There are some plants that can be into tea in the Colorado Rockies.
I remember walking through the woods as a child with my older cousin near Arapaho National Forest in Colorado. He stopped and picked a soft fern and asked, “Did you know that you can use this as a tea?”
That simple conversation always made me wonder what plants in my Colorado Rockies worked in creating a delicious tea.
We all carry bottled water to keep the thirst away, so why not be aware of creations in nature to add a bit of flavor? Here are a few possibilities.
This is the “soft fern” my cousin told me about and is one of the more prevalent plants throughout the Rockies. Although the flower can be used as the tea blend, the leaves hold the best flavor. Simply place five or six leaves in a mug and add hot water and you have an amazing flavor in approximately 10 minutes of steeping. Yarrow can be a tad bitter at first taste but it eventually reaches a nice flavor.
Some people find that yarrow works great as a medicinal influence with digestion. That is perfect if you ever find yourself having a tough time with…oh say, venison.
The leaves of yarrow can be dried at home for some tasty flavor at a later date. Just don’t take the whole plant so that the plant can cultivate a brew for someone else the next year.
Although it is not native to the Rockies, peppermint can be found around some bodies of water. Gardeners always had a pension for growing it on their mountain property, and it often escaped gardens.
Peppermint is a no-brainer as a touch of taste for some great tea. Unlike yarrow, it is not considered to be a bitter taste.
Celestial Seasonings, a Colorado company, is said to have been inspired by peppermint and other plants in its beginnings. How is that for an endorsement for peppermint as a tea blend?
More from Wide Open Spaces:
Monarda Fistulosa or Bergamot
Also known as the “oregano of the Sierras,” this purple-flowered plant is also known for being great as a spice. Many people enjoy its citrusy flavor in both tea and as a flavorful touch to meat. It is fairly prolific and can be found along hillsides and easily accessible to trails.
Similar to yarrow, the leaves can be brewed with hot water for some tasty tea. Earl grey tea uses a similar extract found in bergamot. The orange scent creates a fun flavor while enjoying the Rockies.
Some plants that were once considered to be perfect for teas and spices have since become no-nos due to poisonous properties. It is up to the individual to research what is palatable and what will send you to the emergency room. Otherwise enjoy the goodness of nature at tea-time.