Monastic Tea Garden - Have a Cup of Tea!
Previous posts in this series: Mint , Chamomile, Hyssop, Beebalm .Time is getting away...several weeks ago the last of the mint was harvested to take us through the winter months. And it is a good thing because we had our first hard frost a couple of days ago and the majority of our beautiful flowers have passed from this life...alas...
So now it is time to enjoy a warm cup of tea!
Once the herbs have been cut, dried, processed, and blended into their various teas, it is time to brew a cup! Believe it or not, there is an art to brewing a good cup of tea:
- For loose-leaf teas, you need a tea strainer or some other method of straining out the leaves from the tea once they have steeped long enough.
- “Long enough” depends purely on the strength of tea you desire. If you want the medicinal effects, pour boiling water over the tea and steep for at least ten minutes; the longer, the better. This is especially true for hyssop, which seems to need longer than most other herbs. When making a gallon of hyssop tea, we steep it for two hours!!!
- The same rule applies here as for drying the herbs: if you can smell the tea as it is steeping, you are losing some of the oils into the air! If you can, put a cover on your tea as it steeps to prevent this.
- A teaspoon of dried tea per 8 oz. cup of hot water is a good proportion.
- You may like to add a little honey or milk to your hot tea.
- Find an afghan and a good book and sip slowly… aaah….