Mixing Teas & Flowers

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Dearies, I know I’ve written quite a bit about spring time teas, but I’ve recently thought of one more way to get spring flowers in your cup. To actually put them in your cup! I know, it seems too easy to be true, right?

You’ll want to dry your flowers first, or you can purchase them already dried. The amount of flowers you use depends on how much tea you want to make. For a few servings I’ll blend one cup of tea and a tablespoon of flowers and adjust if necessary, but you’ll need to start experimenting and see what works best for you. You may also want to add a floral extract to your blend, to increase the flavor. But that’s entirely up to you!

To make a garden blend with just flowers, you can use equal parts of each flower. Kat likes to blend chamomile and lavender together for a soothing evening blend. She often likes to play around with the following flowers. You can find these already dried online for easy use: rose, jasmine, lavender, hibiscus, chamomile, and chrysanthemum.

Kat likes to create her own version of Rose Congou. This is a fragrant rose tea from China. She takes 1 cup of her favorite Chinese black tea, and 2 tablespoons of dried rose petals. Sometimes she’ll add in a couple drops of rose extract. Mix everything together and store in an airtight container for 1 week. Open the container and give it a sniff. If it smells like a rose garden, it’s ready!

Adding flowers to your tea blends is delicious and also visually appealing. Fill tea filters with your tea blend and share with friends and family. You could also put it in a pretty glass jar for gift-giving, although I wouldn’t recommend storing your tea in glass long-term unless you’re sure to keep it out of the light (see my previous post on properly storing teas!)

You can add your flowers to any of your favorite tea bases, or I also like to use rooibos as a caffeine-free base. You can also skip the tea base altogether and just blend the flowers together!

Now my lovelies, please note I’m not a master tea blender, I just know what Kat and I enjoy. These are just my recommendations to get your mind thinking about how to get creative with tea and flowers.

How to Grow Your Own Tea

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If you are one of the up-and-coming “locavores,” who try to eat only what is available locally, you may be keen to know that it is possible to grow, harvest and make your own tea. While I’ve spouted off before about how Tea Does Not Grow in London, we do have the ability to grow it in a variety of regions with a little extra TLC.

Kat just discovered a book by Cassie Liversidge, “Homegrown Tea: An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting, and Blending Teas and Tisanes,” which provides step-by step instructions to cultivating your own tea!

By growing your tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in a pot, you will have the ability to move it around to get the best sunlight and also to bring it indoors to protect it from freezing temperatures in the winter. To harvest, you’ll be plucking the top two leaves and bud from the new growth each spring, which means you may want to grow a few tea plants to create a good sized batch. We’ve been surveying Kat’s patio, discussing where the best locations would be for a few potted tea plants. She and I are getting very excited to begin this project!

Think of the possibilities! You could try creating your own Earl Grey with bergamot, or you could blend the tea leaves with dried fruit or flowers. Imagine bringing your own custom tea blend to next year’s holiday party as a hostess gift!

The idea is intriguing, I know. And there’s even a growing movement in the United States to encourage farmers to grow tea. In fact, the U.S. League of Tea Growers met just last week in Long Beach, California at the World Tea Expo!

Who’s ready to start growing your own tea?