Product Type: Clipper Tea
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Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Tea
Member Name: fizzywizzy
Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Tea
Advantages: Rich orange flavour is great; induces feeling of restfulness; good value
Disadvantages: Stinks before you add the water; may or may not help you sleep better
One thing that really appealed to me about this product was that it involved no change in my usual routine, as I do tend to have a hot (caffeine free) drink about an hour before bed. I was also persuaded by the fact that the ingredients include valerian, a herb that is commonly used as a natural remedy for sleeping problems, in the sort of product I'd originally thought of trying.
Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Infusion comes in conventional teabags in boxes of 20 bags. The teabags are unbleached and the cardboard box is biodegradable and can be recycled; the only thing that's not too 'green' is the foil inner bag. The ingredients are fairly traded and certified organic by the Soil Association: the ethical credentials are good. The package design is simple but attractive and the muted blues and greens used on the box make this look like a natural, good for you product. The only thing I don't like is that there's an awful lot of written information on the back of the packet which is quite difficult to read, partly because of the colours, partly because of the fonts used and partly because of the size of the text - frankly this bit gives me a headache.
I would urge anyone trying these infusions for the first time not to be put off by the initially unpleasant aroma that emanates when the packet is opened: I can only describe it as 'oily orange zest with a strong background scent of vomit'. Fortunately this is not the fragrance you get once you've poured on the water. From the moment the hot water is poured over the bag there's a very strong aroma of orange, more like an essential oil than orange juice or orange blossom. This fragrance is so strong that it fills the room.
Clipper advises that the water should still be boiling when you pour it onto the bag; well, that's easier said than done unless you're using a whistling kettle or you're waiting beside the kettle for it to boil. I tend to switch on the kettle and go off and do something else so I can't say I've ever made this infusion up according to the exact directions; however, I've been very pleased with this product so I don't think my failure to comply has had a negative effect. I find that the suggested infusion time of five minutes to be the upper end: this is quite a strongly flavoured infusion and even three minutes infusing time will produce a well flavoured drink. If you make this in a small pot and use just one bag you can easily get two cups without compromising on flavour strength.
Although I drink a lot of different kinds of herbal and fruit teas I do tend to avoid the ones that are - for lack of a better description - more 'earthy' by which I mean things like nettle teas, and this is purely from experience. I've tried them and didn't really enjoy them. When I saw the composition of this infusion, I was pleased to see that the main ingredient by volume is camomile (25%) and that the valerian root was not so great (5%); I really like camomile tea and, fearing that I might hate the taste of valerian root, I thought this might be a way of getting the benefits of valerian without having to hold my nose and knock back something foul tasting. As it happens I can't detect camomile in the fragrance and I only very faintly pick it up in the flavour. The dominant flavour is orange, which the ingredients list as coming from natural orange flavourings. It's a warm rich orange taste with just a hint of cinnamon which gives this quite a Christmassy flavour.
Flavour-wise this is more like something that would appeal to me as a morning drink because it's fresh and lively but I had bought it to drink in the evenings. I can't deny that a cup of Sleep Easy makes me feel relaxed and calm though I can't categorically say that it's done anything particular to improve my sleep patterns. Since I've been drinking it my sleeping has improved; I sleep longer and it's a more settled sleep, and some nights I've even slept right up to the alarm, unheard of for at least a year. Regardless of whether it has directly altered my sleeping patterns, it's a pleasantly flavoured drink that promotes a feeling of restfulness.
The full list of ingredients can be seen at http://shop.clipper-teas.com/organic-sleep-easy-in fusion
Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Infusions can be bought directly from the Clipper online shop priced at £1.35 for a box of 20.
Waitrose have this product for sale priced at £1.11 until 22nd January. TESCO and Sainsbury's sell it for £1.39 at the time of writing. Even at the most expensive price give here, I think this is a good value product
Summary: Oddly relaxing citrussy infusion
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