Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Herb Tea Experiments

Mama Love (me) used to be BIG on herb teas. Not for sale. This was long before I ever imagined being in the flower essence aromatherapy business. It was for myself, for my own healing, peace and well-being. I had an herb garden. I frequented herb stores, read books on herbal medicine. I even worked for a publishing company (Crossing Press) that had a strong focus on alternative healing and published books on herbalism by some of the best known herbalists in the business.

I drank herbal teas every day and even started to blend my own... but that was MANY years ago in a life that often feels sad to have left and very far away.

My more recent life with my partner Paul introduced me to the pleasures of coffee. Paul was a bit of a coffee geek when I met him. He had his own espresso machine-- a big one, not one of those cute designer kitchen types. He bought green coffee beans online from all over the world, roasted and ground his own coffee, sometimes made his own blends. It was a treat to sit on our front porch in Santa Cruz tasting tastes I had never even heard of before. One type of coffee we tried tasted like chocolate!

But I could rarely drink more than half a cup -- less if I added any sugar.  A little bit -- a couple of sips -- was relaxing but a whole cup makes me very ungrounded and spacey. I can't concentrate, can't think. All I can think about is how to get this coffee out of me!

I DO like the taste though so I got in the habit of having sips of Paul's wonderful coffee drinks every day and wished I could have a lot more. In the meantime, though, Paul has developed chronic heartburn that we know is somewhat related to his coffee consumption. It gets better when he cuts back or takes a break. So it's doubly on my mind to find acceptable alternatives.

Every time I go to a coffeehouse with Paul I ask about no caffeine drinks. They point me to decaf which I can handle better but when I ask about no-caf the same thing happens. There are two choices: peppermint or chamomile herb tea. It's okay. I even like it. But Paul is getting a big mug of awesome-smelling intensely flavored stuff with cream and maybe chocolate added and whipped cream! Oh, the disappointment. My choices are the kind of drink young children are given before going to bed. It's just not the same.

So this new year started the process of experimentation. It's bringing back bittersweet memories of my life in Santa Cruz, buying bulk herbs at herb stores and making new blends. But it's also netting some creations that are really awfully good.

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