Springtime in Boulder: our extraordinary irises, which we’re well known for, are showing their varied colors and exuding their delicious fragrance and the wood roses are opening and sharing their exotic perfume. These and more contribute to the lovely feeling of romance in the air…hence my inspiration for this post.
As busy entrepreneurs in our respective businesses, my fiancé and I don’t always have the time or energy for a leisurely 6 o’clock drink, but it’s still important for us to get together and reconnect at the end of our work days – which is just as beautifully, if not more so, accomplished with an informal gong fu tea ceremony and some aromatic (is there a pattern here?) oolong…or, if we need more of a lift, a nice strong pot of Earl Grey, or a Japanese green with some dark chocolate! When we’re really looking to unwind, a couple of aromatic cups of Meditative Mind, our white tea blend sprinkled with rosebuds and green tea jasmine pearls, are just the thing.
A quick Google search on “aphrodisiacs” shows that there are many different categories of substances named after the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite, used in the belief that they increase sexual desire – aromatic, edible, stimulating, relaxing, hallucinogenic, and more.
The oil of bergamot in Earl Grey, it turns out, has long been used as an aromatic aphrodisiac to reduce muscle tension, anxiety, and stress. For added smoothness, our Earl of Grey has just a touch of licorice root, considered an excellent edible and aromatic aphrodisiac. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine used licorice root to enhance love and lust and the ancient Kama Sutra included it as an ingredient for many recipes to increase sexual vigor! According to research done at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, the smell of licorice root is particularly stimulating to women. I always thought the calming aromatherapeutic benefits coupled with the visual beauty of Meditative Mind helped make it our best-selling tea, and had quickly dismissed a most grateful cycling buddy who once told me that my gift of that tea turned his girlfriend wild! But my research unveils that the rosebuds and jasmine pearls may do more than simply calm us down. Rosebuds are, indeed, an aphrodisiac…mmm. Their aroma stimulates the brain and keeps the mind focused and alert (hence the name of our tea!). But rosebuds are also a great mood enhancer and amplify the libido! Eating them (though I don’t know about their infusion) apparently increases blood flow through the body and allows a warm sense of stimulation. Jasmine is also an aromatic aphrodisiac. So much for the meditation…perhaps we should have called it “Tantric Mind”.
Needless to say, the caffeine in tea can offer an energy boost at the end of a long day to get you back to your best when starting your evening with your sweetheart. You should consider a romantic tea break next time you come home. Just keep in mind the quote by the travel writer Catherine Donzel: “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage”.
This article has been reformatted and updated from the original June 2009 publication.