Tea of the Week: Hankook Tea’s Hang-Over No More

Notice the blue and gold bottle in the upper right? Ya, that’s an empty prosecco bottle, leftover from making Hibiscus Kombucha Blush Cocktails yesterday. Between me and my hubby, the bottle is officially empty now, just in time for me to introduce Hankook Tea’s Hang-Over No More Herbal Blend to you.

Hang-Over No More was the first cup of tea I set my lips to this morning, January 1 of 2015 (Happy New Year everyone!!). Don’t get me wrong, I certainly didn’t go crazy last night, but I did have just enough bubbly to leave me with a lingering headache this AM.

This herbal blend is made from lotus leaves, persimmon leaves, hydrangea leaves and mulberry leaves. Its taste is much like a green tea with a tinge of natural sweetness at the end of each sip. In fact, the longer and stronger you steep the tea, the sweeter it will taste–as if you had added several drops of stevia to it.

Hang-Over No More was just the tea I needed to start the new year off right. Hankook Tea suggests that the blend helps with hydrating, detoxing, and even bad breath (eeks!). At the very least, it’s soothing and relaxing, a cup that will help you wind down now that holiday festivities are coming to a close.

Tasting Notes for Hankook Tea’s Hang-Over No More:

BREWING TIPS:  Brew at 200 degrees F for 3-4 minutes. The longer you brew the tea, the bolder the sweetness will be. If you don’t like your tea too sweet, my suggestion is to try a light steep first to see how you like it.

THE BLEND:  A mix of lotus leaves, hydrangea leaves, persimmon leaves, and mulberry leaves.

THE SCENT:  Softly peachy, like dried apricots.

THE STEEP:  Steeps from light to bright yellow depending on the time of steeping. Tastes like green tea with stevia added…but neither is true! There is no caffeine in this blend and it’s completely sweetener-free. This herbal tastes clean, refreshing, and vegetal like napa cabbage is. I can’t get over the natural sweetness of the blend. You’ll definitely appreciate it if you normally enjoy adding sweeteners to your teas. During warmer months, this would be delicious served as iced tea. The not-sweet version of this blend is Hankook’s Persimmon Leaf Tea.

GET IT:  Online, at Hankook Teas. For those who get hung over only occasionally, you can get small sampler bags.

FOOD PAIRING:  If you had one too many martinis last night, it’s a good time to rehydrate and nourish with Green Tea Chicken Soup. When you feel human again, you could also try making a quick bread like Persimmon Bread or Mochi Banana Bread, which will bring out the taste of the tea and be gentle on the tummy.

TeaGschwendner in Chicago

If you’re in Chicago and find yourself in need of a break after shopping on Michigan Avenue, take a brisk walk north and you’ll find TeaGschwendner, an artisan tea company based out of Germany. Here in the US, we’re lucky enough to have 2 TeaGschwendner shops both located in the Chicago area, but in Germany there are over 130 TeaGschwendner stores, and even few more scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East.

If you think you might get lost on the way over to the store, check out this clip by TeaGschwendner where you can figure out how to pronounce TeaGschwendner, just in case you need to ask for directions. Not only will you get a glimpse of Thomas Holz, the Master Tea Taster at TeaGschwendner, but the clip should also give you a new appreciation for tea selection, steeping, and of course, slurping!

Entering TeaGschwender is like entering a bank vault packed with fragrant tea-filled aluminum safe deposit boxes. Instead of finding money, gold watches, or a string of pearls inside each box, you’ll find some of the world’s most exclusive teas…drinkable treasures waiting to be discovered and revealed.

Despite TeaGschwendner’s exceptional reputation among seasoned tea drinkers, the staff are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, not the least bit pretentious. On the day I visited, Ryan, the store manager, provided outstanding insight into the company’s teas and lead me to just the right blends to please both my palette and my pocketbook.

If you are a seasoned connoisseur of Indian and Chinese teas, the shop has a very impressive stock of teas from Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon, and beyond. For aspiring connoisseurs like myself, there are some more modest blends to choose from, including Almond Milk (one of their new honeybush blends), Bamboo Pomelo (an award-winning herbal blend at the North American Tea Expo in 2013), and Asian Pear (a mild green tea with a soft pear essence…my favorite!).

If you need some more help choosing a blend, don’t hesitate to ask for a taste! Below is my “slice” of the Carrot Cake blenda tangy, spicy brew with large chunks of carrots, oranges, and raisins studded throughout.

The Black Oothu and Green Manjolai are teas grown in South India, in tea gardens located in the middle of a Bengal Tiger Reserve. These teas are the result of the company’s partnership with the Nature Conservation League of Germany, and part of the proceeds that come from these teas go towards helping endangered Royal Bengal Tigers in South India.

The shop on State Street isn’t that large, but it does hold a wide selection of tea wares from all around the world. I especially love TeaGschwendner’s signature teacups, which are very wide and shallow. It’s the type of teacup that takes an extra bit of finesse to drink out of, reminding you to slow down, savor, and take a break.

TeaGschwendner carries a few brands of rare gourmet chocolates, including these handsome bars from Mast Brothers, based out of New York. The only thing better than drinking tea is drinking tea with a complex piece of chocolate, and what a feast for the eyes these bars are!

Here’s a look at some of the colorful Moroccan teacups I found next to Japanese cast iron teapot displays at the store. Stay tuned…you’ll be seeing the blue cups reappear in one of my upcoming posts soon!

Part of the charm of this shop is that it allows you to travel the world through a cup of tea. If you are lucky enough to visit one of their shops here in the US or elsewhere abroad, TeaGschwendner’s excellent customer service and attention to detail are sure to leave you with a renewed appreciation for world-class teas.


1160 North State Street

Chicago, Illinois 60610