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Iced Tea, Ya'll!

iced tea time, ya'll, in the apothecary!

I was raised on family stories of not-so-law-abiding ancestors who lived fast, and in some cases, died young.  Having now lived for a short while in Austin, I’ve come to appreciate one of my ancestors, the wild west train robber and outlaw, Sam Bass.  My Uncle Sam’s death is re-enacted annually just a half-hour from our home on the 4th of July which is a strange experience for me, but an altogether Texas way of celebrating the 4th.  He was an interesting character, whose appearance was said to be gentler than the typical rough-and-tumble outlaw.  I imagine that if Sam were alive today we’d sit in the Apothecary’s backyard drinking iced tea and planning our next direct-action protest (I figure that I could direct his wild west energies into more social justice oriented activities and less train robbing).  So in honor of my outlaw ancestry and in an attempt to love the heat, our newest creation in the Apothecary is an iced tea.

Our Watering Hole Iced Tea Blend is lightly caffeinated and bursting with red color but promising coolness.  Our Iced Tea is slightly sweet, slightly sour and completely delicious.  A great post-workout drink and for when you’re feeling overheated, heat-cranky or wanting to lure friends and family away from their busy schedules for some sweet and easy conversation, Watering Hole Iced Tea Blend is here for you.

ROOIBOS Aspalanthus linearis: Righteous, red bush Rooibos (pronounced roy-bus) comes to us from the western region of South Africa’s Cape Region.  Rooibos is an herb rich in antioxidants and restorative properties used in the treatment of such conditions such as allergies, eczema, indigestion, headache and tension.  Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and cooling to the body.

HIBISCUS Hibiscus sabdariffa: Another name for the beautiful red Hibiscus flower is sour-sour which aptly describes its cooling flavor.  Hibiscus is especially rehydrating with its electrolyte content and is also rich in vitamins A and C as well as beta-carotene.

YERBA MATE Ilex paraguariensis: Blood cleansing, lightly caffeinated, and stimulating to the mind, Yerba Mate helps us to tolerate the hot weather that brings us to drinking iced tea in the first place!  Improve your memory, cleanse your body and stress less all while keeping it cool – nice.

JASMINE Jasminum officinale: We included fragrant white Jasmine flowers in our blend because of their harmonizing effect on the mind, body and spirit.  Dream-inducing, Jasmine helps us dwell more deeply in beauty, transforming the heat of exhaustion into the fires of passion.

Visit our S H O P to enjoy our Watering Hole Iced Tea Blend and many other fine herbal concoctions!

Cooler Than You: Slytherin House Iced Tea

While the countdown to the next and final installment of the Harry Potter movies ticks away, we'll be featuring the crossover between herbalism and magical herbology. While we're exploring more of the magical and medicinal world of herbalism, let's make some iced tea - Slytherin style.  SLYTHERIN House Iced Tea is far superior, we've been assured by Slytherin students themselves, than any other iced tea a lesser another Hogwarts House may serve.  Why, you might ask?  "Because it has class," was their response.*  We'll let you, kind reader, negotiate Hogwarts House rivalries, while we shall proceed with making some chilly tea.

Begin by making a regular cup of tea, but instead of 1 teaspoon per cup of water, add two heaping teaspoons per cup of water brewed.  The hot tea will be diluted when mixed with ice, so never fear, the flavors will be balanced.

Get some ice from your freezer, local grocer or disapparate to the far north for the freshest glacial ice that can be found!

Death eater shaped ice is optional, but the more difficult, dangerous and life-threatening the ice is for your house elves to attain, select Slytherin students assure us, the more respected your iced tea and you yourself shall be.

After brewing your tea, fill your drinking glass a 1/3 of the way full.  Add any sweetener or not of your choice.  Add ice and stir, which will cool down your hot beverage as well as dilute it.  Add more ice and enjoy!

One of the herbs that is most cooling in the Slytherin House Tea Blend is Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis which was valued by the alchemist and botanist Paracelsus as being able to restore life.  It cools an excited and inflamed system, calming mind, body and spirit.  If you've recently found yourself wounded in a sword fight (all too common these days in the Wizarding world), rub Lemon Balm leaves on the blade that harmed you and you should stop your bleeding.  You'll probably want to follow up with some Lemon Balm tea to prevent and lessen any fever that may follow after such a fight.  Lemon Balm is also used in charms and elixirs to attract romance and may have the special ear of the Gods since it attracts so many of their divine messengers, the bees.

We hope most of all that you enjoy Lemon Balm in your Slytherin House Iced Tea!

*All opinions expressed by Slytherin students are not opinions necessarily supported by Worts + Cunning Apothecary.

Owl Post! ~ Hogwarts House Teas Have Arrived ~

image from the

Clever ones, I no longer sell my herbal teas and remedies such as my Hogwarts House Teas... but sign-up for my Magick Mail to keep updated on when I'll be releasing the recipes for each blend to the public!

