Chamomile Orange Tea with Cardamom
Browsing farmers markets for new products is my favorite summer activity, which also means I end up with way too many things to try out and never have enough storage space in the refrigerator! On my last escapade, I bought fresh organic herbs – chamomile (an herb that originates from the daisy family), sage, lemon thyme and let the bunch hang dry upside down in the kitchen.
Of course there was no plan when for these herbs but some of the sage ended up in my breakfast sausage and I’m also the weird person who burns sage at home, more so because I like the burning smell that fills the air.
This was my first time using chamomile that’s not in the form of store bought tea bags. This herb is known to have several health benefits, its very effective for stomach related issues and also helps with insomnia. Personally, chamomile tea has helped me immensely with menstrual spasms and is a great way to alleviate stress after a long day at work.
This is what a bunch of dried chamomile looks like, not so pretty but smells amazing!
For this blend I combined the chamomile with dried orange peel strips for a hint of citrus flavor and couple of pods cardamom.
The orange peels are quite versatile, great to use in dessert recipes and I sometimes add them to my green tea while brewing.
This is the easiest blend to make, I cut chamomile with scissors and mixed in orange peels and crushed cardamom pods.
Brewing time and temperature for herbal teas is so crucial, if you steep this blend for longer that 3 minutes or so its going to be bitter. I’m so picky with tea and use this electric kettle that has temperature settings for different kinds of tea. The ideal temperature for delicate-herbal tea should be around 160F, boiling hot water will burn the herbs and destroy any flavor. Of course not everyone is going to measure the temperature, so just make sure to avoid using boiling water for herbal teas.
Since its summer time, I let the tea cool after brewing and served it over ice with fresh mint leaves and added fresh raspberries for my second serving. I don’t drink sweetened tea or coffee but I believe honey would work well with this blend. If you choose to add honey, do so right after brewing while the tea is still warm. Honestly this tastes so different from store bought chamomile tea, so even if you don’t have access to chamomile try drying herbs at home and make your own herbal blends…the flavoring options are limitless!
- 1 Bunch of dried Chamomile (about 1.5 cups)
- 2 Tbsp Dried Orange slices
- 3 Pods of Cardamom - crushed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of the blend
- 1 Cup water
- 2-3 Fresh mint leaves
- 4-5 Raspberries
- Ice Cubes
- Heat water to 160F, or just warm but not boiling hot.
- Add the blend to a kettle and pour the water and cover.
- Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and strain the tea into a cup.
- At this point add any kind of sweetener if required.
- For Iced Tea, let it cool and then serve over ice with mint leaves and fresh raspberries.