With winter in full swing and frigid temperatures across most of the country, what better time to talk about delicious warm herbal teas?
Specifically, what are referred to as decoctions which is really just a long, slow simmer creating a concentrated, very flavorful dark tea. This is usually the method of choice when working with woody substances such as roots, barks and stems. This method usually takes 2-3 hours, sometimes longer, to allow the mineral salts and bitters to release.
A basic decoction recipe is 1 pint of water to 1 ounce root or herb. For best results, use spring water or filtered water. The awful fluoridated & chlorinated tap water can alter the taste and benefits we are trying to receive. Allow this to simmer until about 1 quarter of the liquid has reduced, allow to cool and strain. For freshest flavor, we like to use ours within 48 hours or so.
Since these can be a bit on the strong side for some people, a little dash of honey might be nice. One of our favorite sweeteners is Jaggery, which is unprocessed (unrefined) cane sugar. It contains all the natural molasses and mineral salts, is far more complex (since it has not been messed with) and it tastes wonderful.