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  • Writer's pictureB. Cooper

T&C Early Spring Tea

At T&C I grow my own herbal teas, home grown in East Tennessee with organic practices and full of flavor. Locally grown tea is known to be more flavorful, have stronger medicinal properties, and be a lot fresher than imported teas from overseas. However, the process of growing herbal teas can be an overwhelming process for many. Availability and batch size are the biggest hurdles for my small urban farm.

Pursuing A Sustainable Lifestyle

In my efforts to pursue a sustainable and organic lifestyle, I've had to do lots of research and be happy with smaller achievements. When most other businesses can grow rapidly in a few short months, my approach to life and business has become much more slow paced and organic. I try to build a relationship with each of my customers, from being a designated "farm lady" on your Instagram, to a friend you see at any of the local farmers markets and festivals I attend. Tea and farming in general are a lot like that, you can put the seed in the ground and give it everything it needs, but in the end those seeds need time and a little grace to grow into something I can turn into herbal tea.

What Is In My Spring Tea?

My teas always provide simple herbal ingredients, and this is my first purely seasonal herbal tea. Most of my other teas involve ingredients I've grown throughout the year that I blend together at the end of it. This tea is the epitome of early spring in Tennessee, even down to the colors. I often hear in Knoxville Tennessee's spring colors are yellow, blue, and pink/red for the blue skies, redbud blooms, and daffodils. Here are the ingredients below:

  • Lemon Balm

  • T&C Exclusive Mint Blend (Mountain, Peppermint, Spearmint)

  • Chamomile

  • Red Clover Blossoms

  • Wild Violets

What Are The Benefits?

Our base ingredient is Lemon Balm. This grows EVERYWHERE on my property and is always one of the first pops of green in the spring. While others may see it as a weed in their grass or in their flower beds, I'm telling you this can be a literal lifesaver in your tea collection. The benefits are endless!

This is a member of the mint family so it has a nice fresh flavor with mild citrus notes to it. It's almost a softer flavor compared to the sharpness of lemon verbena and mint.

You can just snap off a few springs and use it fresh, or dry them and save them in glass jars to have them for years on end.

Next in our base layer of this tea is my exclusive mint blend. On my property I have several varieties of mint growing, so I tend to just mix them all together for a really nice complex flavor unless I'm doing a specific variety (like chocolate mint). As of right now my blend includes Mountain Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, and a dash of Apple Mint.

This is such a staple in our health, if you just drink mint tea everyday it's almost as if you take a small multivitamin everyday. It has so many benefits that doctors and herbalists alike tend to group it all into categories.

Like Lemon Balm, you can prepare most Mint varieties the same way.

This is the next layer in my Spring Tea. Chamomile is such a classic tea ingredient that most people already know about it. However, the benefits are endless and it's especially kind for women. This is a very common, and gentle natural remedy for most PMS symptoms. It also is great for those who struggle with insomnia because of the soothing nature of the flower.

The taste is very mild, and slightly sweet. It'll leave a pale yellow color in your tea when brewed.

Most florists actually use chamomile in their bouquets, they are beautiful baby-sized white flowers. When grown organically, you can just snap off the flowers and brew them fresh, or air dry them to store in a glass jar for later.

Here's where pops of color come into this blend. When the clover starts coming into your lawn in the spring, and you forgot to mow, have you ever seen little white or pink blossoms? Did you know those blossoms are kind of superstars when it comes to herbal teas?

There isn't much of a difference between white and red clover blossoms, mainly just the way they grow.

When harvesting red clover, I mainly just use the blossoms for their color. They are slightly sweet in flavor and are great either fresh of dried for tea. You can either use the whole flower or use the petals by themselves.

Now the finishing touch! Wild Violets. These cover my property almost like a delicate purple carpet in the spring. And Thank God! These are such a powerful little staple for anyone's tea cabinet. Beautiful coloring, they smell great and really help out the pollinators in spring.

They taste slightly floral and more sweet. These add a nice overall sweetness to the tea blend and are incredibly helpful for heart health and your immune system.

How I harvest these is just plucking the flowers, air drying them for a couple days, and jarring them up until I'm ready to blend them into a tea. They can be great fresh as well.

You can find this Spring Tea blend in my April Farm To Table Box! After April if I have any extra bags (due to my small batches and availability) I will then add them to my shop at the end of April.

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