Herbaceous and somewhat dry. Not unpleasant – a ‘must be good for you’ taste.
Luxury Ingredients: Dandelion leaves
Tea(s) From: France
Antioxidant Level: Low
Caffeine Content: None - Caffeine Free Herb
In 1957, Ray Bradbury published his most famous work, "Dandelion Wine", a series of short stories that follow a family through summer. The book's title comes from a recipe, (which we'll share in just a moment), that serves as a metaphor for fitting all the happiness of summer into a bottle.
So, how does one make Dandelion Wine? Well, it goes something like this:
. Start with a half quart of dried dandelion leaves
. Place in 1 gallon of boiling water
. Let stand 4 minutes
. Remove the leaves and cool the water to 90o F / 32o C
. Stir in 1 packet dry yeast, 8 cups of sugar, 1 sliced orange and 1 lemon slice
. Pour the mixture into a fermentor
. Let the wine ferment 10-14 days, strain, bottle and age for 1 week
. C?est tout!
In addition to their use in winemaking, Dandelions, named after the French phrase "dent-de-lion", which means "lion's tooth" on account of the jagged shape of their leaves, have long been prized as an herbal remedy around the globe. While the buttery hued flower is these days usually vilified by gardeners, in other times a tea made from dandelion was said to promote weight loss, treat infections and help reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, in some parts of the Far East, traditional medicinal practitioners commonly still prescribe dandelion tea for all of the above.
These dried flowers from Provence are an excellent example of high quality, well-graded petals, and are ready for use on their own as a tisane, as a blending component, or (hiccup!) for home-brewing the wine mentioned above. A votre santé!
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz / 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).