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Monday, November 7, 2011

Sea Buckthorn Tea - Can I make it at Home?


Sea Buckthorn Tea Made Simple 
Yes teas can be made at home. To ensure the health of your plants and the quality of your tea some simple guidelines could be followed.
Harvest male leaves and dry early in the year after the plant has released its pollen.  Female leaves should be left alone until the fruits if fully mature.  You may then harvest those as well and dry them.  Possibly replacing the male leaves on your drying racks with the female leaves at that time.  (if you are using that method of drying.)  After all leaves are dried, you can blend the sexes together in different proportions to your liking.  I would wait until you wish to brew your tea to break up the dried leaf mixture a bit.  You can also process into a powder and mix brew and drink that.  
Sea Buckthorn tea can also be a more complicated process.  In some areas, young Sea Buckthorn leaves are processed by wilting, toasting, etc. to produce a commercial product which is popular. (Li, 2003)
What dis this process exactly?  It isn't as difficult as it may sound and will likely produce a superior tea for you to drink or mix with other teas (green tea?)  

Sea Buckthorn Tea Step Processing
This is the process as depicted for How Kui Tea

First, pan-fry the leaves immediately or as soon as possible after they are picked.  Place them in a large cast iron pan over a med-hot flame.  Stir and steam them until they are soft and pliable but not dried out.  This sudden heat stops the enzymes that would otherwise lead to oxidation.  Finally, place them on heated baking sheets and carefully dry them until they are just shy of brittle. Stir often and you may cool and reheat a few times to add a gourmet quality as  the Hou Kui Tea process illustrates.  The goal is intact leaves with two percent moisture.    Without fancy equipment I think you can reach this or nearly by being careful not to over dry.  Store finished product in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready for blending or use. 



Sea Buckthorn leaves contain many substances, both nutritive and bio-active.  These include flavonoids (Chen et al. 1991), and carotenoids (among other things that sound scientific and good for you)

Good Luck
Merci de visiter le blogue du projet argousier.

4 comments:

  1. Your blog is a real encyclopedia about the Sea Buckthorn. Congratulations and keep the good work!

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  2. Thanks for posting, Tom! Melissa at Teal Farm

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  3. Melissa, You are welcome. Glad you enjoy the blog. More to come! I'm a big fan of Teal Farm in Vermont. I hope someday my experiment adds to the fantastic sustainable agriculture efforts you all have already made. One of my secret hopes is that Sea Buckthorn becomes a financially viable option to many of the rural and more out-of-the way parts of Maine and elsewhere. The woods economy is a tough one and more alternatives might bring a new source of income to some otherwise challenging family and generational economies.

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