Saturday Morning Tea

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This weekend is what we have been waiting for throughout the cold, icy New England winter. Sunny skies and temps in the 80s with everything blooming and filling our environment with color. I feel joy swelling in my heart. I’m starting to think about iced tea and for me and my caffeine sensitivity, that means herbal.

My favorite herbal is South African Rooibos. I’ve written a little about it here and here. This morning’s tea is called Poire Creme, a green Rooibos decorated with sunflower petals and  flavored with pear and creme.

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I steeped it for 8 minutes in slightly less than boiling temp water. As the Rooibos and flower petals steeped, they seemed to be floating in an ethereal dance together.

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We had a truckload of bark mulch delivered this morning. The threads of reddish Rooibos remind me a little of the big pile in the driveway. Guess what I’m going to be doing this weekend?

The red amber liquor greets me with a fruity aroma which carries on into the taste. I love the blend of tart fruitiness and creamy richness in the flavor. This tea would make an excellent iced tea. I prefer the “cold brew” method of making iced tea. Fill a large container with cold filtered water and add a tablespoon of herbal tea leaves for every 6-8 ounces of water. Let this mixture sit overnight in the fridge and then strain into another container the next morning. As these measurements will make a concentrate, you can add water and ice to taste. I prefer drinking the Rooibos concentrate just as is with some lemon or orange slices.

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I’m enjoying my hot herbal cuppa with an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Simply substitute chocolate chips for the raisins in your favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.  Mmmm…

A thoughtful reader wrote to me this past week regarding my steeping times for Assam tea. I like to brew my whole leaf Assams for 5 minutes and he thinks that a 5 minute steeping time is too long and yields a bitter brew for him. That brings up a good point that it is important to experiment with steeping times to see what works best for you as everyone has different taste preferences. If a tea ever tastes bitter, that is a very good indication that it’s been steeped too long for you. Thanks, Bruce!

This morning I am off to look at more properties and then home to shovel bark mulch in the garden. Enjoy the weekend!

“Gardening is an instrument of grace.”

~May Sarton

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