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stress tonic: rhodiola tea

This tea has a curious rosy flavor and when mixed with a little honey blossoms into a rich, slightly tart, perfumed beverage.  though quite similar in appearance, russian and tibetian rhodiola have somewhat different flavors.  the astringent sharp quality is easier to come by in over-steeping the russian rhodiola, Rhodiola rosea, where the tibetian, Rhodiola kirilowii, seems to be a little more forgiving.  additionally, the russian variety has more of an earthy quality first, with the floral rose showing up second.  we have always purchased our roots from the botanical preservation corps, with the best of service and quality.

2 Tbl rhodiola roots
1 Tbl raw honey, optional
2 wide mouth quart jars
fine mesh strainer


Measure rhodiola roots into your jar and bring 1 quart of water just to the boil.  carefully pour the hot water over the roots.  place a lid on top and let steep for 12 minutes.  set a timer as overly-steeped rhodiola gets quite bitter and astringent.  gently stir the mixture before placing a fine mesh strainer over your second quart jar and straining your tea.  ideally, let cool until 105 - 115 degrees, (you could put your finger in it for a few seconds before it feels too hot) and add honey, stir or shake to dissolve.  the cooling of the tea, keeps from cooking your honey thus allowing you the double benefit of all the wonderful qualities of raw honey.

Rhodiola roots are generally good for two steepings. a second steeping will issue a softer tea. let the roots cool to room temperature before returning the the original quart jar and repeating the the process above.  again, being mindful to steep only 12 minutes before straining.  the tea keeps for a few days to a week in the fridge.  enjoy cold, hot or somewhere in-between.

**as a side note:  though rhodiola is free of caffeine, it is a mental stimulant.  if taken late in the day, some may experience difficulty getting to sleep.  though, equally important to note, once asleep, vivid dreams may follow.
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