Remembering last years’ article “Give in to the Power of the Tea” part one, please enjoy a second serving of tea titillations.
Has anyone offered you a strange cup of spicy plant broth out of their thermos late at night at a festival? If yes, you know what a wonderful warm surprise it can be. If not, well, then you’re missing out!
The best part is when YOU provide that spicy plant broth we call tea to your festie friends. Here are some recipes and anecdotes for your viewing pleasure.
Recently I’ve been foraging in my own backyard for edible mushrooms and plants which can be easily turned into a tasty and healthful beverage. Finding edible mushrooms was easier than I had thought. There are a few ‘beginner’ mushrooms of which are nearly impossible to misidentify and have no poisonous look-alikes.
You should do some extra research yourself before foraging for wild mushrooms, especially if you plan to consume them. Some of them you can cook and eat, and others are better for making into tea. Like Turkey Tail mushrooms!
Turkey Tail Mushroom Tea
An easy to identify mushroom that I have found in Northern California, it looks like a turkey tail and grows on rotting wood on the forest floor. This polypore mushroom is white-ish underneath with tiny pores (holes) instead of gills.
It’s top is velvety to the touch and has brown, white and orange stripes running horizontally with a unmistakable white edge, looking like the tail of a turkey!
Pluck or cut them off the wood and clean off the dirt, cutting off and discarding the piece which was actually attached to the wood surface.
You can slowly simmer it in hot water for 30 minutes to create a healthful infusion with many health benefits. It’s know to have anti-free radical, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aiding properties. It tastes like dirt, enjoy 🙂
Did you know dandelions are edible? Sid the Sloth thought so, so why wouldn’t we? Ok, bad example. Anyways, go pluck these cute little yellow flowers out of your old high school field and steep them into a delicious natural tea. It actually tastes really delicious! A little sweet, a little bitter, and packed with vitamins. They are also good for upset stomachs and act as a diuretic which make them great detoxifiers.
Pine Tip Tea
You can make tea from almost any pine tree! Make sure to clean and soak them for up to 24 hours first, especially harder pine needles. I prefer using Douglas Fir pine tips in spring when they are new and green, White Fir is also popular. This tea is packed with vitamin C and really great and easy to make while out on the trail. It tastes like Christmas and lemons. Feel free to add sweetener and lemon if you have it.
You can use the same brewing methods to make tea out of any herbs you have growing in your garden. Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, Mint, Arugula, Chives, Garlic, Ginger, lemongrass and I could go on and on. You can make a tea out of almost any edible plant, see which ones you like! These can also easily be dried, stored, and brought along to festivals or camping.
Of course you can use pre-made tea bags and loose teas that you purchase at the store for serving up hot beverages to your friends. But where’s the fun in that? No story, no danger- I hate it. Be more interesting.
So bring that Jet-Boil and some cups for making tea back at camp between late night sets. Also, stop by the two tea tents at Lucidity! The Quan Yin Tea house in the Realm of Water and The Tea Hehe Tea Lounge in the Realm of Earth.
**Disclaimer** I’m not a professional forager, and I’m certainly no doctor, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before eating or serving anything you picked in the wild.