Just like Schwarzenegger and Poltergeist – our news letter is back. For a variety of reasons, we took a 3 month break from the Newsletter. Rest assured, all if fine in Tea-land. Hope you enjoy this latest installment.
In between newsletters, it is easy to stay informed by reading our blog. New articles are also posted to our Facebook site.
From Teas to Decoctions
You may have heard herbalists talk about teas, infusions and decoctions and wondered what the difference was and when to chose one over the other to prepare your herbs.
Technically, only an infusion made with the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), that is white, green, oolong and black tea, can be called a “tea”. All other infusions made with botanicals are called infusions or tisanes. In the world of herbs,however, a tea is a particular method of preparing herbs. In order to prepare an herbal “tea”, you take about 1-2 tbs. of plant material per 8 oz of boiling water; pour the water over the herbs, cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. Because of the relatively short steeping time, a tea is much milder and not all beneficial constituents are extracted. It is great if you try a new herb to see how your body tolerates it or simply to enjoy the taste.
An infusion is a stronger version of an herbal tea. They are generally made using the leaves, flowers and stems of a plant. The standard traditional recipe calls for 1/2-1oz of dried herb steeped in a pint of boiling water for 20-30 minutes (or even overnight). If you use fresh herbs, double the amount of plant material. Due to the longer steeping time, more of the healing constituents are extracted making the infusion more therapeutic than a tea. In order to get to the minerals in many nutritive herbs such as nettle, you have to steep the herbs for at least four hours. Of course the longer steeping effects the taste and most infusions tend to be quite bitter. To make them more palatable, use honey, sugar or lemon. Infusions are great when you are sick and need to get the maximum benefit from your herbs.
Decoctions are used to extract the medicinal constituents from the harder parts of the plant, such as bark, roots, rhizomes, dried berries or seeds. In order to prepare a, use the same amount of herbs as with the infusion per pint of water. Place the herbs in a pot and add the water. Bring everything to a full, rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered!
Finally, strain the decoction through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar or cup.
Speaking of concoctions…
Who says you can’t have your tea and margarita at he same time?
We added some green tea with lots of antioxidants to the original recipe for this tangy, tasty “Green Tea Margarita”
In this Souvia recipe, a Margarita with lemon juice is blended with “green chai’ ice cubes!
For one serving, you will need:
1 lime or lemon wedge
Saucer of granulated sugar for coating rim of glass
Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a margarita glass. Dip and rotate the rim in the saucer of sugar, making sure to keep the sugar on the outside. In a blender, combine the chai ice cubes, tequila, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and sugar. Blend on the pulse setting until slushy. Pour into the sugar-rimmed glasses.
Thanks for Reading…
Thanks for reading this month. Hope you found a nugget or two to take away. Remember, slow down and enjoy a cup of tea or herbal infusion. We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon. If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!
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