September Tea Blend - Bittersweet Autumn
The rains have returned here in the Pacific Northwest, heralding autumn, truly my favorite time of year. The cool weather, moody clouds, and dancing leaves feel refreshing after our dry sunny summer.
The rains and roving clouds make curling up with a book and tea under a blanket a favorite activity this time of year. So I crafted a recipe this month for a dark sweet herbal tea. My inspiration came from a Celestial Seasonings tea called Roastaroma that I encountered back in July at the Fairy Congress tea tent. I thought at the time it was a delicious Desser-Tea, and made a note to craft my own version later in the year. If you don’t feel like making my blend you can find Celestial Seasonings tea here, they market it more as a caffeine free coffee alternative but I still say it’s a better evening tea.
I usually tend to create tea blends that are more nourishing to the body because modern life seems to be more depleting on my system, so I’ve adjusted the formula accordingly.
This is a big blend but the herbs I want to highlight in it are:
Carob! One of my all-time favorite delicious herbs has a flavor similar to milk chocolate. It is known for being highly nutritious, full of minerals and vitamins and soothing to the system. I give it to Pinto, my cattle dog, every week in her breakfast and often make Bliss Ball desserts with it (I’ll post the recipe!)
Chicory Root. In The Earthwise Herbal, Wood says, “[That it] strengthens those tissues that digest, assimilate food, the blood that carries the nutriment, and the periphery in which the nutriment is deposited – skin, senses, nerves.” He speaks of the raw root medicinally. The roasted root, which is what is most easily found at the store, tends to be more bitter and has more of an effect on the digestive tract and bowels. It’s often used as a caffeine-free coffee alternative because of its strong dark flavor.
Marshmallow, according to Frawley in The Yoga of Herbs, “contains large amounts of high quality mucilage and is perhaps the best nutritive tonic herb internally and softening emollient externally in western herbalism. It allays inflammation, soothes the skin and the mucous membranes and simultaneously cleanses and rebuilds the water element in the body.”
Milky Oatseed is another favorite herb that I often find myself adding to formulas because of its importance as a nervous system tonic. It’s especially helpful for the nervous system that has been depleted by stress, which everyone has.
2oz Roasted Chicory Root
.5 - .75oz Milky Oatseed
.5 - .75oz Marshmallow Root (Cut and Sifted)
.5oz Roasted Carob (usually a powder)
.5oz Anise seeds
.5oz Cinnamon (get whole sticks and grind to smaller chunks)
.25oz of Sarsaparilla
Gather all your ingredients together and mix them into a bowl. I used a spoon this time because of the powdered carob, but still mix with gratitude for the plants!
Use a tea ball when brewing this tea. You’ll still have a nice amount of tasty powder at the bottom of your cup when finished, but the ball will help minimize this.
I recommend only steeping 3-5 minutes. The Chicory can tend to add bitterness to the brew, which I enjoy, but keep the steeping time to a minimum for a sweeter beverage.
Enjoy the changing of the seasons!