We are delighted to introduce our new line of Hogwarts-inspired House Teas to those lovely Muggles, Witches, and Wizards who shop the Apothecary.  It is no secret that we're fans of the magical world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and have spent many an hour dressed up as Professor Trelawney and dreaming of having a copy of One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by former Hogwarts Headmistress Phyllida Spore.  Hopefully our new Hogwarts House Teas will inspire the student of magic in you!

“You might belong in Gryffindor,Where dwell the brave at heart,Their daring, nerve, and chivalrySet Gryffindors apart…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Our Gryffindor House Tea features herbs that evoke courage, bravery, and hopefully grant a bit a luck to those daring individuals whom the sorting hat has placed in Godric’s house.

DANDELION LEAF Taraxacum officinale: The jagged shape of the leaves has inspired Dandelion’s association with Gryffindor’s bold mascot.  The leaves are extremely nutritious and are used to treat a large variety of ills – just like our brave Gryffindors who face all manners of challenges.

BORAGE Borago officinalis: Borage is the plant of courage, strengthening the heart with resolve in face of the unimaginable.

BASIL Ocimum basilicum: The origins of the name Basil comes from the Greek basilikon phuton, meaning “valiant” and “kingly.”  While Ron may wish to forget his time as “king,” all Gryffindors would probably appreciate being recognized as valiant.

SARSPARILLA Smilax ornate: Sarsparilla has an almost bubbly-taste and was added for the essential ingredient of love that keeps strong the will of Gryffindor.

“Hufflepuff,Where they are just and loyal,Those patient Hufflepuffs are trueAnd unafraid of toil…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The loyalty of those of the House of Hufflepuff cannot be matched.  They’re a grounded bunch, too, not getting carried away by big ideas but remaining focused on the here and now.  The Hufflepuff House Tea is a combination of the practical and enchanted.

CARAWAY Carum carvi: Carried between friends and lovers as a promise to fidelity, Caraway embodies the steadfast loyalty of Hufflepuffs to the people and causes they love.

HAWTHORN Craetagus monogyna: The Hufflepuff mascot, the badger, is fond of the magical hawthorn, and so we imagine the Hufflepuffs would probably be, too.

LICORICE Glycyrrhiza glabra: Licorice has traditionally used in tea blends to harmonize the energies of all other herbs involved.  Hufflepuffs often seemed to do just that throughout Hogwarts, reminding folks of what really mattered.

CHICKWEED Stellaria alsine: Another herb of steadfastness, Chickweed’s Latin name reveals its relationship to the celestial kingdom, lest we forget the truly unique brightness of a house that accepts any student as long as they are hard-working and loyal.

“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,if you’ve a ready mind,Where those of wit and learning,Will always find their kind…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Refinement, learning, and an ever-cool disposition, the Ravenclaw House Tea honors the grand history of tea drinking with the classic Early Grey while staying true to innovation with the addition of gingko, lavender, and peppermint. Contains caffeine.

EARL GREY: A refined, fragrant black tea

LAVENDER Lavandula officinalis:  Blue to honor Ravenclaw’s house color, Lavender is a keep-it-cool herb that will help to settle any studying nerves.  Not that those clever Ravenclaws ever lose their nerve.

GINGKO Gingko biloba: A renowned brain tonic, our Ravenclaw blend would not be complete without nourishing their greatest source of talent.

PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita: Fresh and invigorating, Peppermint stimulates new ways of working out solutions to the trickiest N.E.W.T. exam questions.

“Or perhaps in SlytherinYou’ll make your real friends,Those cunning folks use any meansTo achieve their ends.” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The green brew of the Slytherin House Tea is a compelling blend of ancient herbs, snake charms, and the ambitious drive to gain the most while sacrificing little by way of purity.

HORSETAIL Equisetum arvense: To play a whistle made from the stem of the Horsetail plant, is to be able to call and charm Slytherin’s mascot, the snake.  Horsetail is an ancient plant lending itself well to a House preoccupied with ancestry.

NETTLES Urtica dioica: Salazar Slytherin, the founder of Slytherin House, felt particular anxiety around the admission of the Muggle-born into Hogwarts.  So you find Slytherin to be predominantly “pure-blood” students and in their House Tea, the blood-purifying Nettles are included.

LEMON BALM Melissa officinalis: There is always a bit of a nervous, somewhat sour edge to Slytherins, so Lemon Balm adds a hint of sour while soothing the nervous thoughts of ambitious witches and wizards.

HIBISCUS Hibiscus sabdariffa: Known also as sour-sour, the blood-red of Hibiscus adds to the pure-blooded, puckering tendencies of the Slytherin stock.

Our Hogwarts House Teas can be purchased individually or as a Remedy Kit in our S H O P.

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