Monday, October 17, 2011
October Energizing Spice Tea
The blend of herbs and spices for this energizing spice tea reflects what is in my garden and kitchen today. All of these ingredients are helpful in "stimulating your senses and increasing alertness."
The idea comes from the program I was following during the Summer. When I made the tea in July, I also had cilantro in the garden, and the flavor of my tea was very influenced by it. Today, even with this whole mix you see above, my tea tastes primarily of cinnamon.
I think this is one of those "recipes" you need to play around with. The batch I made in Summer was pretty potent, and today I was feeling more modest in my cultivating. This infusion lacks the zing. The cinnamon really adds a warmth, however, that was lost with the cilantro.
With my Summer concoction, I remember chilling some in a water bottle and taking it to the pool one day. Unless I was really imagining things (possible with the heat we had in July), I felt quite a pick-me-up from this innocent little brew! If you have some cilantro, you might want to add in a few sprigs.
I have tried making the infusion a couple different ways. The first is to put all your herbs and spices in a pot (I just put the herbs in whole), cover with water (2-3 cups) and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the herbs steep for at least 15 minutes or longer, and then strain through a sieve.
A rough guideline could be, 1 large sprig rosemary, a few sprigs of oregano, parsley, chives, and cilantro (optional), 5 sage leaves, 1 bay leaf, 1 or 2 slices of ginger (peeled) and 1 stick cinnamon.
The other method I tried was to chop up my herbs (about a 1/2 cup, plus ginger, cinnamon and bay leaf) and place in a french press. Add about 2-3 cups of boiling water and let steep for at least 15 minutes or longer before pressing down.
I don't think there is an exact science to this. I would say to experiment with the amount of herbs and water, and make it to suit your taste. I think the boiling in a pot method makes a stronger tea, but the french press approach is a little neater and prettier.
If you try this, let me know how it makes you feel. We're having a rainy day here. I may need some spice to perk me up once I've finished my morning coffee!