Flush of Red
by Owens Acres
(Order here through Local Harvest.)
No, not apples. I was recently introduced to the hibiscus craze. I have to say, I was blown away. It’s a pretty flower, very tropical and exotic, but its taste is divine.
I like to browse the Local Harvest site from time to time, picking up some new remedies and herbal wonders. One of my favorite farms is Owens Acres. Laura Owens is a certified herbalist, creating everything from healing salves to lavender sachets to herbal tea. I ordered her Flush of Red tea and was amazed by the flavor.
The loose mixture of rose petals and lavender is very pleasant, but its the hibiscus that leaves you feeling surprised and satisfied. I had no idea a flower could release such fruity bursts of refreshing taste. I was so surprised, I double-checked the package, thinking there was cranberry or raspberry hidden within. Dried hibiscus infused in hot water has a natural cranberry/raspberry flavor that has just the right strength and infuses immediately upon steeping. The tea turns a deep red and you can smell the flavors blending in perfect harmony.
And, for those of you who get a little thrill from seeing whole flower heads in your loose leaf, you’ll be pleased to find the rosehips. The lavender buds, too, are irreplaceable, adding a soft and almost minty tone to the overall fruit-filled blast of flavor. (I wasn’t going to use the word blast because it reminds me of a Kool-Aid commercial, but there’s just no better way to describe the intense fruit flavor of the mysterious hibiscus flower.
I would encourage you to try Flush of Red, as well as browse Local Harvest. It’s a good way to support farmers, ranchers, and herbalists around the country who have so much to offer.
If you’re interested in joining the hibiscus craze, Republic of Tea also offers a variety of hibiscus tea blends in a collection they call Hibiscus Superflower.
(Order “Constant Comment” from Bigelow’s site [also available at most grocery stores]. Order the Solstice teapot and Tea forté brand tea here.)
I had a birthday recently, and my friend Taylor gave me a teapot with matching teacup. What else could I do but try it out and blog about it? As you can see, it really is a cute set. The square saucer and handles are nice accents and give it sort of a modern look. But the tea I chose to brew is anything but modern.
The teapot set is called Solstice and is made by Tea forté. This company sells their own tea, but I just didn’t want to wait to try out the pot. Check out the unique, tempting flavors at their site. For now, sit back and enjoy Constant Comment.
It’s an oldie and a goodie. “Constant Comment” by Bigelow (your guess as to the reason for the quotation marks is as good as mine) is a soothing blend of black tea with orange peel flavoring. It’s perky and familiar. Whenever I enjoy this tea, it always makes me feel like I’m at home. This and Apricot Ginger by Celestial Seasonings were the first teas I tried when I was a little girl. It’s like comfort food in a tea bag.
Now, about the pot. The teapot itself has a hole in the cover piece that allows you to pull the string of a tea bag through the top. When you’re done brewing, you can simply pull up gently on the string and it takes the top off along with the tea bag for easy removal. You can also order a tea infuser for loose-leaf to fit this nice little single-serve pot. It fits three cups of tea (using the matching teacup).
I’ll be ordering from Tea forté in the near future, so look for another post. In the meantime, a walk down memory lane awaits.