I’m pretty excited! I just put in an order with Mountain Rose Herbs, which is in my opinion the best place to buy herbs online. At least I haven’t found any other store that give me the same quality herbs. The only time I don’t buy herbs from Mountain Rose is when something is out of stock or they just don’t have that herb I need.
One of my favorite herbs is oatstraw. I drink oatstraw as a strong tea a lot because it tastes good, is deeply nourishing and helps calms my usual overactive nerves. Every time I bought it from somewhere else than Mountain Rose Herbs I got a bag of pale yellow straw that smelled old and tasted like dust. The one I get from Mountain Rose is pale green and smells and tastes delicious!
I’m sure there are other good stores that sell fresh, good quality organic herbs. But I still haven’t found anything to match Mountain Rose, and so it is in my opinion the best place to buy herbs online.
Winter Solstice has always held a sense of mystery with me. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to celebrate it but I never knew how. It was a little frustrating because something inside of me told me that it was a very important event, somehow a way to connect to both the earth and the universe, and yet I had no way of practicing what I felt in my heart.
This year everything changed. I got to attend a very sacred ceremony on the Winter Solstice that has touched me deeply. I have written more about it in my other blog.
In these colder winter months I will often bring a pot of water to a simmer and add various warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Then I will perhaps prepare breakfast or do other tasks while I wait for my tea to be done. I love the sweet and spicy aroma that seeps through my apartment as I make my chai. It’s beautiful aromatheraphy.
Chai is what I order whenever I venture into a coffee shop (as I don’t drink coffee) and the taste reminds me of Christmas.
Almost a year ago I took the culinary herbalism course with K.P Khalsa who shared how to make chai tea from scratch. In this recipe the spices are allowed to simmer for some time to extract all the medicinal properties and also bring those beautiful scents into your home.
Below is the recipe with a few alterations of my own. For the original recipe by K.P Khalsa please watch the video at the end of this post. He will also explain all the various properties of all the different spices.
20oz of water
2 cinnamon sticks
16 cardamom pods
24 black pepper corns
4 slices of ginger
1 cup milk
4 bags of black tea
honey to taste
optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Pour water into a pot
2. Add all the spices
3. Let simmer for 20 minutes or longer (I usually leave it for at least 30 minutes. I also usually leave the lid on so all the water does not evaporate)
4. Turn off heat and add the black tea. Leave for 3-5 minutes before removing.
5. Add milk and heat once more to just before boiling.
6. Strain tea
7. Add honey to taste