Zhena's Gypsy Tea deserves high marks for all of its humanitarian efforts, from its
devotion to sustainability and environmental responsibility to its commitment to offering
100 per cent organic and 100 per cent fair trade certified teas, grown on "socially just"
gardens and hand-selected. But what we love most about the artisan tea brand from the
lovely small California town of Ojai is its foundation in aromatherapy and the principles of Ayurveda.
Zhena, who dates her ancestry back to Ukrainian gypsies and who founded the company
in 2000 in response to a family health crisis, has a degree in aromatherapy, and our
tea order came with a little wheel chart that listed the aromatherapeutic effects of 30
ingredients, from acai berry (energizing) to ambrosia plum (sensual) to Italian chamomile
(soothing). The Egyptian Mint Tea we enjoyed is listed as soothing, which seemed odd
at first. Typically, mint has an energizing effect. But from Zhena's website, we learned
that mint is soothing to the digestive system. In the end, after finishing a cup, we found
that Zhena's Gypsy Egyptian Mint does have both a calming and uplifting effect. While
sipping it and contemplating Zhena's devotion to the Indian health philosophy, the
Ayurvedic term (learned in a yoga class) "sattvic" came to mind. This word can best
be explained by what it is not, meaning it's neither "rajassic" (fiery and energizing)
nor "tamassic" (calming or even dull). Translating this to Egyptian Mint, it is neither
too strong-tasting nor too mild, neither too sweet nor too grassy or bitter. It's just right,
sattvic. With its base of Ceylon green tea it is also a great "gateway" tea for people just
learning to love the distinct grassy taste of green tea.
Price: $6.99 for a tin of 22 sachets (also available as loose leaf)
For more information, visit www.gypsytea.com