Teapigs' varieties are much more expensive than most others, but they are the equivalent of fine vintage as opposed to plonk used for cooking, and tasting them, you suddenly realise the explosive, flavoursome quality of herbs, the natural sweetness produced in a plant through photosynthesis.
This is a whole world away from dusty ground and crushed herbs with added 'natural flavourings'. Although one might think that increasing the surface area of the plant material in contact with the boiled water, by having particles as small as possible, would make the tea more flavoursome, the reverse is true, and it is the fact that the bags contain larger cuttings of mint leaf and licorice root, so I suppose less bruising to the plant material, that is responsible for the intensity of the flavour.
It is a slightly surprising and very satisfying combination, this - licorice is a very warming, emollient, soothing thickly sweet herb, peppermint, also sweet, is refreshing and cooling. So with each gulp and sip there is almost a push and pull between earthy, condensing sweetness and airy fizziness, which ends up feeling and tasting curiously balancing. Both herbs are digestives, antispasmodic, aperitive.
However - licorice 'in excess' (whatever that means) is contraindicated in hypertension - you can definitely feel its strongly heating qualities. And Teapigs do print the warning on the box. I can certainly feel heat penetrating to fingers and toes after a mug of this! A great drink on cold and chilly days, or if you are feeling a bit shivery. I would also drink this iced in the summer.
So intense is the flavour, that one little silky temple is actually good in a large pot for 2-3 cups, or used again for those making just one cup