Product Type: Clipper Tea
Newest Review: ... The tea itself is also organic, fair trade and unbleached, and I am a fan of Clipper teas in general for this reason alone. Plus, if ... more
Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Tea
Member Name: luxuryliner
Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Tea
Advantages: Delicious taste and smell, possibly helped me sleep...
Disadvantages: Not sure if they DID help me sleep!
Although I'm usually a good sleeper (we're talking head hits the pillow and out like a light, then sleep like a log until morning, then have difficulty waking up and getting on with the day) I've been stressed, overworked and over-tired recently - which has had the unforeseen effect of giving me insomnia and really restless nights. As I'm a great believer in the powers of herbal tea, even if it's only as a placebo, I thought that before I reached for the Kalms or something more heavy-duty, I'd try some of my favourite brand of herbal tea, Clipper's Sleep Easy teabags.
Clipper aren't just known to me: founded in 1984, they're now a pretty well-known brand in the tea world - they were the brand behind the launch of the world's first Fairtrade tea in 1994. Worthy stuff, and a move which happily set quite a precedent for all the other companies following suit. Now they're known for making all kinds of fairtrade, organic teas from English Breakfast to more exotic teas such as jasmine and speciality blends, and also herbal teas such as lemon and ginger, red berries or liquorice. Sleep Easy is their house insomnia blend which rivals other sleep aids such as Dr Stuart's Valerian Plus or Kalms.
So what is Sleep Easy? They're a blend of organic cinnamon, chamomile, rooibos, lemon balm, valerian root and natural orange flavouring: chamomile is known to relax and calm the mind, while valerian root has been used as a natural anti-anxiety remedy for many years. The back of the box states that this tea is "naturally caffeine free" (I should hope so, if it's going to get you to sleep!) and that it "contains natural herbal ingredients that can help promote and maintain healthy sleep in conjunction with a balanced, varied diet and a healthy lifestyle." Basically, you're not going to become addicted to these, but it's also a bit hit and miss as to whether they're really going to work for you as we're not all able to have the stress-free healthy lifestyle that promotes good sleep.
The tea comes in a 40g packet with 20 bags, in an average-sized cardboard box which is grey and light blue coloured, with Clipper's standard design: a black cup of tea with white writing, and above that a picture of a moon and stars annotated with the words "organic sleep easy". The packaging is very well designed, kind of rustic yet chic at the same time, and I really like the economical and elegant design of the box itself - to get into the packet you tear a strip off the top, which creates a little flap that you can reseal the box with. Inside is a foil bag containing all the teabags; they're not individually wrapped but if you're careful not to tear the foil bag, and take care to wrap them up again well, they stay fresh for ages. The bags come in 2s that you have to tear off, but as the bags are strong there's no chance of ripping it open unless you really go for it.
Clipper are very proud of the fact that their teabags are made with unbleached cotton - sounds good in principle, but I'm not sure what that means in practice. It does mean that the bags aren't that bright white that say, PG Tips are, they're more of a buff colour and they do feel a little rough. The packet says that the best way to brew this tea is to pour fresh water over the bag while it's still boiling, then leave for two to five minutes before drinking.
You can sweeten the tea with sugar or honey, but I don't like the taste of sweet herbal tea so I don't ever do that, particularly when tea tastes as good as this one! It smells very delicate, not particularly strong or potent, which is a mercy as it does contain valerian and that usually has a very pungent "wet dog" smell. The taste is dominated by the orange and the lemon balm, making it a light, delicate and very zesty kind of drink with a small kick of the stronger and more insinuating valerian underneath, but nothing awful. Basically, it's a very drinkable cuppa with a lovely fresh, zesty thing going on.
But does it work, I hear you ask. I must admit that I didn't try the tea by itself: the night I tried it first, I did a lot of things to help me relax - I had a bath, went to bed early, didn't play on the computer in bed etc etc. And I slept very well! I think the tea at least helped me relax whilst in bed, but that might well have been the calming effect of simply drinking a warm drink...it's hard to know, but seeing as I like the taste of these and I don't think it'll hurt to have them regularly, I'm going to finish the box and probably get some more afterwards.
I bought mine in Holland & Barrett for £1.19 per pack of 20 bags, which means I'm looking at 6p per cup. Not bad and certainly not the end of the world if you find they don't actually work for you or you don't like them at all. I'm sure I've seen these in Sainsburys too, and certainly in local health food shops, so you could look around in your area or just go to Holland & Barrett, which definitely stocks them.
Overall, these are recommended and certainly worth a try if you're having some problems sleeping, although if you have real insomnia then I doubt they're going to do much one way or the other.
Summary: If you're having difficulty sleeping, these are probably worth a try and taste good anyway.
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