complaints about this product.
Rose tea made by Yogi is a tea I really enjoy and here is why. First of all it is easily available, and a quick trip into Holland and Barrett is all you need to stock up on this. You'll find it by the herb teas in general, but in our store in Chelmsford it is sited on the bottom shelf. This doesn't really promote it well enough, as I for one let it pass me by for a long time before I stopped one day to look over the entire range. You can also buy it from independent health food stores as well as online retailers such as Goodness Direct, who can be found at www.goodnessdirect.com. You can expect to pay £2.09 for 15 bags. The tea bags are organic and have full approval from The Soil Association. Now everything about these tea bags is spiritual, by that I don't mean I have laced mine with a whisky tipple, but they are intended, as many of the Yogi range are, to calm the mind, body and the spirit. The package has a beautiful frontage with a Chinese bowl of pink tea surrounded by roses and hibiscus flowers. My first thought about this tea is that it will appeal to women more than men. I might be wrong here, but certainly in our house that is the way it seems, as my husband and son will not choose this tea, but will certainly drink it and enjoy it when I make it for them. The packet however looks feminine. The bags are individually wrapped and opening the box releases a rose aroma which is highly perfumed, and sets the stage for the floral drink which is to come. Each individually wrapped bag has a little tag attached, and each has a message unique to that bag. An example of this is the one I had this morning which said "Compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy". Thought provoking statements which make you think while you drink. It is certainly an interesting idea, though the fact that these bags have a string on them worries me, as these are difficult to dispose of, and certainly a rival company of theirs who make Celestial Seasonings teas will not use these strings, as they end up in landfills over time, which is of course far from ideal. The bags though called Rose are made from a myriad of other ingredients, and in fact the main ingredient is in fact hibiscus flowers. Also in this tea are chamomile flowers, elderflower, linden flowers, rose petals, sunflower petals, cinnamon, lavender flowers, yarrow flowers, ginger, black pepper, fennel, turmeric root, alfalfa, buckhorn, cardamom, and cloves, I have to say I shuddered when I saw elderflowers were in there as I have tried some teas made from this recently that were simply disgusting, but I shouldn't have worried because the rose shines through everything else and it is quite simply a rose tea. To make the tea you simply boil some water, pour over the bag which you have placed in a mug or cup, and wait until the desired strength is obtained. I actually leave the bag in the water as it doesn't seem to get too strong, and then you are left with the aroma and taste of an English rose garden. The tea is pale pink and the scent says Turkish delight to me like nothing else. It is absolutely lovely and perfect to enjoy at any time of the day or night. This isn't one to add anything to; you don't want sugar and certainly not milk, as the hibiscus flowers will curdle it. If you aren't dieting then some Turkish delight, preferably the one made by Fry's, that little bar, old fashioned but still lovely, or some rose cream chocolates really go well with this, as does a scone spread with rose petal jam which I have in my cupboard from Lakeland, and this is something French which goes a treat with the tea. The box claims that the 8 blossoms and flowers which make up this tea are "a joyful dance of flavours never to be forgotten"; well certainly they have won a place in my top few herb teas which I regularly enjoy as a change from tea and coffee. The brilliant thing about this tea is that it has no caffeine, and is pure hydration, so in this hot weather it is another way to increase fluid intake, without calories. Yogi makes many lovely teas under the trade name Golden Temple Natural Products and you can visit them at www.yogitea.eu Here you will discover that this tea is part of a range of 5 new teas including, mandarin, jasmine, ginseng flower, and lotus. I am planning to try these in the near future. This is an exotic tea with a rich rose flavour and one I can highly recommend.
Brand: Yogi Tea / / Type: Fruit Tea