Blending your own herbal tea is a revelation. Once you start, it’s hard to go back to tea bags. This way, you’re able to shape your blends to be as simple or complex as you like. You control the flavor profile and ingredients entirely, it’s great. I liken it to making your own soup versus buying canned soup, and tend to bounce around from one blend to another. For a stretch it was this turmeric tea, lately it has been this detox-y ginger mint blend. The tea is green-tasting from mint and coriander, and fennel-sweet. The layered peppery-ness comes from black peppercorns and freshly muddled ginger, and with all sorts of beneficial goodness in it – lemon, cumin, the fresh ginger – it just feels good going down. You can pre-blend the dry ingredients and keep the in a small jar on the counter, making it easy to brew a cup. This pot made the drive to Big Sur with me. I poured it in a thermos, slipped it in my weekend bag, and sipped my way down the coast where we did some Christmas hiking (and surprise whale watching!).
I leave a little note on the jar, so I know at a glance how much of the dry mixture to use. It also makes it easy if I want to brew a double batch.
We did a beautiful hike the day before Christmas. This one. It’s roughly a 9-mile loop that starts as a rambling coastal lullaby. Then up, up, up to an overlook bench where you can stop for a scenic lunch. It’s quite a ways up. Then a leisurely descent. If you look at that photo of Wayne up above there is a spec of a tree on the ridge behind him (up and to the right of his binoculars). I think the bench is under that tree. The white trails from the airplanes high above were like daytime shooting stars.
We felt lucky to be able to visit Big Sur last week. There was a terrible fire that I’m sure many of you saw on the news, and we were very sad to come across so many people who’ve lost their homes and livelihood throughout such a small, tight knit community.