I have loved experimenting with teas since I visited Chateaux d’Augerans, Augerans France years ago. It was mid-winter and the type of cold that makes you hopeful for a crisp morning with everything covered in snow.
Logs on the fire beckoned us to creep closer. There were an assortment of mismatched tea cups and mugs on a tray. Everyone waited expectantly for the whistle of an old kettle. In a glass teapot next to the mismatched cups were flecks of gold & grey of different hews. A teapot was sent around, and curious peaks were followed by deep inbreaths and melodious chatter as only the French do.
Each person in the group would later create their own brew for all of us to taste every night. My introduction to brewing my own tisane (pronounced ‘teezaan’ meaning a tea that is caffeine free, made from an infusion of flowers, herbs or spices). I’ve been smitten ever since.
Today I made a hibiscus brew. If not for the taste, the colour is enough to make you want to make it again and again. The flavour of this particular strain of hibiscus: rosa sinesis, is subtle and warm. It’s also called the Shoeblackplant as the petals were crushed to polish black shoes in parts of India. I added a thin slice of lime rind and a fennel stalk. Ideally, I’d like to grow the Hibiscus roselle, but until then…
Hibiscus tea, has a wide range of health benefits. From an Ayurvedic perspective it is a cooling herb and is used in remedies for problems associated with the blood.
(Please conduct thorough research and consult your doctor when using as a remedy.)