Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mamaki Tea

"C" asked how I make mamaki tea. I do it rather simply and don't really have a set recipe. 

First, a hint about drying the leaves. I've discovered that they do better when dried upside down. They end up looking better for resale purposes. 

This time of year I usually use fresh leaves for tea making, saving my dry leaves for when I can't harvest fresh ones. I pick the larger leaves for drying, leaving the smaller ones behind. The large leaves are easier to deal with in the dehydrator, that's all. Just easier to handle.

Once the bigger leaves are removed, there are plenty of small leaves on the branch. I'll strip those off to make fresh tea. 

Yup, I totally denude the branch, only throwing away the bad looking leaves. (The bad leaves plus the denuded branch end up in the compost bin or as mulch.) 

Above, yes that's Noodles under the tree. He's learning to be a good farm dog by following me around. I like to have one of the farm dogs with me as I work about the place. 

I'll take my glass quart cup with me when I'm picking leaves for our own tea, and fill it to the top with leaves. I don't pack the leaves at all, but let them lay naturally and "fluffy". Before I add hot water I'll pick a few sprigs of mint and add it to the mamaki leaves. We both like a hint of mint in this tea. 

Next I'll add boiling water and, using a spoon, press the leaves down into the hot water. Then I'll let it sit until it's cool, though often I'll make this first thing in the morning and don't get back to it until lunchtime. By then to color of the tea is quite dark.

This is a concentrate. We add water to make the preferred taste. I like my tea to be weak while hubby likes his strong. So it's easier for us to store the concentrate in the frig and mix up a glass of tea as needed and to the desired strength. 

Hubby and I like drinking tea once a day. It's a pleasurable habit. But other people drink it for its health effects. While we don't see any difference in ourselves when we drink mamaki tea, I have had people tell me that it effects them in various ways. Hawaiian noticed that mamaki affected certain people in different ways, too. Thus it is one of the many Hawaiian medicinal plants grown in my area. Since it has medicinal properties, it would be wise to be cautious when first trying mamaki. 

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