Fruit teas and tisanes

You all seem to be such proficient chefs. Well here is a place to share some of that cooking knowledge. Or do you have a cooking problem? Ask away. Jams and chutneys go here too.
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Alice Abbott
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Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213008Post Alice Abbott
Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:22 pm

I'm not sure this is the right place for this put it seems the nearest.

When we "restocked" in June I bought 1kg of coffee beans which I plan on making last for the year. Most people wouldn't have a problem but I really do like my coffee, and strong too. We have lots of wine and cider in various stages of readiness but I'm now looking at making other hot drinks for winter. I can do mulled wine etc but I want something refreshing rather than spicy too, and I'm not really a regular tea drinker (I don't actually have any anyway so that's out).

The French make wonderful tisanes but the bags of loose tisane mix at markets etc are really quite expensive and I thought I could make our own. While making various sorts of dried fruit over the summer (peach, apple, cherries, plums, figs, rhubarb) I kept and dried the skins too - with tisanes in mind. I also have some small chunks of dried orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon skin because I've persuaded various friends not to throw these out but to save them for me, also all sorts of home dried herbs, lavender and some ginger root which I've grown myself. I've also got some flowers I dried, hibiscus, pansies and nasturtium etc. There are also lots of rosehips I could use if necessary once I've sorted out the seeds and hairs. So far, the only one I'm happy with is the apple and cinnamon, which is lovely but seems to me to be a Christmas drink. What I really want is a sharp fruity taste and I can't get the combinations right.

Has anyone made any fruit/herbal teas successfully? Can you share the recipes please? I think I probably have the right ingredients - it's a matter of combinations!

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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213013Post Green Aura
Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:54 pm

Rosehip tea is fabulous - and is chock full of Vit C. Great for keeping off winter colds etc. Sage tea is fantastic for flu etc and lemon and ginger is a great combo too.

I'm not sure about figs - they'd taste great but might have quite an active effect on your digestive system :lol: I'd be frugal with the lavender too - it's lovely but would overpower most things.

I don't know how you feel about hibiscus - I hate it, which is why I can't buy any commercial fruit tea blends. They put it in to bulk out their blends so if you like the stuff it's probably a good idea to make things go further.
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ina
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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213021Post ina
Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:32 pm

Alice Abbott wrote:I also have some small chunks of dried orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon skin because I've persuaded various friends not to throw these out but to save them for me
I'd be careful with them - they are often treated with loads of chemicals... Organic is fine, of course; at the very least wash well with very hot water! But the chemicals they've been treated with while growing would probably still be in the skins.

I've used all those items mentioned myself. I think it's very much a personal matter what you like best. I prefer the herbals to fruit teas, with peppermint my favourite, also sage. Lemon balm is not as strong dried as fresh, but nice to mix in with other herbs. Rosemary is good, too.
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Alice Abbott
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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213028Post Alice Abbott
Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:55 pm

Thanks, Ina, I see what you mean. Just by luck I had already parboiled them when I shaved the pith off so I probably did the job right there, even though I hadn't thought about it.

Hibuscus I can take or leave but they were so pretty - I suppose I only saved them for the colour. I agree about the figs. I love the taste but have to be careful with them. Fortunately it was only odds and ends from ones I couldn't flatten out neatly to dry. I even made "syrup of figs" and bottled it although we haven't had call for it yet...

I was just about to experiment with a mixture of fruit peels, mint and dried rhubarb when the old man along the road arrived with a bucket full of olives to swap for some of my excess green tomatoes. He took one look and mixed me up a bagful, a combination of lemon peel, dried ginger, ground black pepper and sage. He assures me it's "tres bon" with the obligatory kiss to his fingertips. I'll give it a try later! I struggle with his French (I suspect his language of choice is the old French dialect spoken around here and he tends to mangle the two together, not well assisted by his false teeth which seem to have a life of their own) but I suspect I might be getting a bag of tilleul (lime flowers) later. He was saying "tYUH" and miming trees so it sounds about right! These make the classic French soporific tisane so I'll be glad to try them.

I was too wary to ask for recipes for the olives so I'll be back shortly for ideas on those too.

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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213030Post ina
Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:07 pm

Alice Abbott wrote: I struggle with his French (I suspect his language of choice is the old French dialect spoken around here and he tends to mangle the two together, not well assisted by his false teeth which seem to have a life of their own)
:mrgreen: I remember that so well - although, back then (1987) they just seemed to have no teeth, but the obligatory gauloise which I blame on not learning any French while I was there!

Just remembered - I used blackcurrant leaves for tisane, too, although it's not the right time of year for it. Where I was, the soil was very limey and grew incredible herbs; sometimes, when we were late for tea, we just went out in the dark and grabbed a handful of "grass", most of which was herbs!
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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213041Post JillStephens7
Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:09 pm

I love spearmint & chamomile together, also love sage for a sore throat and lemonbalm is nice for headaches.

I've not much experience of making teas from dried fruit but I like rhubarb, lemon & ginger as a cordial ... though that's another winter warmer one, not really refreshing like you asked for :dontknow:

Ginger, black pepper, lemon peel & sage sounds interesting, I've never tried sage with anything else as it's got such a distinctive taste I didn't know what to put it with.

Bon voyage :pirate:

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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213054Post MKG
Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:39 pm

Do you get blackberries where you are, Alice? Because bramble leaves can be dried and add lots of taste to teas (and wine, which is where I come in). Having said that, I like hibiscus - so read whatever you want into that :iconbiggrin: .

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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213141Post Alice Abbott
Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:35 pm

Walking up the lane this afternoon to give the local horse a carrot, pick a few chestnuts up and try out our new (to us anyway) twin buggy I discovered we have lots of blackberry leaves still on the bushes. I've picked a bunch of the most tender ones and have them hanging near the kitchen wood stove to dry.

And yes, the concoction of ginger, black pepper, lemon peel & sage WAS interesting. But really not very pleasant. I think it might be excellent for curing something life-threatening though! I've also tried orange peel with cloves and also cherry and plum skins with rhubarb and tangerine skins. I think I might be getting there slowly, they were both good.

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Re: Fruit teas and tisanes

Post: # 213291Post frozenthunderbolt
Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:56 am

I'm going to watch you carefully and learn from your experiences alice! Only then shall I start mass production for my own use lol
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