mushroom tea, tisane, tea, linda villano, serendipitea
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  The Tea House Times Guest Blog - Linda Villano
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A REAL FUNGI (Pronounced Fun Guy) by Linda Villano

Monday, January 19th 2015 @ 10:18 AM

I’d like to introduce you to a real fungi.  At first, interest might be minimal but in time there could be some really great chemistry!

Tea has become an ubiquitous term for almost all hot beverages in which something has been steeped so as to be sipped.  However, we like to maintain a distinction between Camellia sinensis (Tea) and Tisane ~ which can be described as any botanical that is steeped in hot water to create a beverage. A familiar selection of tisanes might include chamomile, verbena, mint, hibiscus and ginger to name a few.  These days with healthy attributes on the minds of many consumers more unusual botanicals are making way onto the usual tisane list: brahmi, burdock, milk thistle, raspberry leaf and turmeric, for example.  Steeping these herbs is nothing new to many cultures throughout the world but many are new to the Western consumer.

So, how about adding mushroom “tea” to the mix?


Chaga Tea and Teapot - Photo Credit: Shutterstock: Nikitin, Victor

 

Savories are making small waves in the tea world which could in time become tidals. So when seeking something a bit left-of-center but purposeful it might be worthwhile to make a little ‘shroom in your life for a Fun Guy (fungi) or two. Chaga (The King of Mushrooms), Maitake (The Dancing Mushroom) and Reishi (The Mushroom of Immortality) specifically have long, multicultural histories steeped in healthy practices across the globe from the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese to the Mesoamericans and have tasty reputations.

REISHI TEA

It’s only a matter of time before these and other fungi pop up in N. America’s rich tea tapestry. They are likely to make solo appearances and will become key ingredients in Camellia sinensis blends.

MAITAKE TEA

Interested in more information about Mushroom “Tea”? A detailed article will be published in the March/April issue of The Tea House Times magazine (www.theteahousetimes.com ).

MUSHROOM TEA

Note: Mushrooms can be dangerous and even fatal. Be 110% certain that you know what you’re harvesting if you plan to consume what you’ve collected. The safest source for most is always an experienced, reputable supplier.



~ Linda Villano, SerendipiTea

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LINDA VILLANO co-founded SerendipiTea.com in 1995 with Tomislav Podreka. With a passion for all things Tea, she oversees all aspects of the business; including client consulting, concept and design, staff training, sourcing and product development (recipe creations). Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs and chefs, she considers her role as a purveyor of premium teas & tisanes a natural continuation of her family’s culinary tradition.   Linda is a published illustrator and writer. Her illustrations appear in Tomislav Podreka’s book, SerendipiTea: a guide to the varieties, origins and rituals of tea, and she writes articles about tea for trade publications.

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