In this riff on the class Earl Grey, we combine two plants native to North America. Wild bergamont, also known as bee balm, is a flowering herb that echos the taste of the bergamont fruit that perfumes Earl Grey. A mix of dark and medium roast yaupon, North America's only native caffeinated plant, brings that familiar black tea taste to the flavor without having to import leaves from across an ocean.
Whether you want to bring some summer inside for you or are trying to recreate the sunshine in the depths of winter, this vitamin-C-packed tea is the thing. Rose hips, which have more vitamin C than orange juice, bring color and bright flavor to this tea, while elder flowers add body and sweetness and lemon balm melds everything with a gentle lemon touch.
Chocolate Rose Mint
This is the tea we turn to when we need something that feels a bit indulgent. Since it doesn't make any sacrifices on the health front--it's packed with vitamins and antioxidents--we don't feel too made about it though. Cracked cacao fruits combine with local mint leaves, rose petals, and maple sugar for your new favorite dessert in a mug.
Chamomile tea has become such a ubiquitous calming and sleep aid, but--and as people who grow it ourselves, we can tell you--there's quite a lot of time and work involved to grow even a cupful of those precious flowers. Our Goodnight Valley tea is a local take on sweet dreams winking at the beloved children's book ``Goodnight Moon.`` Precious chamomile flowers combine with equally labor-intensive and precious rose petals, lavender, and calendula petals for a tea that will leave you feel not only calm, but thorough pampered as you lay down to sleep.
Whenever we're working a long day tending our plants, we keep a pitcher of this tea in the fridge--it's a better instant pick me up than coffee! Concentrated mint gives you a jolt of energy and refreshment, while dark roasted native yaupon tea provides the caffeine to keep you going for the rest of the day and candied honey drops sweeten the deal.
Cold Season Tea
We could all use a good immunity boost any time of year these days, honestly, so we're offering our local-focused take on the traditional ``cold`` season year-round. This tea combines three things that grow excellently in our area and all have long been heralded for their medicinal benefits, but originally evolved around the world. Tulsi basil from India features heavily in Ayurvedic settings, but flourishes in our summer weather. Echinacea is a native North American plant, but Traditional Chinese Medicine has long heralded it for reducing inflammation. Ginger, which savvy farmers in the Hudson Valley make work in our climate by harvesting the young, first year's roots, first appeared in our area with the first European colonists, who used it extensively in baking. It is now beloved all over the world for its fiery taste, but originated in Southeast Asia.
After the Boston Tea Party, when the colonists turned away from imported teas to protest exorbitant tariffs, the soon-to-be Americans turned to the traditional teas that the Native Americans had drunk for centuries, especially goldenrod. It become so popular at the time that it became known as ``liberty tea.`` Though this flower and its tea have fallen into much more obscuri-tea (couldn't help it!), it's worth another look. Tasty, with a faint anise flavor, Native Americans used it for lung problems.
Our green tea once again features native American caffeineated tea leaf Yaupon rather than the traditional camellia sinensis of Asia. This green tea, which is really our go-to everyday tea at home, riffs on saffron-flavored green teas we've had in Greece and Turkey adding locally-grown marigold and calendula. We drink it on its own, hot or iced, most days, but it is a wonderful partner to local honey, maple syrup, or maple sugar.