I love all things tea! As I mentioned on the About Me page, I enjoy frequenting tea houses and thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation a few years ago. I collect all things tea; from fine quality teas to teapots and serving dishes for tea parties. I have taken classes on the social history of tea and have taught the etiquette and history behind this fascinating tradition in private classes. I studied tea from a healing perspective as I earned my certification as a herbalist. So, I really mean it when I say I love all things tea!
In colonial America tea was a precious commodity. Since it was so expensive it was often kept under lock and key by the lady of the house. In Felicity’s school story a tea caddy is mentioned and is sold with her collection. A tea caddy is a box or fine container made for storing tea. Before the tea caddy, people used beautifully decorated ginger jars as tea canisters. Some wooden box caddy’s were made large enough to have compartments for different kinds of tea and to hold sugar, they were called tea chests. My personal favorite is the locking box caddy, because that’s what Felicity used. I purchased my historic replica in Williamsburg, VA.
In the 1760s, Britain began imposing heavy taxes on the American colonies. The colonists no longer wanted to pay the high taxes without being represented in British Parliament – taxation without representation. On December 16, 1773 a group of colonists slipped onto a British East India Company ship and dumped 342 chest of tea into the Boston Harbor. The chests held more than 90,000 pounds of tea.
As patriots began boycotting British goods, they came up with new ways to manage without the things they loved. Instead of forsaking their tea time traditions, patriots used a substitute…herbs. The Latin name for the tea-plant is Camellia Sinensis. Any drink without it cannot technically be called tea. For example, chamomile tea isn’t really tea at all because there isn’t any Camellia Sinensis leaf in the drink. It would technically be called a tisane. I love to make tisanes for my family using plants and herbs from my garden. One of my favorite herbs to drink in the summer is apple mint but I use all kinds! Today we’re going to use red raspberry leaf.
For this recipe you will need 3 teaspoons of dried red raspberry leaf (found at health food stores or online), 6 cups of water and honey (optional). I personally do not sweeten my tea because I want to taste and note all the flavors, but just do what works for you.
Start by boiling the water in a kettle. A saucepan will work if you don’t have a kettle. Measure the raspberry leaves into a tea ball or basket and place in your teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves and cover. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
Pour the tea into your cup. If you want to sweeten it, add honey to taste while it’s warm. Enjoy!
Liberty Tea ~ Pleasant Company
(This recipe has been adapted from Felicity’s Cook Book.)
3 teaspoons of dried red raspberry leaf
6 cups of water
- Boil water in a teakettle or saucepan.
- Place the raspberry leaves in a tea ball or basket and place in the water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea from the pot and pour into cups.
- If adding honey, stir it in while the tea is warm.