Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wish Herbal Tea Tasted More Like Tea?

Blackberry Leaf
Then you're like me! Sometimes I really long for a cup of conventional black tea. But I have to be careful about caffeine, especially if I add sweetener. It makes me very spacey and that's no fun. And I happen to love honey with a touch of cream or milk in my black tea.

I've tried many alternatives -- Rooibos and Honeybush is a favorite. But it always felt like there was something missing. And finally I discovered what it probably was: tannins. That is a key ingredient that makes black tea taste like tea!

There are herbal ingredients that have that needed quality I so desire. Blackberry Leaf is my favorite and it is a favorite ingredient in commercial herbal tea blends as well. Red Raspberry Leaf is also a nice choice. Both can be used on their own as a gentle black tea substitute.

Some people, however, like to avoid tannins. They can interfere with the absorption of some prescription drugs and vitamins. And Blackberry and Red Raspberry Leaf still miss another element I associate with black tea that I'd call .... um .... a low tone. A deep note? Earthiness, perhaps? It's hard to describe but you miss it when it's gone!

Chicory Root
For that, I like to add a touch of Chicory. Chicory is better known as a coffee substitute or additive. It's a particular favorite in New Orleans where I grew to love it. I add some to many of my blends:

Not Joe Mama (coffee alternative)
Dandelion Detox
Carob Mocha Mint

It adds just the right amount of earthiness with a touch of welcome sweetness as well.

It's fun to make herb tea blends! I love doing it. If you make your herb tea tasty you might not miss black tea at all.

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