Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tundra Tea

One cold wintery day, my friend Darla offered up a new and wonderful hot beverage for C.O. and I to try, tundra tea. Since then I've had a little thing for this steaming hot goodness. It tastes like what I imagine the tundra would taste like if you could bend down and gobble it up.  When we're locked in by snow and ice, it's a wonderful reminder of warmer days out in the countryside.


Tundra tea is more commonly known as Labrador Tea. Here is a cute, little Labrador "forest".


This year we decided to collect and save a bunch for ourselves. This way we don't have to show up at Darla's house with sad puppy dog eyes begging for a cup.


After pulling off the leaves, we put them on a piece of parchment paper to dry in the food dehydrator. Darla just puts the whole works in the freezer until she's ready to brew her tea, but we are white folks and like to make things more complicated than they need to be.


We use this lovely little tea pot to make our loose leaf teas. It just happens to be the very first thing C.O. and I bought together as a couple. Isn't it cute and classy at the same time? Our very favorite feature is that it never, ever drips from the spout when we're done pouring. This makes my engineering minded husband very happy.


Throw those leaves in the strainer.


Add boiling water.  Psst! Electric tea kettles are the bomb if you drink a lot of hot beverages.


The tea turned out a bit weak, but still very tasty. I added some leaves to the water just for visual interest in this photo. Oh and I don't recommend sugar for this tea. Usually I cannot drink coffee or tea without copious amounts of sugar but tundra tea is different, sugar detracts rather than adds to the taste. 

I found this blog post by a gal up near the Brooks range mountains who talks a bit more about Labrador and how it is used by Inupiat people in her area. Check out the rest of her blog as well while you're at it. It's worth reading.


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