Growing tea & tea flavorings
I don’t think I’ll be too eager to try strawberry leaf tea again.. I tried a cup last night (12 fresh strawberry leaves, and a diced dried apricot). I can’t say for sure that the strawberry leaves caused it, but I felt somewhat nauseous afterwards. The flavor was a bit weird – sort of an unpleasant initial taste, then followed by a mild fruity flavor. Adding a bit of sugar helped, but I still I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.
Edited to add: The strawberry leaves have been falsely accused! That weird flavor seems to have been the apricot, and now knowing that, it makes sense. I made some apricot-strawberry-mint iced tea just now, and it has the same smell, but the flavor is better combined with mint, and iced. So, if you were thinking of trying strawberry leaf tea, don’t be discouraged! The jury is still out what their individual flavor might be. :)
I just had my first mug of tea from the herbs I planted! I used:
Lime scented geranium leaves
About 4-6 leaves of each, crushed/torn a bit, in 10 oz boiling water, steeped 6-7 minutes. Turned out great! It’s a nice blend of fruit, mint, and zesty flavors. I should really try each herb on its own, but I didn’t want to take too many leaves from one plant since my plants aren’t very big yet. I think the sage or the geranium might be giving it the zestiness? Anyway, I bet these herbs would be great in iced tea too.
AAAHHHH sounds awesome!!!! I just harvested my first batch of herbs and spearmint is abundant and so is the choco. mint
How do you go about drying herbs for adding to tea?
Also I’ve been dying to add some berry syrups to my Earl Grey Creme. I feel like the vanilla flavor would go great with it. I make berry syrups by just reducing them with water and sugar on the stove. Has anyone had any luck with this? I haven’t tried it yet. Do you think it’d be alright with an Earl Grey? (Mine doesn’t have a strong citrus flavor.)
I just gather stems of mint and tie them together with a string then hang them in my basement ( cool, dark & dry). then let them dry, after that I put a bag around them and squeeze, if you are careful it will crush off the leaves without including the stems. I have also used a dehydrator, same result just faster….hope this helps.
I love making simple syrups to add to tea. Simple syrup is very easy to make, 1 cup sugar: 1 cup water, boil til sugar is dissolved. If you are making it with herbs, I would seep the herbs for 10 minutes, than dissolve the sugar. You can make with violets, ginger, mint, pink peppercorn/thyme blend, etc. I was too late for violets in the area to make violet simple syrup, but I am looking forward to gathering some mulberries…
With the syrup, add it to soda water, and you have a soda!
Most the things we have growing on my property would make very sweet syrups. We have a choke cherry tree and some apples and blackberries. And then a bush of… maybe they’re juneberries? I wasn’t sure if any of those would be good with tea.
The other day, though, I took some currants from my boyfriend’s place and added that to white tea. It was subtle enough to not super interfere with the light taste of white tea, but was in it enough for my boyfriend (who doesn’t drink anything but southern style sweet tea) to pick up on it. You should try currants! It’s a great flavor if you’re careful with it.