Tea or Tisane?

Herbal tea – aka tisane – is a joy to me. Ima coffee-in-the-morning* and tea-in the-evening gal and one of my favourite teas is Good Earth (thanks to Amy Mac for introducing me to it!). But I’ve been troubled by the number of boxes and teabags that I find myself recycling and tossing, respectively. Even though I’m recycling, I’d rather not even do that to the environment. So recently I’ve been dreaming about being able to make my own herbal tea and avoid the use of boxes and teabags. I’ve been dreaming about making my own ginger-mint tea.

So on Sunday, I harvested some mint from the urban garden that Brian and I share (I left the mint from my previous post on my patio to continue to grow roots) and cut up the fresh ginger root that I had in my fridge and spread them out on two dehydrator trays and left for the day. When I got back, I had dehydrated mint leaves and ginger!

Today I ground up some cloves and chopped up some cinnamon bark to go with them.

Clockwise starting top left: Mint leaves, coarsely ground cloves, dehydrated ginger root, and chopped cinnamon bark.

Then I took 1/2 tsp of each and mixed it together in a bowl and added boiling water – one cup. I have two bowls because I tried adding desiccated coconut and pepper to one bowl to see if it added flavour. It did not.

After 5 minutes steeping time, I strained the tea into a mug! It tastes spicy and yummy! I added a small amount of stevia to heighten the flavours.

I’ve been sipping this tea as I write this blog post.

Next time I think I’ll try adding some loose leaf rooibos or star anise seed. Also, I think I’ll try using less cloves and more ginger.

Have you tried making your own tea?

* It’s actually a double americano with cream but who’s counting?

Mint Transplant Success

My friend Brian and I share a plot at a local urban garden. We’ve planted carrots and broccoli and cabbage among a few other things. Brian’s been growing herbs over at his apartment but I was too scared to try herbs. Until recently!

I saw that there was wild mint growing near the water hoses at the garden – many different varieties of mint! So I asked the garden manager if I could dig some up and take it home to grow on my balcony. He said yes!

Last weekend, I pulled up some regular mint and some chocolate mint and using the leftover dirt from Brian’s herbs, I transplanted the regular mint into an old coconut oil bucket and the chocolate mint into a plastic bag-lined paper bag on a tin pie plate. Then I watered them both well.

Over the last few days I’ve been checking the dirt and pulling off dead leaves so the plant can give energy to the live leaves. And today! Today I noticed that the live leaves no longer feel wilted! They’ve livened up! The roots have started to grow! The transplant was successful!! I know it’s only mint and mint is hardy and it was likely to succeed. But I’m still excited.

Homemade Ginger-Mint Looseleaf Tisane for me!!