This tea is made from hawthorn flowers and leaves with granny’s bonnet (aka aquilegia / columbine) and is almost too pretty to use!
I’ve just started Max Drake’s Herbal Summer School and learnt that hawthorn blossom is selected by expert harvesters ‘when it’s at its most beautiful’. This was verified when the active compound content was analysed as 20% higher compared with flowers picked at a different time. On 15th May it certainly was beautiful when I picked it, so look out for it again next May!
The granny’s bonnets are edible flowers and some are still out now – the nectar is wonderfully sweet, like honeysuckle and I thought they would enhance the tea with their dusky shades.
To dry them I just left them in a sieve in the airing cupboard for a few days.
The young leaves of hawthorn picked in spring make good tea too. When dry the leaves seem to smell of raspberries (I ground some to a powder and mixed into raspberry icecream – pretty!). The tea has a mild lemony note and both blossom and leaves can be useful in treating some heart conditions.
If, on the other hand coffee’s more your thing, read about haw coffee here (and ketchup!).