This bio will be short and sweet like me. I am not formally trained as a writer. My ego will never be so great to say my talents are in writing. However, I fully and proudly admit that I am an...
smoking blend for dreams
Sleepy Hallow (my fav)
Breathe Again Topical Chest Rub
Restful Me Sleep Tincture
Asheville is blessed with a plethora of entrepreneurs who offer a wonderful assortment of goods, and services. Tea blenders are amongst these wonderful folk. This article is what I’m hoping to be the first of a series on the tea blenders of Asheville.
The Herbal Spectacle
Run by the lovely, multi-talented Katie Lauver, The Herbal Spectacle started with the desire to help people utilizing her unique background of opticianry and herbalism. Hence the name The Herbal Spectacle. Katie has merged her knowledge of herbs and eye health to lovingly create a variety of tea blends: Some are medicinal and serve specific purposes, some are purely for daily tea drinking pleasure. I was lucky enough to get a sampler of most of her teas for this article. The following is a quick run through of her offerings with a handful of gorgeous photos that she provided. Oh, did I mention she’s amazing at photography too?
Sleepy Hallow: Oh my god where have you been all my life? I have my high strung days and this tea has become a great tool for mellowing me out at the day’s end. Sleepy Hallow is a simple but gorgeous blend of soothing herbs, a year-round flavor that I think will translate nicely into iced tea for the summer. Don’t drink this at work or before driving...it could cause extreme chill.
Eye health Tonic: This blend was created to help reduce eye dryness, fatigue, and inflammation. The flavor is slightly more medicinal than the others I sampled. But Lauver puts as much thought into her flavors as she does into the benefits. Lucky for us, even her more medicinal teas are still very drinkable. The flavor is mostly earthy notes and can be balanced out easily with a touch of honey.
Release Me: This was the first tea I ever bought from The Herbal Spectacle. It was instantly a favorite in my tea cabinet. Then she introduced me to Sleepy Hollow, and now I’m in a tea triangle. Release Me is a refreshing mint and floral lavender tea that works hot and cold. Bonus: it’s a very photogenic tea that is absolutely Instagram worthy.
Tummy Tea: I write about food, so I eat. I eat a lot. I probably eat too much. Often my belly gets moody from trying to keep up with my eyes. Tummy tea is like a temporary treaty that gets signed between decadent meals. The flavor is a light spicy yet soothing ginger, mint, and fennel blend. It’s made of all the herbs that make a great digestive aid for a post-meal belly. Photo courtesy of The Herbal Spectacle
Winter Wellness: A medicinal-ish tea with herbs for boosting your immune system safely through the seasons of ick. This tea is predominantly floral, a little berry, with a end notes of earthy from the astragulus root. It’s a nice tea to cuddle up to in the winter when you’re feeling low.
Moon Ease: It’s an earthy tea with mood-lifting herbs. I can’t vouch for its efficacy. I can vouch for the flavo,r which is woody and warm.
Tulsi: Tulsi is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine great for stress relief and immune support. Who doesn’t need a little extra help in the stress relief department? Lauver blends four Tulsi varieties for their unique properties. Some are immune boosting, and some add a depth to the flavor that you don’t get from a straight Holy Basil tea. Tulsi is a nice tea to always have on hand, and this blend is simple but lovely for its simplicity.
Grovewood Blend: This is a special and beautiful blend that is exclusively for purchase at the Grove Park Inn. It is a bright tea full of soothing herbs and some hibiscus petals. The tea is a beautiful red steep and it has that always present zing that comes with any hibiscus tea. I recommend stocking up on this one for a summer favorite as an iced tea.
Black Bear: Currently the only caffeinated tea she offers. Dried orange peel and warming spices. It’s not a strong, in your face tea. It reminds me of a soft, warm sweater best brought out for days that need a gentle perk me up.
Vanilla Rooibos: This was the only tea I was hesitant about. I’ve had some bad rooibos teas in my past (coconut, salted caramel monstrosities). Much like a bad relationship, a bad rooibos can leave a person apprehensive. I emboldened myself and tried it for the sake of the article. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t an over-flavored monstrosity, it was vanilla. It smelled like opening a bottle of good vanilla, and it was easy to drink. It paired really well with my shortbread cookie. I think it would pair well with lots of sweets. It’s a tea that doesn’t need sweeteners and enhances the flavor of most sweets it could be paired with.
There are tea offerings that were not mentioned in the article that can be found at her site. They are all thoughtfully blended for taste and health. All of the teas come in an easy to reseal package with her logo, a description of the tea, ingredients and instructions. She also has tinctures and smoking blends. Some of her most interesting items are her eye soaks, which are available for dry eyes and for pink eye. Both soaks come with rave reviews. I might even have heard about some upcoming, very hush-hush, top secret collaborations. But you’ll have to wait to hear about that.
For more tea photos go to her Instagram account: @theherbalspectacle
Find The Herbal Spectacle on Facebook here.
If you’re interested in learning more about herbs and eye health check out her website. It's currently being updated but will be back up and running soon.
If you like her logo go here.
Please consult your primary care physician before starting any herbal supplement. While herbs are natural, they do not always mix well with certain medicines and conditions.