Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Urban Herbs #5 - Snowy Sage

We expect to get 5 to 9 inches of snow in Seattle today (right now we're at about four inches) and around these parts, even 1 or 2 inches is enough to stop school and work. So that means today is a snow day!

After some fun time spent sledding, making snow angels, and knocking the snow off of my tea bushes, I felt like sipping something a little different. I think an infusion of sage leaves will be just the thing.

People have been using sage for culinary and medicinal purposes for well over a thousand years. It is a popular remedy for many different ailments such as digestive problems and sore throats. We have a hearty bush growing in our front yard.

Sage green leaves in front of my sage green house.

I harvested about 20 of the fuzzy fragrant leaves and clicked on my electric kettle.

My daughter helped me to muddle the leaves. This step breaks up the tough leaves which allows a lot more flavor to be extracted during the infusion. I've been finding this is a "must do" before steeping freshly picked herbs from in or around my yard.

I steeped it for five minutes with boiling water and it was so good. Of all my five Urban Herb experiments this was the biggest success. It had a wonderful savory, smokey, peppery, earthy, sage flavor that made my mouth and throat feel great and lingered pleasantly for hours. I will certainly be infusing this herb again!


Alex Zorach said...

I love brewing an herbal tea from sage leaves. Did you see my old post on processing sage in a way inspired by black tea, allowing it to oxidize fully? I'd recommend trying it if you haven't. You might have better luck as you may know a good deal more about tea production than I did when I tried that.

Brett said...

Thanks for mentioning your post Alex! I'm definitely going to try that sometime.