Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Herbal teas

In the Fall I begin thinking about making new tea blends.  I do not know why the fall affects me that way, but as soon as the evenings cool, not only am I making tea, but I am crafting new tea blends in my head.  It could be the abundance of dried material that I have available come fall or it could be a reaction to the gathering of scents from the garden that I have absorbed during the growing season.  Either way I start formulating blends. 

Some of this mental formulating I  turn into blends to try and each Fall I make two tea blends that are only available only until January that i market to Backyard Patch customers.. This year they are:

Silver and Gold
An all herb blend of silver sage with calendula petals and chamomile for gold along with a touch of cinnamon and the robust flavor of marjoram make this a flavorful and relaxing blend for evening drinking around the warm fire.
2013 Tea blend "Comfort & Joy"

Holly and Ivy
I crafted a wonderful red and green blend this year.  Rooibos (Honey Bush) with Green Tea mixed with a bit of hibiscus and rose hips and a touch of lemon balm make this refreshing tea perfect for Christmas morning.
To get you in a tea mood I also have some ideas for making your own tea at home. Try out one of these recipes, or let them inspire you to explore your pantry and whip up some tasty brews with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Seasonal Spices --

Star Anise, Allspice, and Orange
In a small pot, combine 2 whole star anise, 2 dried organic orange peels, and 5 allspice berries. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes, covered. Strain and drink.

Apple and Cinnamon
In a small pot, combine ½ cup dried apples and 1 cinnamon stick. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes, covered. Pour the tea into a mug and drink, and then munch on the soft, warm apple slices at the bottom! You can reuse the cinnamon stick several times.

Seasonal Healing --

Ginger, Thyme, Cayenne, Lemon
Combine 1 teaspoon dried ginger and 1 teaspoon thyme in a small pot. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes, covered. Strain the tea into a mug and add a pinch of cayenne powder and a dash of fresh lemon juice. This brew will help boost immunity in cold and flu season. Plus the cayenne adds a bit of clearing for better breathing.

Mint, Lemon and Fennel Seed
Combine 1 tsp any kind of mint with 1 tsp. lemon peel or lemon herbs (like lemon balm, lemon thyme or lemon grass) in a tea pot.  Pour over 2 cups of boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.  Add a few seeds of fennel just before you strain into cups. This will sweeten and give it a licorice kick.  You can add a bit of lemon and more sweetness with honey if you want.  The lemon and mint will soothe sore throats and make breathing easier.

What are some of your favorite fall tea combinations?

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