Sunday, October 12, 2008

Raspberry leaf tea

Herb tea has never really done it for me.

I like black tea, and a few flavored black teas (say, Earl Grey?), but I'm pretty boring in my taste.

Some fruit-flavored herb teas are just awful. I like chamomile when I have an upset stomach, and sometimes when it's late in the day and I don't want a caffeine hit yet I do want something warm to drink, I suck it up and drink something -- red zinger, or honeybush, or whatever I might have bought thinking maybe this would be the one to convert me to the wide world of herb teas.

When I was pregnant with Annie, I read a lot about raspberry leaf tea: just dried raspberry leaves, steeped in hot water. I wasn't using caffeine at all, so I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. I was so happy to find something else I liked. I think it's the tannic acid -- it has a little of that same puckery bite to it that black tea has.
(Oh, I also happened to like nettle infusion, which I drank for the iron after Annie's birth, but I haven't seen nettle growing in my yard.)

The raspberries I planted last year yielded some berries -- enough for the kids and me to go on a daily quest for the few that we'd get -- but I was eyeing those leaves all summer. Last weekend, I clipped off about 8 or 9 branches, tied them into bunches, and hung them upside-down on the basement clothesline to dry. I wasn't sure how long it would take, but they certainly seemed dry enough inside of a week. Last night I pulled off the leaves and put them into a jar for storage.

Now I'm just waiting for an inevitable cool late-afternoon tea-drinking urge to see if it lives up to my memories . . .


S. said...

You have to tell me if it works! We have tons and tons of raspberry growing in our jungle, er, garden, and I've always thought there must be some magical time to harvest the leaves that I didn't know about. But if it works for you up there I have at least a couple weeks here when I could still pick mine.

Tall Kate said...

I've read conflicting things about when to harvest them. One said, early spring! And another said, just before frost! Since I missed spring, I figured I'd just give it a try. I'll let you know how it is once I try it. We're in this stretch of warmish weather now, which is awesome, but not exactly conducive to tea-drinking.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Laughing! I knew S. would comment on this one!

Tall Kate said...

S., do you think that's Phantom's nice way of saying she thinks you're a hippie?


S. said...

She KNOWS I'm a hippie! She just keeps me around because I make her feel like a hipster.