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If you’re drinking an herbal “tea” not made with leaves from the camellia sinensis plant, you’re not actually drinking tea but what’s known as a “tisane.” These provide a wide range of flavors, including old favorites such as mint and chamomile, and can be made from many locally sourced ingredients.
Anahata Herbals in Duluth creates locally sourced herbal blends, including North Woods plants such as Labrador tea, sweet gale, cedar, raspberry leaves and rose hips.
Beyond the cup
Tea doesn’t need to be limited to the tea cup, either. Waddington suggests making jasmine rice with brewed jasmine tea in place of water or using brewed tea in any recipe in place of water or broth. He also likes to sprinkle matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea, on yogurt or ice cream. Food bloggers and local businesses have used Verdant’s tea selection to flavor baked goods and ice cream, and owner Gloria DeBenedet at Willow Tea in St. Cloud is developing tea-infused sugars, salts, rubs and honeys for her shop and website.
But whether you like your tea hot, iced or in your rice, you really just need to remember one thing:
“In the end,” said Duckler. “Just add water.”
Ada Igoe is a freelance writer who lives near Grand Marais, Minn. Reach her at email@example.com.