We are going for a nice herbal blend this week, and our selection is the Organic Thyme Infusion from French fair trade company, Destination. As you will probably know, this is technically an infusion, or tisane, rather than a tea, because it is not made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, as all true teas are – in fact this infusion contains just organically farmed thyme and nothing else. Destination was founded in 1999 in Bordeaux by Christophe Lambard and Jeffrey Schopper. The two have a passion for travel which is reflected in the wide range of ingredients they source from all over the world for their teas, tisanes, and other products, including cocoa, coffee and sugar. They go direct to the growers and farmers of their ingredients and cultivate a relationship directly with them to ensure fair prices and the freshest of produce.
This tea comes packaged in a paper envelope and you can smell the herbal and fragrant thyme scent before you even open it. The minimal white design is subtle but fresh, perfect for such a simple yet powerful infusion. I steeped the teabag in freshly boiled water for about two minutes – the aroma really stands out, it literally smells like a fresh thyme plant! Thyme does fare a bit better than some herbs during the drying process, but this is even fresher than most. The brew is very light in colour indeed, reminiscent of a perhaps the light straw colour of white tea. I did leave the bag in for the duration but left out any sweetener or sugar to taste this brew by itself, and as you can imagine, this is not a beverage that you would add milk to. The taste is really something special – if you have eaten anything seasoned with fresh thyme then you will know the taste very well, a sort of earthy, aromatic, subtly warming flavour. This brew encapsulates this flavour perfectly – it’s no wonder as it has one single ingredient – organic thyme. The taste is very smooth, with no hint of bitterness at all. I must tell you that I did add a little sweetener just to see what it would be like, and it only served to enhance the natural thyme flavour. I did brew another cup using the same tea bag and while it was still good, it didn’t have quite as strong a taste as the first time, possibly because I left the bag in all the way through drinking it, but it was still very pleasant indeed.
Good to know
Thyme belongs to the genus Thymus (meaning courage and strength in Latin) which is actually part of the mint family! Thyme has been used all over the world for thousands of years for a number of uses, including an embalming agent and as incense. Although thyme is not a tea, it does contain a significant amount of antioxidants such as apigenin, luteolin, saponins, and tannins. Thyme also contains the aromatic compounds thymol and carvacrol, which give thyme its distinctive scent and are also thought to have antifungal properties as well as being good at keeping mosquitoes and other pests away. Thyme is a popular folk remedy for coughs and sore throats, so if you have come down with such, a thyme tea could be just the thing to soothe it. This is a lovely infusion to enjoy at any time of the day and as you can imagine, is completely caffeine free!