Blue Giant Hyssop Makes Tasty Anise Tea

Blue Giant Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, volunteered near the edge of the garden this year. It was planted near this spot a few years ago and we’ve enjoyed it ever since, where ever it springs up from the dropped seeds. We let it grow to 4 to 5 feet tall before pruning it back to about two feet tall in the first week of June.

Use this herb by hanging the cut stems upside down to dry for a few days. Carefully strip the leaves from the stems so as not to bruise or break them. Once dry, place the leaves in a glass jar and use for tea. Lends an anise-like taste.

Side branches grew to form a shrub that blossomed from the end of July through August. The long spikes of flowers were many and they gave pastel colors of light blue to faded violet to the garden.

Blue Giant Hyssop flowers in the herb garden.
Blue Giant Hyssop flowers in the herb garden.

The plant itself looks nice because insects don’t seem to enjoy eating the leaves very much. With the heart-shaped leaves intact the giant blue hyssop would make a nice addition to a native plant garden.

Terminal spikes of blue hyssop flowers.
Terminal spikes of blue hyssop flowers.

The leaves and flowers can be collected and dried for tea, potpourri or sachets.

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Tea time pleasure with licorice root, ginseng, mint, catnip

Tea time is a regular afternoon happening in the UK. Of course, tea at breakfast is quite ordinary for many people, but I do prefer coffee in the morning hours. A dark cup of Columbian roast is sitting right next to me now.

Lately, I’ve been drinking a cup or two of tea in the late afternoon right around the time I venture to the kitchen looking for a snack. A lot of the time the tea is the snack, so it’s probably a good thing to substitute an herbal tea for some kind of carbohydrate-laden quick snack. As the all-knowing “they” say, moderation is the key.

In the kitchen there is a drawer with all kinds of tea and other powdered drinks like cappuccino, cocoas, and coffees. I rummaged through there the other day and found an old tattered box that I was going to toss in the garbage. I checked the contents and found some odor to the tea bags, so I made a cup. I was very pleasantly surprised! I don’t know why the tea wasn’t tasting stale because I know that box had been hiding in the back of the drawer for a long time – years!

Tension Tamer Tea
Tension Tamer Tea

I’m not sure what the princess riding the dragon is supposed to represent, but she is holding a cup of tea. Perhaps she is calming the beast?

Previously, I hadn’t tried too many herbal teas and remember not liking chamomile tea – but that was a long time ago. I’m not sure why I even tried this Tension Tamer tea, but I’m glad I did. It renewed the hunt for teas to enjoy! Check out this ingredient list –

Tension Tamer Tea Ingredients
Tension Tamer Tea Ingredients

  • eleuthero ginseng root
  • peppermint leaves
  • cinnamon
  • ginger root
  • chamomile flowers
  • lemon grass
  • licorice root
  • catnip leaves
  • tilia flowers
  • natural lemon flavor
  • hops
  • vitamins B6 and B12 (20% Daily Value in one teabag)

I know I enjoyed the licorice root in this tea, but were the other ingredients really “there” after being in the box for so long? What about the ginseng and other stuff? I’ll have to find this tea in the market and try it again. Until then I’ll have to find out what other teas might be lurking in that kitchen drawer.

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