The first thing you should know about tea will blow the teapot lid right off everything you thought you knew about tea. As it turns out, a drink can only be called tea if it’s made from the actual tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Every other drink that’s labeled as “tea” should technically be called “tisane.” For the sake of accuracy, today I am going to show you how to make strawberry tisane. But - for the sake of simplicity - I will erroneously continue to refer to it as strawberry tea.
I first got the idea to make some homemade tea from my garden. I planted some mint that Donna and I would use every now and then in our store bought tea to flavor it a little. Pondering how hard it was to make your own tea, I did some research on the Internet for easy to make tea recipes. More than once, I stumbled across recipes for Strawberry Leaf Tea.
I should warn you first about how I use the Internet. The Internet has no filter for erroneous information. I consider this one of its worst attributes. Any thought, idea, or story can be disseminated even if its 100% false. What I do when I find something I want to try is I see if I can find it referenced, mentioned, or talked about in more than one reputable website. I will leave it up to you to discern if a source is reputable, but for the most part if I can reach a consensus across a broad swath of sources, then I assume something is at least partially true.
Such was the case with Strawberry Leaf Tea.
Making Strawberry Leaf Tea is very, very simple. First you look at your strawberry plant. (I have one growing in my garden.) You find the biggest, cleanest leaves and pick them. It’s very important to inspect the leaves for blemishes, bugs, fungi, or any inconsistencies in the leaves. You want them to be green and pristine.
This next part is VERY important. There are only two ways to consume strawberry leaves: completely fresh OR completely dry. There is no in-between. The in-between stage is dangerous because as a leaf decays there’s actually a chemical decomposition occurring and it is not healthy to consume these leaves. The easiest, which I used, was to pick them straight off the plant and use them immediately. (Some people like to dry them and save them for later.) I also picked some mint leaves and threw them in the pile to add a little flavor.
Once you have picked your clean, pristine strawberry leaves, wash them and place them in the bottom of your mug. Bring a pot of water almost to boil and then pour the hot water onto the tea leaves. (I read from one source that boiling water will actually cook them leaves more than you want.) Let it steep for ten minutes. To create a sweeter flavor, you can add honey, sugar, or Splenda. Donna took hers with Splenda and I took mine the same with a small bit of honey.
|Letting the leaves steep for ten minutes|
As is the case with any raw plant you consume, I was afraid the taste would be peculiar. I brought in Donna to be my guinea pig. When it comes to tea, Donna is a woman of discriminating tastes so I knew if it got her seal of approval then Strawberry Leaf Tea was a legitimate contender. As you can tell from these before and after photos (which I should note were NOT staged) the Strawberry Leaf Tea tasted darn good!
Beyond the great taste, Strawberry Leaf Tea is incredibly healthy. According to www.livestrong.com, Strawberry Leaf Tea promotes digestive health, helps alleviate arthritis, and contains many healthy nutrients such as iron, calcium, and Vitamin C.
While my strawberry plant isn’t the most prolific strawberry producer, it is quite good at producing leaves - a nice consolation now that I know how to make Strawberry Leaf Tea!