I visited Lel & Civet today to learn the art of making tea.
Lel owns and operates a beauty and massage studio in Deloraine called Firefly. Civet owns Lel.
Lel and her husband Johan have been living here in Deloraine for the past 3 years, originally from South Africa, they have now made Tasmania their home.
It is a real pleasure to have an appointment with Lel at her studio, other than being treated like a goddess, you get to enjoy drinking her loose leaf tea. Everyone who visits is offered the most amazing tea blends and lucky for us, she sells them too! Today Lel is going to share her 'field of dreams' tea, which she makes in small batches.
Of course as a life long tea drinker you are bound to have a selection of teapots, but when making a big batch of tea Lel likes to use a glass jug, so the pleasure of tea is not only in the tasting, but a visual delight too.
Lel and Johan's beautiful home is filled with gifts from family and friends, you get a real sense of the personalities of these two lovely people, from their connection to the natural, the rustic and their culture.
Lel explains that part of the joy of making tea is using what you grow in your garden. She tells me that picking and drying herbs and flowers to make tea is a fairly easy process. Whatever Lel doesn't have, she will collect from her friend's garden's or buy from local sources.
Today's tea has a blend of chamomile flower, lemon balm, lavender, peppermint leaves and passion flower. Having picked some fresh lavender to garnish the tea, we return inside and turn the kettle on.
Field of Dreams Tea - a great tea to have at night time.
3 Tblsp of dried chamomile flower - for relaxation
1 Tblsp of dried lemon balm - uplifting
2 Tblsp of dried lavender - for relaxation
2 Tblsp of dried peppermint leaves - digestive
1 Tblsp of dried passion flower - for relaxtion
1 heaped tsp of your tea blend to 200mls of boiling water, infuse, strain and enjoy hot or cold.
It is important to harvest the herbs and flowers at the right time within their growth cycle, there are many tables and examples of this on the internet. Once collected, group into small bundles and hang upside down covered with a paper bag that has air holes in it, hang in a dry, warm place that is out of direct sunlight. During the drying process seeds will drop into the bag, these can be planted, do not put these seeds into your tea.
You will know when they are ready as they will crumble easily. Using only the flowers and the leaves blend your tea. Left over herbs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 12 months. Making your own blend of tea is quite a personal thing, and so the measures above are just a guide. Lel highly recommends using your local library to resource 'making tea' books.
We've decided to cool this batch of tea down and enjoy it warm rather than hot.
Wherever you are, enjoy your tea my friends - why not share a cup with someone special, like I did today with Lel. x Julie