Ok, I know, you're asking me what the heck swamp tea is and why you should be excited about it this summer...
First, we have to travel back to Portland, Maine. I lived there with my love a few years back and fell deeply in love with that little city by the sea. In fact, it's where I started my business and began selling my tea and herbal powders at the sweet farmer's markets abundant with the local goods of the surrounding farmlands.
(And less that sounds too romantic, mind you, I started selling my wares in November. In Maine. Without a winter coat. I can't explain that last bit except to say that I thought my pleather jacket was cooler than my need to be warm. I've since gotten over this and have learned the art of warm jackets and layering.)
But back to swamp tea!
There was this local cafe down the street from my apartment which was run by and full of lesbians, dykes, queers, transfolks and their families (it closed it's doors when we were still living there, unfortunately, and was replaced with a run-of-the-mill pizza place - boo). They served something called swamp tea and it was delicious! My love and I barely had any extra money at that point, but getting a swamp tea was a special reward. When they closed I started to make my own in an attempt to comfort my heart over yet another queer dyke space closing it's doors (seriously, folks, we need more than bars - and even those are far and few between - and increasingly corporatized pride festivals for a healthy community).
What follows is my swamp tea recipe that I include in my book for magickal mornings. But I've also given you the basic ratios to make your own swamp tea with whatever tea, spices, sweetener, and milk of choice.
Renegade Iced Tea
(aka my version of swamp tea)
Why Renegade Tea? Because this tea just might inspire you to be the superfolk you were always meant to be!
Tea can do that. :)
For every 8 oz of water you will need:
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis)
- 1/2 to 1 inch of fresh Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- 1 teaspoon of Cardamom Pods
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I like almond milk with Yerba Mate!)
- Sweetener of choice
You'll begin by making an extra-strong brew of tea because it'll be watered down by the ice you add to it. For every cup of water you will need at least 2 teaspoons of tea but if you like your tea strong you can use 1 tablespoon.
Brew your Yerba Mate for 3 - 4 minutes (or follow the recommendations for whatever tea you're using). While your tea is brewing, prepare your tea's spicy renegade companion.
Blend together the Ginger and Cardamom with your milk of choice. Whizz up the blend to a frothy consistency and then strain out the Ginger and Cardamom.
Mix together the spicy milk with the Yerba Mate tea. If you want extra sweetener, you can add it here. Pour over ice and shake it up! Your swamp tea is ready to enjoy!
Bonus! Add in whole blueberries for a boba tea effect - yum!
Go forth and make some swamp tea!
What are your favorite summer teas? Let me know in the comments!