A Deep Dive into Pure Herbs | Erda Tea

A Deep Dive into Pure Herbs | Erda Tea

For much time, I consider herbs as more of an enhancer to a blend and not a standalone. I was both anxious and excited when Erda Tea contacted me and asked that I try and review their pure herbal teas. I knew that this was an important step in my tea tasting journey and would benefit me to expand my tasting palate. They sent me their Mt. Olympus Tea and Lemon Verbena to try and share, here are my thoughts:

The Company

Annie Favia-Erickson founded Erda Tea in 2017 from her and her husband Andy’s very own herbal tea garden in Coombsville, Napa Valley in California. Erda’s mission is to educate consumers about tea culture. Their tea is all about slowing down, taking the time to discover the teas, and work through the process. Their garden produces Lemon Verbena, Spearmint, Peppermint, Mount Olympus, Chamomile, Lavender, Hibiscus and Raspberry Leaf, along with a few others.

The Herbal Teas

Mt. Olympus (Sideritis scardica): I will not lie, the packaging was extremely airtight and a bit difficult to get open so I was completely off-guard when I managed to open the tea pouch and saw whole delicate, beautiful flowers. It made the entire experience more magical. The brewed tea had a very delicate aroma, almost perfume-like with nice herbal notes. As soon as I poured the hot water over the flowers, just this sweet herbal aroma came over my senses. It was one of the hardest scents to really identify. Overall, the taste of the tea was much sweeter than I anticipated and reminded me exactly of the taste of catnip. As the flowers soaked and brewed, the drink gained a more potent and sweeter taste. With each sip, I felt both an alertness come to my senses to help me focus (on my studies) but also the herbal nature of this tea brought some stress release on my back muscles. This tea was able to be brewed for multiple infusions, and I loved being able to use my gaiwan for this. It was the perfect vessel for these teas to have shorter brew times.

Season: Spring and Summer Harvest
Sourcing: Coombsville, Napa Valley – Califorinia

Lemon Verbana (Aloysia citrodora): This really is challenging for me to completely change my perspective on these herbs, and experience these on their own. But I am really enjoying the journey. The aroma of the lemon verbena slipped out of the bag as soon as I opened the bag. It was a rather unique scent, almost medicinal and minty, definitely sweet as well. It was quite impressionable. This herb had a lovely citrus aroma and I was surprised at how large these leaves were, little lemon giants! It did make it a bit hard to guess how much leaves to use in my gaiwan. Normally for herbs, I would be using a western-style brewing method, but for whole leave regardless of if it is technically tea, I like to use my gaiwan. The taste is extremely crisp, and while there is aspects of lemon rind in there, it has a bit of natural sweetness as well. If the word “fresh” was a tasting note, I would enter it here. There was a super fresh feeling after drinking this tea, when I breathed in and out after consuming, my entire mouth felt extremely cool. I found this to be very easy to just reach for and consume, I brewed them for about 20-30 seconds each steep, adding in a few more leaves if did not think that it was enough based on looks and taste.

Sourcing: Coombsville, Napa Valley – Califorinia

Additional Analysis & Information

Pricing: Each bag is $36. The Mt. Olympus tea has 20 grams and the Lemon Verbena is for 15 grams which each make 8-10 pots which can be brewed for multiple infusions.

Packaging: These tea pouches were made to last. As I mentioned above, I struggled to get the Mt. Olympus pouch open but it was made extremely well. Overall, I could not sense the aroma from the pouch, and I was impressed by the thicker feeling of the packaging and its zip close.

Sourcing: The teas are farmed organically at the same vineyards in Napa Valley that Annie’s Husband, Andy uses to make wine. (Which BTW I am totally going to search for their wines ASAP). So all of their teas are from Coombsville, Napa Valley – Califorinia.

How often do you try herbs just on their own? Honestly, I am not sure that I do it enough. Pure herbals can really bring a lot of perspective and help the rest of the tea tasting process by expanding your tasting palate. Happy Brewing!


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