EWW was my reaction when I initially heard of the TeaHaus tea blend Strawberry Mint Lavender. This was well before I joined the TeaHaus staff, at a time when my daughter first started raving about this odd blend. Strawberry and mint, fine, but throw in lavender? Really?
But quite astonishingly to me—who’s not a fan of lavender tea, at all—this combination weirdly works. And it works superbly!
This TeaHaus blend, which I’ve enjoyed for quite a few years now (!), is a mixture of black tea, peppermint leaves, strawberry leaves, strawberry pieces, lavender, honeybush, caramel pieces, and natural flavor.
Per the instructions, I use a heaping teaspoon of leaves for 8 ounces of boiling water and brew for 2 minutes to make a pot of hot tea.Today, I also brewed some at double strength and then poured it over ice to make iced tea. The infusion is a light to medium coppery red.
The aroma of the hot tea? I can feel the mint’s coolness while getting the scent of sweet strawberry.
When drinking, you can pick up the three dominant flavors individually yet all at once, although the mint and strawberry hit first, while you get the floral note at the end, along with a lingering coolness from the mint. When hot, this is a very soft tea, smooth and gentle.
When iced—and it’s excellent iced—the flavors are a bit accentuated, cleaner, refreshing.
Again, you get all three flavors but you almost don’t know where to go! Is is fruity—or minty—or floral? The flavors all come at you in concert yet you can still pull out the individual notes.
Fruity, cool, and floral, Strawberry Mint Lavender tea is absolutely refreshing in the summer and lovely in cold weather. It works because the elements balance each other nicely. Although the strawberry may be slightly more pronounced, the mint brings in that unique, physically cooling sensation while the earthly floral offsets the sweetness of the berry. It seems an unlikely combination, but it’s a successful one.
Wild strawberries have been around for ages but weren’t actively cultivated until the 1300s, when wood strawberries were grown in France, followed later by musky strawberries. The Virginia strawberry was brought over from North America in the 1600s, allowing Europeans to tinker with all three varieties to breed new strains—but the fruit remained disappointingly small.
Eventually the South American Chilean strawberry made it over to Europe. Finally, larger berries! Unfortunately, this variety was picky about where it wanted to grow.
Serendipity intervened when the French accidentally crossbred the Virginia and Chilean varieties. The English took over from there, carrying out painstaking research that set us on course for the modern strawberry—with larger, firmer, fruit and a hardier plant.
Lavender tea is said to help with anxiety and lavender oil supposedly has some similarity to benzodiazepines (e.g., valium)—but science currently does not support any of these claims. A recent study suggested that drinking lavender tea alleviated depression and anxiety in the elderly, but the study was very small (60 people, 30 of them in the control group) and short (2 weeks) (Bazrafshan et al. 2020). Still, a review of possible herbs that showed promise for relieving depression and anxiety did include lavender (Yeung et al. 2018) so presumably research will continue.
Meanwhile, lavender blossoms do contribute a lovely floral note to tea and baked goods.
At the turn of the 20th century, when mint-flavored gum and toothpaste grew popular, nearly the entire world’s mint oil supply came from a small area of Michigan! See my earlier post, All About Mint Teas!, to learn more about mint.
–Bazrafshan, M. et al., “The effect of lavender herbal tea on the anxiety and depression of the elderly,” Complementary Therapies in Medicine 50, May 2020.
–Yeung, K. S. et al., “Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety,” Phytotherapy Research, 2/21/2018.