House Blend Herb Tea

Posted on August 24, 2013


On these roasting summer days, one can never drink enough, and I try to keep a pitcher of chilled herb tea in the fridge at all times.   Very auspiciously, the path leading to my front door is lined with herbs – starting with rosemary, followed by zaatar (Syrian marjoram), lemon verbena, thyme, zuta  levana (white savoury), lemon grass, sage and tarragon.

Making the tea is simple enough – just put a bunch of fresh herbs in a tea pot and cover with boiling water.  I leave the pot to steep on the counter until the tea is tepid – then pour it into the pitcher and put it in the refrigerator.  The teapot is constantly being replenished with my daily harvests.

Typically, I start with the lemon verbena, breaking off four tender branches of new growth just where they generously yield without pulling.  After that, I select two long sprigs of zuta and then reach down into the depths of the lemon grass to tear off one scratchy leaf.  Finally I look for two large and handsome sage leaves, eponymously green and furry, and pluck them as well.  This carefully assembled combination, I just realized, composes my house blend.

I recently read a book by Elliot Cowan called Plant Spirit Medicine.  The author describes how he communicates with particular plant spirits, and how they guide him in his work as a healer.  Since then, I have begun to approach each of my herb plants with new respect.   I whisper thanks to its spirit for so generously sharing its growth for my refreshment, and I run my hands over its leaves in appreciation.

For the time being, the only response I’ve received is the continued blessing of my delightful cold tea.  And that, believe me, is recognition enough.

herb garden