The Art of Darkness

Tea Time

August 22nd, 2012 by Cobwebs

Now that the summer in this hemisphere is heading toward a close, it’s time to start collecting the last remnants from your herb garden and drying them for use over the winter. Drying herbs is easy; there’s a good overview of various methods here, although I would lean toward air-drying as the best way to preserve the maximum flavor.

Once dry, store them airtight in a cool, dark place. You can use them in cooking as you would fresh herbs–use about one-third as much, since the favor is more concentrated, and you can also use them for herbal projects such as custom tea blends. These are easy to make in bulk and are a great gift idea, so be sure to dry plenty of herbs.

(If you don’t have room for a garden or don’t grow herbs in quantity, it’s easy to buy pre-dried herbs online. I like Monterey Bay Spice Co.’s selection.)

Here are a few blends to get you started. To make tea with these, use 1 C boiling water and about 2 tsp of tea blend for each cup (plus an extra 2 tsp “for the pot” if brewing several cups in a teapot). Let steep 5-10 minutes.

To give as a gift, pack in a tea tin or other airtight container, labeled with contents instructions. If you’re feeling extra-fancy, include a tea infuser and a ceramic mug.

Sweet Meadow Tea
(Chamomile and catnip are both calming, so this is a nice sleepytime blend.)

1 1/4 C chamomile flowers
3/4 C catnip
1 C sweet marjoram
1/2 C peppermint

Spicy Mint Tea

1 1/2 C spearmint
1 C dried orange peel, cut into small pieces
1 C cinnamon chips
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and finely chopped
1/4 Tbsp whole cloves

Tummy Tea
(Especially good for an upset stomach)

1 C peppermint
1 C spearmint
1/2 C lemongrass

Winter Warming Tea

1 C spearmint
1 C peppermint
1/2 C dried orange peel, cut into small pieces
1 C dried rose hips
2 Tbsp candied ginger, diced
1/2 C cinnamon chips
1 Tbsp whole anise seeds
2 Tbsp whole cloves

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. xJane Says:

    I’m so excited that winter is coming. My favorite time of year. Even fall is nice because it means I’m that much closer to winter!

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