Best herbal teas in Dubai

Put your feet up, unplug the phone, and stick the kettle on. It's time to ditch the coffee and try out <em>Time Out</em>'s favourite herbal teas

Laci Le Beau Super Dieter’s Tea
5/7
Dhs18 at Spinneys (04 222 2886)

The simple fact that someone called Laci Le Beau thinks she can help us is distressing. Aside from her irksome name, the simple fact that this brew is available in supermarkets indicates that it’s not going to reduce us to Nicole Richie status. But that said, we followed the instructions (two cups a day for 10 days) and despite initial scepticism did feel decidedly lighter – despite the scales refusing to change. It’s certainly no miracle cure for obesity and you need to watch your brewing technique – it contains senna, so any over-steeping could result in a swift jaunt to the WC – but overall, for Dhs18, it’ll aid and abet the slimming process and tastes like a warm summer’s day.

Kancura tea
4/7
Dhs56 at Madeinchina.com

There’s a photo of a ‘slim lady’ in an ’80s leotard on the packaging and the instructions are all in Chinese, bar ‘Kancura herb’, which we assume is the magic ingredient. Unfazed by all this, we brew the brown leaves for a few minutes, hoping we’re doing it right. It smells like a mossy forest floor and isn’t unpleasant to the taste, but we just couldn’t get the image of that svelte lady out of our head. Is she for real? Should we aspire to looking like an extra from Flashdance? A couple of days into the quaffing, there’s no immediate difference and donning a leotard is certainly out of the question, but there’s something wholly soothing about eau de forest floor.

Puritea herbal tea
6/7
Dhs25, Night Stars Foodstuff, (04 337 4727)

This ‘fine herbal infusion’ is just the ticket, according to the packet, for contributing to ‘deslagging of the body’. We were not aware that our body was slagged, let alone needed to be cleansed of such, but press on regardless. In the packet it looks more like potpourri than anything you’d want to pour hot water over and actually imbibe, combining as it does whole juniper and whitethorn berries as well as rosehips and chamomile flowers (we think – they’re listed, rather winningly, as ‘Como mile’ on the label). But this green tea-based infusion’s a winner. Fragrant, light and refreshing, we don’t know if it’s actually removing the slag from our fettered insides, but it sure tastes like it could.

Kriutertce night tea
5/7
Dhs25, Tealand (04 337 4727)

We’ve been aware of rooitea for a while – a red South African leaf that’s free from caffeine and allegedly a superfood (though surely that should be superdrink) all on its own – but never tried it. This was largely due to hearing that it was an ‘acquired’ taste, which is usually shorthand for truly disgusting. But this one, with its promise of sleep-filled nights and added flavourings (aniseed, fennel and caraway among others) gives us pause to reconsider. Until we try it. First sip – disgusting. Second sip – slightly less disgusting. Fifth sip – not too bad. Guess that’s why they call it an acquired taste. And we’re feeling dreamily sleepy. Result.

Flowering tea
7/7
Dhs85

These hand-tied ‘bouquets’ of white tea are simply beautiful to watch unfurl, for that’s exactly what it looks like – a bouquet of tiny flowers. Buy a glass teapot and it will keep you fascinated for hours (you can refill the pot containing the same one throughout the day – it’s the tea that keeps on giving). Crafted from white tea, which is the rarest and most delicate of all teas, these little babies are even higher in antioxidants than good old green tea and lower still in caffeine. In short, they are very, very good for you. Beauty and benefits – we like these very much.

Women’s tea
4/7
Dhs30, Night Stars Foodstuff,(04 337 4727)

Described as a ‘herbal melange’ we feel slight trepidation about this one. What is ‘women’s tea’ anyway? Is someone trying to tell us something? Do we look fat in this? Oh, right, we get it, this is all about balancing hormones and moods on the monthly roundabout women call life. We don’t know about that, but with all the fruity bits – sweet blackberry leaves, apple bits, orange peel – and herbal flavourings (from cardamom and cinnamon to cloves), it sure does taste good.

SejTe Indian Ocean Tea
3/7
Dhs20, Dubai Flea Market, from the Seychelles stall. Next flea is Nov 1, Safa Park 9am-3pm

The sell is ambitious. The rather beautiful pack of SeyTe tea claims that, ‘Indian Ocean tea is the perfectionists’ delight, with its own special place in the heart of the connoisseur who demands only the very best and gets it from the paradise isles of the Seychelles.’ Phew. We can barely get cup to mouth our lips are so a-quiver. When we do the taste is bitter, rather like English Breakfast Tea, and perhaps better served with milk, sugar or a drop of honey. The caffeine kicks quite hard (or perhaps we, tea drinkers who rarely swerve from green or jasmine, are a bit soft), but no need to worry – according to SeyTe, ‘what you drink is absolutely untouched by chemicals’. Ahhhh.

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