Friday, March 22, 2013

Winter in all its Glory

This winter has been beautiful in our back-country location.
Most days looked like the image below.

Recently, the snow was gently falling in medium-sized flakes...
There was no wind and the air was pleasantly chilly but not frigid.
I wanted to share something with my readers that my husband and I have been really enjoying this winter.
It's a drink made for days just like this!

Wintergreen Woods Loose Leaf Tea

Pictured above is our new glass teapot, diffuser and bubble cups.

The drink itself might not look like much...but it is an experience in subtly.

We just adore this tea, given to us by my lovely friend Samantha Phillips.
Straight from the loose leaf tea guys at David's Tea in Kingston,
this variety is called Wintergreen Woods.

The ingredients are as follows:
  • Wintergreen leaves
  • Cedar greens
  • White Pine needles
  • Red Sumac berries
If winter had a flavour...this tea would be it!
It is subtle, refreshing and slightly sweet.

My husband is now obsessed with recreating this tea from foraged ingredients.
(I would almost feel badly about that, but David's Tea discontinued this variety!)

Just about everything can be found in our backyard...with the exception of wintergreen leaves...
It is my goal to have this tea replicated, foraged, dried and stored by next winter.
(fingers crossed)

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), also known as Eastern Teaberry, is a great forage in the winter.
Both the berries and leaves are edible...but the berries can be harmful in quantities for young children.
The leaves make a wonderful trail nibble.
Wintergreen leaves have been used as a substitute for tea during depressions or hardtimes when tea was scarce.
Wintergreen leaves carry medicinal qualities, such as the relief of pain and inflammation (as in gout and arthitis).
Native Americans are said to have brewed a tea from the leaves to alleviate rheumatic symptoms, headache, fever, sore throat and various aches and pains.
Oil of wintergreen has been used for many things, such as flavouring toothpaste.
(for a serious list of its many many uses, check out the link below)

Not to mention the great section in the book "Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Places" by Master Forager "Wildman" Steve Brill

In short, wintergreen is soothing & tasty,
but this tea takes the flavour to a whole new level.
The cedar, pine & sumac add light notes of what I can only describe as a taste of winter in Canada.
Perfect for relaxing with the ones you love on a quiet winter's afternoon.

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