Tea Notes

Sunday, June 25, 2023:  Today I'd like to feature an edible flower that I grow myself here on the farm.  When you blend teas, it's important to get to know your plants.  It's important to know how to care for them, but it's also important to understand how they taste individually.  You need to also be aware of any affects they can have on your body. 

Let's chat about chamomile. It's one of the most popular herbal teas.  The German chamomile plant will grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Tea is made from its daily-like flowers. (The stems smell great but are bitter.)  It's a great annual flower for your own tea garden as it blooms from June through August.  Even though it is considered an annual, chamomile might self-seed and return to the garden for subsequent seasons.  The plant is easily grown from seed.  For optimal growth, don't overwater.  2023 here in Jones County Iowa has been brutally dry. So, in my routine to not overwater, I've actually had trouble with growth. But I can replant and start fresh.   As with everything, you need the perfect balance. 

This soothing herbal tea has some mild sedative properties and therefore it's great to drink before bedtime. Roman chamomile has a small flower and is slightly more bitter and less sweet than German chamomile.  If you're growing chamomile flowers for tea, use the German chamomile species. 

Chamomile tea is not only recommended as a sleep aid, but it can help with colds and flu, headaches, and even stomach upset. Chamomile helps restore an exhausted nervous system and is great for calming the mind and relaxing in times of stress. It's considered an excellent children's herb.  Topically, chamomile can be added to the bath water to help relieve stress, nourish dry skin, and calm the crankiness. 

There are some people, especially those sensitive to ragweed, who are severely allergic to chamomile. However, Roman chamomile is more likely to cause an allergic reaction than the German variety.  But for some with sensitivity, it can cause contact dermatitis. Use the herb with caution if you are hypersensitive to ragweed.  Otherwise, chamomile is considered very safe. 

For the best brew add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for three to five minutes, strain the flowers before sipping. As with many herbs and teas, steeping longer than five minutes will allow some bitterness to release from the flower.  Chamomile is great paired with citrus-flavored herbs such as lemon balm and lemon verbena.  The tea's aroma may remind you of t apples and the flavor is delicate, soothing, and slightly sweet. 

Miller Tea Company sells dried chamomile flowers for a nice herbal infusion, but we also have other blends that include this botanical.

We feature a lovely Grace & Peace tea that combines this calming flower with lemon balm and lavender to not only clam and relax, but positively influence your mood.   Grace & Peace is a dedicated blend, which means profits from its sales are dedicated to Seeds of Grace & Gratitude Ministry, a nonprofit organization living with gratitude and sharing the grace of God with others.   

Our Teachers Blend also includes chamomile.  It brings together herbs to help ease a headache while providing a calm, refreshing flavor.   

Chamomile is also a sweet ingredient in our Heritage Peach tea, including the flavor of peaches, apples, pineapple, rose and lemon verbena.   

I specifically designed a tea for one customer to help her daily routine to lower blood pressure. This is also available to all of you in our Pressure Health blend. This is a chamomile-infused green tea.  Although there is caffeine naturally found in green tea, it is a low amount, and the benefits of green tea are numerous.   

I'm currently working to develop two new blends using chamomile.  One is a "wellness tea" that includes many healing plant extracts to provide a daily health boost.   The other is just a lovely summertime blend that includes blackberries and other summertime flowers, fruits, and herbs. It's my goal to serve this chilled before the summer ends.  Again, we do offer the dried chamomile flowers and many individuals enjoy an iced chamomile tea by adding fresh fruits and berries.  Now doesn't that sound delicious!

Miller Tea Company is here to provide you with loose-leaf tea and herbs.  We're happy to help you customize a gift for someone, as we offer sampler boxes and customized baskets that include tea accessories.  Includes one of Janette Beardsley's devotion books to your gift, and you'll not only be purchasing a lovely gift, but you'll also be donating to the ministry.   Email me today and I'll get started on your special request at themillerteacompany@gmail.com. 

Have a great day!   

Rosalie Bowers

 


We will have a couple of blogs on this website.  Tea Notes will be focusing on tea, herbs, tisanes, edible flowers, and accessories.  

The second blog will be from Seeds of Grace & Gratitude Ministry. 

Are you new to loose-leaf tea?   

Loose leaf tea leaves keep their flavor, aroma, and health benefits because they're not crushed into a tea bag. 

Does the lack of a tea bag intimidate you?  No need to worry.  You can utilize many methods of steeping your tea that includes, disposable or reusable tea filters, infusers, French press, steeping ball, and strainers. 

What does it mean to steep tea? Steeping tea means to soak the loose tea leaves or the tea bag in the water. Steeping allows for the antioxidants and flavors to infuse into the water. 

True teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant, while herbal teas come from various parts of other plants. How to best steep each type differs.  

The quality of your water also affects the flavor of your tea. Tap water high in minerals or treated with chlorine will cause your tea to be off flavor.  Ideally you should use fresh, cold, and filtered water when brewing.

Below is a good guide for amounts, water temperature and steeping times. (Adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs.)