Our new restorative tea collection

We're delighted to launch our two new restorative herbal teas; Camomile and Peppermint & Camomile. Naturally, like our best-selling award-winning peppermint tea, both teas are free from caffeine and 100% plastic free. Our teas aren't like other herbal teas; that's because our teas are made entirely from herbs grown on our Hampshire farm, giving them a unique character and taste. Whilst you probably know us best for our Black Mitcham peppermint, the bees and butterflies also love us for our rolling fields of aromatic camomile and lavender and other crops. We set out to create a range of restorative teas with a high petal content (signifying a high quality grade herbal tea) that will stir you to take a deep breath and a moment for yourself. Herbal infusions are much like a fine wine or artisan coffee in that they're the product of the environment in which they are grown (the ‘terroir’). Summerdown's unique character is a result of how and where it is grown and how it is processed. Such variables make every herb unique and give it body, character, aroma. So we asked independent tea expert Angela Pryce to put together some tea tasting notes so you can taste the difference at home.

Brewing guidelines

  • Gather 3 identical cups or heat-resistant glasses
    • We suggest brewing side by side, to allow for comparison and to taste the difference between our products.
    • Heat-resistant glass cups are a great way to serve herbal infusions, the glass allowing the clarity and colour of the cup to shine through!
  • Add 1 teabag to each glass
  • Boil kettle
    • Herbal infusions are best brewed using freshly boiled water
    • Did you know that water type can have a huge impact on the taste and appearance of your tea? The mineral deposits found in hard water can cause tea to appear dull and cloudy. In hard water areas, for best results always use a water filter.
  • Add 1 teabag per glass
  • Add approximately 150-200ml boiled water per glass
  • Infuse for 3 minutes before removing bag

How to taste

When tasting herbal infusions, we consider four key features: the appearance, aroma, flavour and mouth feel. First, take a look at the liquor (the brewed liquid). Assess the colour and brightness, it should appear shiny and bright. An important consideration is the clarity, a nice clear cup is ideal (it is fine to have little fragments in the bottom of the cup).

From left, Summerdown Camomile, Peppermint & Camomile and Summerdown Peppermint tea.

Then we consider the aroma. When we smell or taste, we’re actually using our olfactory glands (located behind the back of the eyes and nose). The olfactory glands capture molecules of what we are smelling or tasting and work in partnership with the taste buds on our tongue to build a taste profile. Our tongue detects just the 5 tastes (sour, salty, bitter, acidic and umami) but over 90% of flavour is perceived through smell. We then taste the liquor. Technical tea tasters slurp (or hoover) the liquor off a spoon, this is done to mix oxygen in with the liquor and encourages the flavour molecules to travel to the back of the palate and up into nasal region. By breathing out through the nose at the same time, this encourages the flavour molecules further up into the olfactory glands. Why not try tasting this way using a dessert or soup spoon, or alternatively slurp/sip the infusion from your glass. Through aroma and taste it’s then possible to assess the flavour profile. There may be many layers, different levels of complexity, so take your time and consider the first impression, how does it taste…then evaluate the mouthfeel, the body, smoothness and astringency. Finally consider the length, how does it leave your mouth feeling after tasting. Our tea tasters carry out strict organoleptic tests on every batch of Summerdown herbs before packing. This ensures that the product reaches you with the same premium quality as when it leaves our farm.

Taste profiles

Camomile. Fine cut leaf, made up almost entirely of flower petals (a high petal content is indicative of quality (lower quality camomile grades can be found to have a higher proportion of stalk – rip open a teabag to compare)). A clear, bright liquor, light amber in colour. Smooth and mellow, with a gentle taste and an aroma reminiscent of meadow grass on a hot summer day. Serve as is, or would work beautifully with a teaspoon of honey. Camomile and Mint. Fine cut leaf, made up almost entirely of flower petals (a high petal content is indicative of quality (lower quality camomile grades can be found to have a higher proportion of stalk – rip open a teabag to compare)). A clear, bright liquor. Uplifting and refreshing, the gentle Camomile, is balanced beautifully with the clean fresh notes of Black Mitcham Mint. Peppermint. An even-sized medium leaf, with a fresh uplifting aroma. A clear, deep amber colour liquor. Intense and rich, with powerful notes of mint – a result of the high essential oil content. Guaranteed to cleanse the palate and awaken the senses.
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