Organic Red Berries – Anatomy of an Iced Tea

Organic Red Berries

I just returned from a holiday in Bermuda (which was really fantastic!.  The heat and humidity greeting me on arriving back in Florida were hard to believe!  For those of you who are struggling with some high temps right now, and probably for the rest of summer here in Florida, let’s cool off with some refreshing iced tea!

When we talk of iced tea, most people immediately think of black tea, but some great herbals or tisanes make refreshing, healthy beverages for all the family. We have some favorites at Local Tea Company, and I would like to share them with you during the coming weeks.

Organic Red Berries

Red Berries

Organic Red Berries is an all-natural blended Tisane or fruit infusion made from hibiscus flowers, elderberries, bilberries, grapes, and citrus peel. This tea has a distinct refreshing berry flavor and bright cherry liquor, which is perfect iced. Let’s break down the list of ingredients and look at the benefits they can provide us.

 

 

Hibiscus Flowers

(Hibiscus sabdariffa)
A member of the mallow family, Hibiscus, brings a sweet mellow taste and harmony to this blend. Hibiscus has become very popular to blend with other fruits and flowers because of the beautiful color of the infused sepals. It has a cooling effect on the body and is high in Vitamin C, also having some calcium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. In Folklore medicine, Hibiscus is said to reduce cholesterol and act as a mild diuretic.

Elderberry

(Sambuca nigra)
This is a wonderful fruit that strengthens your respiratory tract.  Elderberry helps to remove phlegm and mucous from the lungs and fights and reduces inflammation.  A strong respiratory system is your best defense against allergic reactions in the future.  Elderberry contains high amounts of Vitamin C, and A can be used as a gargle for throat and tonsil infections or soothing coughs and colds.  I collected Elderberries from the hedgerows as they make superb wine, and in fact, hot elderberry wine is actually an old English cold remedy.

Black Currants

(Ribes nigrum or ‘black ribes’)
The berry of this shrub, which is mainly found in Northern/Central Europe and Asia, is used for the astringent flavor.  It has very high antioxidant levels, especially Vitamin C.  It also features a rare nutrient called GMA or gammo linoleic acid.  This is the Omega 6 essential fatty acid.

This is a favorite flavor of mine.  Black currant juice was a very popular cordial during my childhood. The bush thrived in the English climate and became a huge Vitamin C source during World War 2.  Oranges were impossible to find. The popularity continued, and the sweet-tart taste is still enjoyed in jams, jellies, and desserts to this day.

Not as well known in the USA, this fruit was banned in early 1900 as the plant co-hosted a fungus attacking the pines.  Therefore potentially threatening the logging industry. The Federal ban was lifted in 2003, and black currants are now making a comeback in NY, Vermont, Connecticut, and Oregon.

Citrus Peel

(C. medica)
The peel of citrus fruit is bitter and not very appetizing when raw.  But adds a great taste and health benefits when dried and added to tea. The citrus peel contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, and powerful antioxidants that belong to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids.  They have the potential to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Rose Hip Peel

(Rosa canina)
From the Wild Dog Rose, which takes its name from its earliest use as a remedy for bites from ‘mad’ or ‘wild’ dogs.  Estimated to be more than 10,000 cultivated roses, the medicinal species are natives of Europe.  The Rosehips are reddish colored coverings that grow around the real fruits for protection, and for this reason, they are often called “false fruits.” The nutrient value is as rich as their color.  They enhance the function of everything from your skin to your innermost being, containing an array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.

When preparing Organic Red Berries, use 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving. Heat the water until boiling and steep for anything up to 12 minutes. You may find that 3 minutes is as long as you require this tea to infuse.  The longer the tea infuses, the darker and stronger the liquor will become.  It will never have the bitterness you associate with over infused tea leaves; remember this is a Tisane. You can double the quantity of tea or half the water and pour over ice to serve iced.

At Local Tea Company, we serve this tea hot around the Christmas holidays.  It is really is delicious with a cinnamon stick added too.

Organic Red Berries is naturally caffeine-free and suitable for all ages.  This tea makes a great healthy, colorful drink for children and will make great ice pops too!  Try adding seltzer water and a slice of lime for a different twist, Hibiscus Spritzer. Let me know if you have a special creation using this blend.

Stay cool AND healthy with this amazing tea.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

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Category: Herbal Tea, Local Treasures, Tea Journey, Tea Questions

Tags: Best teas, bilberries, black currants, citrus peel, cold brewed tea, downtown sarasota farmers market, Duranko, elderberries, elderberry, grapes, Hibiscus, ice tea, local coffee + tea, Local Tea, Local Tea Co, loose leaf tea, rose hip peel, sarasota, Selby Gardens, Siesta Key, Siesta Key Village, sip locally, SRQ, tea, tea blog, Tea Journey, Tea Lady, tealady, teaspoon