Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Find yourself a large glass container. (Mine is a commercial sized pickle jar collected from a local pizzaria.)
Go out first thing in the morning and gather some aromatic herbs. I have here spearmint, lemon verbena, and bee balm,* along with blossoms.
Strip off the leaves and crunch them up with your hands to release their essential oils. Stuff them in the jar, fill to the top with water, and set out in the sun. Here you see them on the brick patio, an awesome solar collector.
Later on in the day, strain the tea and put the leaves in the compost. Put the tea in the refrigerator overnight to chill. This is a mild flavored tea, so best not to dilute it with ice cubes. Serve with a sprig of fresh spearmint.
* Other names for bee balm are bergamot, and Oswego Tea. Tradition holds that early settlers in Oswego, New York used bergamot tea as a substitute for black tea when the latter was hard to come by.