by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Lavender Tea

Teas made with fresh herbs and spices often tend to come out a little weak. Once dried however, these ingredients are much more prone to releasing their flavors and properties when emulsified in liquid. The trick to rendering the flavors out of fresh herbs is to first agitate them before infusing. In some cases, grinding or a pestle and mortar can work but for this tea all that’s needed is to simply chop up the blossoms a little. Spanish lavender is perhaps the best variety to use as the blossoms are easy to pluck at the top of each stock and regenerates frequently. Lavender is a distinct flavor and (I think) becomes better when complemented with other flavors. In this case I really like the addition of a little lemon balm, a little milder and citrusy alternative to mint. If you ever decide to grow lemon balm, make sure to grow it in a pot as it will take over your garden or yard, as does mint. As simple as this is to make, it did take a few versions to get it where I thought it was on par with what a fresh tea should be.

1 tbsp packed whole lavender flowers

3 leaves lemon balm (sub mint)

1 squirt of raw honey (optional)

Tea infuser

When collecting the flowers, it’s probably easiest to just bring the tablespoon outside and pluck them and add right into it. Make sure you have a nice overflowing tablespoon. Gather 3 large or the equivalent amount of lemon balm leaves. I sometimes rinse the lemon balm or mint but usually don’t bother with lavender however feel free to if you wish.

Make a pile of flowers and leaves and then roughly chop. Use your fingers to rub and mash them just a bit.

Add these to a tea ball or tea infuser and place in tea cup or mug.

Bring a cup of water to a low boil and pour over herbs, steep for 10 minutes.

Once herbs are strained add a squirt of honey and stir with a spoon.

….and that’s it

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