The Business of Tea, 2

Tea the Drink near Forsythia

Did you know you can grow your own tea? You can.

According to Tea the Drink that Changed the World, tea bushes prefer the same growing conditions as azaleas and rhododendrons. They also like shade, and they don't like to compete for root space.

Whether you have the fortitude not only to grow your tea but to take it through the processing stage is another question. You can read all about the amazing steps of harvesting and processing in Tea the Drink that Changed the World. You could also choose a middle road and simply add some lovely ingredients to a plain, quality loose tea.

Here's mine this morning, including a Spring wild-edible: violets!

Tea Infuser with Rooibos and Violets

Cherry Citrus Violet Red Tea

1 teaspoon loose Upton Tea Rooibos Superior Organic

1/2 to 3/4-inch orange peel, cut into pieces

10 wild violets (don't use yellow, as they're inedible)

4 dried cherries, cut into pieces

Just add lightly-boiled water and let steep for at least four minutes—more if you want the flavors to intensify (I took out the orange peel after four minutes and left the rest, just because I don't like too strong a citrus flavor).

Antique White Tea Cup

When I finally sit down to drink, I love using the antique cup that my dear friend Ann Kroeker gave me. She has a matching cup, so we can take tea "together."

But sometimes when I'm feeling a little one-stop-ish, I'll brew my tea in the same cup I'll drink it in... the ForLife Tea Mug with Infuser and Lid.

This morning, because I want a little anti-allergy boost, I'm also adding raw honey. Mine's got pomegranate. More red for me!

More on the subject of tea: The Business of Tea, 1. Includes recipe with wild flowers

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