Tea blending is such a quiet pleasure for me. I feel very happy as I handcut and stir together leaves,spices and flowers .
The wooden spoon makes a shushed sound as I sweep and fold the herbs in my old brown ceramic bowl. It is comforting, familiar. The aroma of the tea brings back the memory of a long summer season.
In winter, the tea herb selections are few because I use only the most recent summer's harvest.
This is all we have left since the last festival:
Autumn Mint Morning: Spearmint,Culinary Hibiscus,Cinnamon Chips.
Summer's End: Roses, Pineapple Sage Blossoms, Bergomot leaves,Lemon Verbena.
Winter Dreams:Calendula, Lemon Balm, Mugwort, Organic black tea leaves,with dried Apricot.
Stress Less:Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Red Clover, Calendula, Organic black vanilla tea leaves.
In late spring some of the tender, sweet new blossoms will have bloomed, and the fresh green tonic herbs . I will then make these fragrant teas:
Sweetheart Rose Blush : Rose Petals, Rose Hips,Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Pineapple Sage, Vanilla.
Spring Zing: Lemon Verbena, Rose Hips, Dandelion leaves, Peppermint, Lime and Orange mint,organic green tea.
Serene Lemon: Chamomile, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Sage blossoms.
Strong Woman:Red clover,Dandelion leaves,Stinging nettle leaves.
If you would like to try your hand at blending and don't grow your own herbs, begin with the freshest you can find.
If you start with dry herbs:
Ask the store owner to smell the dried herbs. If they don't look vibrant and smell like the flower and leaves they are supposed to be, don't buy them. A good supplier will gladly let you look at and smell their loose herbs. If they smell and look like musty brown herb, they will taste the same way in your cup. Hot water will not rejuvenate an old herb.
When you start with fresh:
Buy from someone local to ensure the freshest harvest.
If the supplier or farmer can't tell you about the herbs, they probably have no interest and no real talent for growing them.
As an herb farmer, I always offer to let the customer pick a leaf to smell the wonderful aroma. It is a wonderful thing to smell a fresh herb! Crush it gently in your hand and inhale!
I enjoy and lovingly tend each herb I plant, take real pride in the dried plants we process. The herbalist or grower you buy from should be able to give you an abundance of information about the herbs you choose.
Give it a try, making up your own tea blend. It is very satisfying and will you happy too!