Picking the Tea
We have red raspberry bushes in our back yard and although we often spend time picking raspberries, that got me thinking. What other parts of the raspberry bushes could we use?
Doing a little research I found that red raspberry leaves made great tea! Of course, tea lover that I am, had to give it a try!
So we picked the raspberry leaves while we picked raspberries.
We made sure to pick leaves from bushes that had not started producing fruit yet. The theory being that they would be less likely to be bitter. We also avoided leaves that were browning, and ones that had bug bites for the same reason.
With the leave picked, and washed, I put some aside to hand dry and the others I was going to try fresh raspberry leaf tea.
Preparing the Tea
Using the fresh leaves, I put them into the tea infuser and used boiling water to seep them. It was difficult to get the steeping time right.
I had to try a few times, before I got a tea that wasn’t too bitter. It was very hard to do with such fresh leaves. The total stepping time for me was about 30 seconds.
The flavor of the raspberry leaf tea was very similar to a strong green tea. It had a strong taste of freshness with grassy notes and just a hint of raspberries.
In the future, I plan on experimenting with different temps of hot water to see if it is similar to green tea brewing and needs lower temperature of water or if it comes out best with boiling water, which is what I used.
Fresh Leaves Vs. Dried Leaves
The dried leaves were much easier to brew and did great with a boiling temperature and longer steeping time.
It was far easier to not get a bitter tea, with the dried leaves.
The flavor of the tea although less strong, still had quite a bit of the grassy and fresh flavors similar to the fresh leaves.
I will say I didn’t get much of that raspberry flavor in the dried leaves. I was looking for it and kinda missed the little hint of raspberries.
I am not sure if I could decide my favorite way to have the tea. I loved the ease of prepping the dried leaves and it was a nice subtle flavor compared to the strong, punch you in the face with tea flavor the fresh leaves gave. However, the after taste of raspberries in pairing to the green tea flavor is not something I will forget. Yum!
Disclaimer: I, Andrea Gietz, am not a professional and am foraging and brewing the tea at my own risk. Please do not do so if you are not certain about your health or reaction to raspberry leaves.