Like Redbush tea!? Then you’re going to love Fireweed tea!
It has the sweetness of Redbush but with the body of black tea. Naturally decaf so it makes a lovely evening brew & best of all it’s made from a wild plant spilling out of the hedgerows at the moment – Rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium). Here’s my recipe for making & brewing it..
WHAT YOU’LL NEED..
- Stems of Rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium)
- Large Kilner Jar or similar
- Good strong hands
- Food dehydrator or oven
WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL..
- Start by sterilising your jar by pouring boiling water over it & leaving to cool & dry. Wash your hand thoroughly.
- Strip the leaves from the stems by running your hand from the tip of the stems to the base opposite the growth of the leaves. You’ll end up with a large handful of flowers & leaves.
- Roll the leaves firmly between your hands to bruise them
- Pack the bruised leaves into the jar, seal the lid & then leave in a cool dark place for 48hrs or until you start to see the leaves darken – this means they’re oxidising & going through a gentle fermentation process. if you see any mould then get rid of everything & start again.
- Remove the leaves from the jar & spread on baking trays & dry until crisp in a cool oven at 100 deg C or in a food dehydrator if you have one.
- Pop the leaves back into another sterilised, sealable jar & keep for up to 2 years (as long as the leaves have been properly dried through!)
BREWING YOUR FIREWEED TEA..
- Add a handful of the dried tea leaves to a cafetiere or tea pot with an infusion chamber.
- Pour in hot (not boiling) water & leave for 5-7mins to brew.
- Pour yourself a mugful, add a teaspoon of honey (to taste) & some milk (optional) then find an armchair to sink into & enjoy!
When collecting any wild botanicals, make sure to follow these sustainable foraging guidelines. We hope you enjoy collecting, making & brewing your own fireweed tea! Want to taste it!? We have Fireweed tea on the menu for guests staying in our botanical themed accommodation or visitors coming for any of our edible garden tours this Summer so why not join us for a cuppa!