Last year, I got into CBD products in a big way.
I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect or the actual cannabidiol—a cannabinoid found in cannabis that’s thought to relieve pain and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC—that helped me stay (somewhat) relaxed but still functional during 2020. Frankly, I don’t really want to know. The best CBD products help me mellow out, ease the tension in my neck and shoulders, and also have a pleasantly dank, grassy taste, not dissimilar to smoking a nug of some top-shelf pot.
So naturally, as the weather grew colder, I decided to sample some Oregon-grown CBD teas (and one hot chocolate, for good measure). On the whole, I’d say you’d need to already have an affinity for the way cannabis tastes and smells to get really into these hot beverages—but if that’s up your alley, then I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a cozy yet in-control winter evening.
Tranquility Tea Company
Tranquility’s website boasts that it uses “quali-TEA” ingredients, and I can’t fight them on that point. This Cornelius-based business names each of their hemp-derived CBD teas after an Oregon natural landmark; I tried the Manzanita Mint, Wallowa White, and Columbia Chai, and threw in a CBD honey stick for good measure. All teas have 60 milligrams of CBD per bag, while the honey stick had 30 milligrams. (For reference, the CBD gummies I usually eat are 25 mg each, so they aren’t skimping on the hemp here.)
The mint, a mix of peppermint, spearmint, and lemon myrtle, was my favorite—the refreshing mint paired with hemp’s grassy, floral notes made it taste like a stick of spearmint gum—and adding the sweet honey only made it better. The white tea smelled like roses and tasted like jasmine green tea. The chai had the typical pungent kick of any chai tea, with a dank aftertaste that I mellowed out with a splash of oat milk.
Tranquility also makes its own CBD coffee beans, which I didn’t get around to trying this time. But I’d be interested in tasting it, because the sturdier taste of coffee would probably stand up well to the crunchy hemp flavors. You can find that and all its products on Tranquility’s website.
The Brothers Apothecary
This Portland-based CBD shop has won a spate of awards for its artisanally curated, pleasingly packaged tea and other products. I ordered the Golden Dream, a chamomile-based sleepy tea, and Breakfast Buzz, their spin on the classic breakfast tea. They threw in an appreciated CBD wildflower honey sample. The Brothers Apothecary’s CBD concentration was about on par with Tranquility’s.
The Golden Dream tasted like a slightly minty, mildly fruity chamomile, which became transcendent with the addition of the floral-forward honey sample, which successfully complemented the verdant aftertaste. With a blend of assam and ceylon (a popular Sri Lankan black tea), the Breakfast Buzz tasted like a tea you’d get at an upscale cafe. It made one rainy working-from-home morning much more pleasant.
The Brothers Apothecary also sells hot cocoa, latte blends, and sleep aid supplements—you can check out their full selection here.
Grön’s CBD-infused chocolate is ubiquitous in Portland—if you shop at New Seasons, then you’ve probably impulse-bought one of their chocolate bars in the checkout line. But this winter, Grön released a special Snow Day Drinking Chocolate, and this article was just the excuse I needed to indulge.
At 30 mg, this product packs less of a CBD punch than the teas I tried. But it more than makes up for that by being delicious. It’s like the platonic ideal of hot chocolate, thick and rich and with those tiny marshmallows included in the kit. This is also the CBD drink I would most recommend to someone who’d rather not taste those vegetal cannabis flavors.