Sweet~Tart Tea

Sweet Tart Tea

A delicious recipe for an excellent table or beverage, or Iced tea tea

A few weeks ago as Summer quietly burst upon the scene here in Southern Virginia with the ambient temperatures now hitting 90 degrees most every day. Still working the gardens with tilling, weeding and yes, even harvesting some of the early crops, I’ve been trying to get out in the garden earlier and resting in the afternoon, (or at least doing more sedentary work in the heat of the mid-day). I’ve been looking for something different to satisfy my thirst in the hot summer afternoons. I generally like “lemony” drinks. My taste tends lean to the tart and sweet flavors. While poking through my inventory in my “Herbal Apothecary” (formerly our dining room. We now have floor to ceiling bookcases with large jars of “herbs” at the ready). I  pulled out some of my more flavorable, tea making herbs to make a sharp, tart tea that I could sweeten and still let the flavor  hold up to ice. I wanted something tart, but fruity as well with a hint of spice.

By George, I think I found it!

I placed in the jar:

  • 2 well rounded TBS of dried Hibiscus flowers.
  • 1 rounded TBS of Red Clover Flowers.
  • 1 rounded TBS of Lemon Balm.
  • ½ – 1 level TBS of (any) regular Black Tea.

(I used some loose Earl Gray I had in the cupboard.

  • 4 clove buds

I decided to use a half gallon Mason Jar and make a “Sun” tea out in the back yard. I then filled the jar with cold well water and placed the jar out on a small table in the back yard that got full sun all afternoon.

Within an hour, the flowers were releasing their individual boldness with a vibrant red coming from the dried Hibiscus. I let the tea steep in the sun for 2 hours, then brought the container into the kitchen and poured (through a sieve/ strainer) 1/3 glass of the new tea. I sweetened it while it was still warm with Honey (I like my tea like I like my women Sweet and Hot, Bold and Full Bodied). But this time I iced it, as it was now 92 degrees outside. I filled the glass with ice and topped off with tea.

The explosion of flavor was unbelievable. I drank the whole glass in just a few gulps.  While I was refilling my second glass, I was thin king I need to Market this at the community market. I needed a name for it to bring to market. While I was sipping the second glassful I had potential names running through my head. My first thought that this tea is soooo  good and stimulating to the senses, I jokingly called it “Herbal Porn”. But decided This tea is just too good not to share and I best to go back to the basics and simply call it what it is, a delicious blend of “Sweet~Tart” herbs and flowers. Thus my “Sweet Tart” tea is now one of my favorites.

The TinMan