News From The Test Kitchen: Herbal Teas

As has been documented on this site before, I am not the one slaving away in our family’s kitchen.

But all the fun my husband has in there with his test kitchen’s I decided to have one of my own. Well, truth be told, I didn’t decide, my new instructor in school decided for me, assigning us to make our herbal tea for the first homework module.

First I must state that I am not a tea drinker. I have never quite acquired the taste for teas. I have been a die-hard coffee drinker, and drink two cups a day (well maybe three). A few weeks ago I tried several ways to hide the flavor of green tea because — the latest fads again — everyone was raving about how great they were.

Still not a fan.

But this is for my class and it’s for real and I had to take it seriously.

I decided to make a herbal tea and an Infusion using Dandelion Root and Sage.

I decided to try this mixture because they both seemed to aid digestion. Sage is a digestant and Dandelion Root is a diuretic.

Right from the start I struggled. First, I was not familiar with “Press-N-Brew” Tea Bags. Not being a refined tea aficionado, my tea knowledge starts and stops with “Lipton.” So, I want to thank my fellow classmates for their patience in reading my recent posting on the discussion board aptly labeled “Sealing Tea Bag.” I managed to mangle about three of these bags when I finally discovered that after separating each one from the perforations that low and behold, each one was it’s own tea bag conveniently sealed on three sides.

As Adam Sandler said in “The Wedding Singer,” that would’ve been useful YESTERDAY!”

IMG_20140319_134906

After mixing my herbs (1 t.), I placed them inside the tea bag, and sealed the open side with a straightening iron turned onto the low setting. It did turn out to be that easy!

I let the tea steep for 10 minutes before drinking it.

Herb Module 1 3

At first smell, it was the Sage “Salvia officinalis” that I noticed. The Dandelion Root “Taraxacum” was smothered by the smell of the Sage.

I handed a cup of it to my husband.

“Wow, that’s not bad,” he said. “What did you think?”

“Uh, I haven’t tried it yet,” I said.

He looked at me like King who may have just been poisoned. To ease the discomfort I gave it a try.

Most exciting and surprising to me was the taste of this tea. I thought it was very tasty. There was no aftertaste at all. The first sip I took without any flavor doctoring, and determined that I could easily drink this again. For experimental purposes I decided to doctor it up a little bit by adding a lemon slice. The lemon seemed to accent the flavors a little bit without leaving an extended lemony taste behind.

I handed another cup, this time with the lemon, to my husband.

Herb Module 1 4

“This is fucking delightful,” he said.

And I felt thrilled.

“Make that Effin delightful,” he said. I thought the first review was better, spontaneous as it was.

The herbal infusion seeped for a total of 3.5 hours. I noticed in the notes included in the Herbal Preparation Guide that accompanied the kit the infusion can be stored for a maximum of 24 hours, though it is intended for immediate use.

With the infusion I did note that the scent was stronger than the tea. However, the flavor was similar.

In the future I would use less of the Sage and more Dandelion Root. I would hope making this modification would bring out the Dandelion’s taste a little more.

Based on this experiment, I can say that I am now a tea drinker, and in fact, I replaced my afternoon cup of coffee this afternoon with a cup of tea. I added that lemon slice. A little doctoring never hurt anyways.

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3 thoughts on “News From The Test Kitchen: Herbal Teas”

  1. I’m pretty willing to try more herbal teas. I’m already a big fan of china green tea and sencha green tea, but I’m always on the lookout for other flavours. I’m not such a fan of the flowery perfumy teas but your sage and dandelion root sounds interesting. I have to look into getting my own tea bag making kit so I can experiment.

    1. Thanks for sharing your ideas. As we keep testing new combos we will post how it goes. If you try your own tea bags let us know how it turns out. Also my instructor suggested cooking the dandelion root for more flavor. Next time we will try that out.

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