I say ‘herbal’, you say ‘no thanks’

I say “herbal,” you say “no thanks.” “Herbal.” “No thanks. “Herbal.” “No Thanks.”

Professor Elemental

Most herbal tea is a waste of tap water. Chamomile just tastes like weeds. I’ve drank it at night hoping for some of the alleged sleep-inducing properties it’s supposed to contain, but I can’t say it’s done me much good. Celestial Seasonings has done for the tea business what Chef Boyardee did for Italian food. Cheapened it and made it disgusting.

Basically, I want tea that’s going to do something for me physiologically. Camellia sinensis (what regular black or green tea is made from) gives me a low dose of caffeine, as well as a bunch of antioxidents, which is reason enough. Lemon Zinger has hibiscus, which some say also has health benefits due to antioxidents, but it tastes like when I used to eat sumac berries as a kid. I don’t need it as an adult.

There are a couple of exceptions, however. Late at night when I don’t want caffeine I sometimes have Tazo Passion tea, which is OK. It’s like unsweetened Kool-Aid, and it’s at least better than that Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger stuff. But much better and with better health benefits (at least I like to think so) is rooibos, or “red tea.” I think I read in a Boston Herald article years ago that some people claim it has like 50 times the antioxidents of green tea. I don’t believe it (it’s the Herald), but I guess it made some impression on me because I started drinking rooibos and actually found a blend that I like. By itself, rooibos is only barely palatable, but at my favorite tea store, Virtuous Teas in Auburndale (that’s part of Newton) there is something called rooibos melange which is really good. I don’t know how to describe it except it’s like drinking flowers without the bitter aftertaste of real flowers. (Remember, I am a man who ate sumac as a child. I know.) So if it’s got just a couple times the amount of antioxidents of green tea, I’ll go with it just because it’s better than most herbal teas for when I don’t want to stay awake all night.

Additionally, I’d like to quote Wikipedia as to one other benefit of rooibos for those among us who keep frogs:

In 2010, eleven poison dart frogs were raised at WWT Slimbridge by amphibian keepers in pint glasses of water, topped up with shop-bought Rooibos tea. Rooibos was used because it contains antioxidants with anti-fungal properties. This successfully protected the frogs against infection by chytridiomycosis.

So if it’s good enough for frogs and better than sumac, it’s good enough for me.


About Don Seiffert

I'm a reporter and writer in the Boston area.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to I say ‘herbal’, you say ‘no thanks’

  1. Pingback: Best springtime iced tea in the world « donseiffert

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s