Delicious and healthful teas, served hot or cold, can be brewed from a wide variety of roots and herbs, in addition to traditional tea leaves. With all the hype about Turmeric lately -and because I found it fresh at my local market!- I included it in my first experiment.
I took the easy route and used some green tea bags that I already had on hand. Obviously I am partial to green tea since you can usually find several varieties in the cupboard! This time I went with decaf since I'll be chilling some of my brew for later in the day.
I have fond memories of my mother's Sun Tea - brewed on our patio in the warm California sunshine. Here in Florida it's also plenty hot so I don't have anything close to an excuse - I have to fess up to having used the stove top... maybe next time!
A heads up when peeling your turmeric - expect to end up with yellow fingers! If you're lucky enough to find an organic source then I guess peeling is optional but my hands were yellow for days, not that I minded much. I also found a knob of ginger that needed to be used up so... in it went!
As for the other ingredients... I was recently the recipient of a generous gift - lemon grass! Actually, it was a bunch of shoots pulled out of my friend's garden - with the caveat of getting them into the ground immediately! I still haven't planted them but even shoved into a plastic container with some soil dumped on top, they have thrived. Nice to know that some plants are so forgiving.
Brewing the tea was pretty simple: clean, peel, chop and just add water. Deciding how much of each ingredient to use is really up to you and how strong you want the flavors to be. For a large 5 quart pot, I basically used what's pictured above and let it simmer over low heat until it was nice and dark. I taste-tested a warm cup before allowing the rest to cool down, then strained and refrigerated.
Now that I've made the plunge into tea I can't wait to do a bit more research, as well as add a few more herbs to my garden. I'll be planting chamomile, peppermint and lavender... but if there are any brewing aficionados out there please send me your suggestions!