Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Nice Cup of Tea

Out of my lavender harvest, I wound up with about 1/2 a cup ( maybe a bit less) of dried blossoms and leaves. Which means : (a) the weather wasn't very cooperative with my lavender picking and (b) I need to plant more lavender.
At any rate, I let them dry for a couple of weeks with the blossom ends in brown paper sandwich bags ( being careful not to let the blossoms touch the bags),then stripped off the blossoms and leaves,and put them in a small mason jar that I keep in the cabinet so it stays out of the light.
There are a couple of things I wanted to try with lavender,one of them being my own tea. Hmmm....lavender tea recipes. The first recipe I tried was in the Country Wisdom and Know How Book. It was a Lavender and Mint Tea recipe,which called for 1 part lavender and two parts mint. much constitutes a "part'? I had no clue,so I tried 1 tablespoon dried lavender,and 2 tablespoons fresh mint ( lavender was the only herb I grew this year). The book did warn against letting the tea steep for too long,especially with fresh herbs. Very well. I placed my amounts in a mesh tea ball,placed the ball in my mug,and poured boiling water over the ball into the cup. Right away the water took on a slight purple green color,and I could smell both the lavender and the mint. After I few minutes, I tasted it,and it was good,basically tasting like the smell of lavender with a twist of mint,but it was too mild for me. I let it sit longer. After about 10 minutes or so, I removed the ball and took a sip.
YUCK! It had turned bitter. Remembering what the book said about letting fresh herbs sit too long,I poured out my tea,disappointed.
The next day, I wanted to try again,but this "part"thing had me slightly confused-I didn't want to keep wasting my lavender trying to get the right proportions.I remembered saved in my 'Favorites" was a website that had Lavender Mint Tea. So I checked out what they suggested. This website suggested 1 teaspoon dried lavender,and 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons of fresh mint,letting it steep for no more than 5 minutes. Alrighty,then, I thought I would give that a try. I used the 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh mint,1 teaspoon of dried lavender,and it came out GREAT! Now, it might not be for all tastes,because it basically tastes like the smell of lavender,but with a bit of sugar,I found it quite good. So now I have found my Lavender/Mint tea. Rick tried it,and he,too,thought it was quite good. The scent was a good lavender and mint mix,and it was very relaxing to smell it while I was drinking it. I think it's a keeper!

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