Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tisanes and Tea

For those of you who are herbal tea or tisane fans, I found this recipe in Susan Wittig Albert's novel, Bleeding Hearts, p. 243 (in paperback):

China's Lemon-Lavender Tea
Mix 1/4 cup of each of the following  dried herbs: chopped lemon grass, lemon verbena, lemon balm.lavender flowers, and spearmint.
Store in an  opaque airtight container.
Use 2 teaspoons per cup, steep for 5 minutes

You can, of course, alter the recipe, just make sure everything has not been sprayed.

Most of these herbs can be easily grown, although some may have to be houseplants, at least where I live.  I am going to make some this summer.  I can imagine it to be very cooling, iced, on a summer day.

Today, however, I am feeling the need for warmth and strength, so I am having Assam Harmony from Adagio Teas.  When I opened the packet, I thought it smelled like crackers or not-too-sweet cookies.  The leaf was relatively small and a pretty mix of brown, gold and black.  I only brewed it for 3 minutes, as sometimes Assam can get tannic and astringent too early to suit me.  Besides, I have more of it to play with until it is just right for me.

This Assam brewed up on the red side of amber, with a good fresh air aroma.  Sadly, I didn't brew it long enough, so it was too weak to suit me.  Guess I'd better go for at least 3.5 or 4 minutes, as the information bills this as a quite hearty tea.  Tune in Thursday for an update.

This sort of a canyon on the side of one of Sorrento, Italy's main streets.  Under all that greenery are abandoned stone houses.  I don't know if it is left over from the bombing in WWII or if they are much earlier.  We did not go down and look.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

This blend sounds delicious. I grew up blending lemon balm with spearmint and drinking it in quantity during the summers as an iced tea, and I think those two herbs go very well together. I can imagine the other herbs making a very good addition too.

I suspect that blend would be very relaxing too, as both lemon balm and lavender have calming effects.