Recipe: Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Chamomile Tea

I was gifted this tea from my friend Mary Jean over at Fortitude Farms here in Bakersfield, and I’ve been truly enjoying this herbal tea blend as my afternoon pick-me-up in the office.  This tea consists simply of dried chamomile flowers and dried tulsi (also known as holy basil) leaves.  There is something perfect about its simplicity: it’s lightly floral, lightly licoricey, delicately sweet, and a touch herbal/grassy. 

I’ve been enjoying this tea straight, but it would also be nice with a little added honey.  Mary Jean also mentioned adding a little bit of orange peel, which I did try and it was a delight. 

I’ve never had tulsi before working with Fortitude Farms, who grow their own for their CSA program.  This new to me herb is said to be anti-inflammatory and help reduce stress.  It is native to India and is considered sacred in many cultures.  When I first tried it, I was struck by how aromatic it was – similar to Thai basil, but with a sweeter, more intense licorice aroma.  It almost reminded me of fresh stevia with how naturally sweet it was, although it has a stronger herbal aroma which I find quite pleasant.

If you can’t find tulsi at your local markets or don’t want to grow your own, it looks like you can buy it dry online (although I can’t speak to the quality of these).  If you want a good substitute for tulsi in this tea, I would try dried mint, although the flavor of that will be stronger than the tulsi.  The blend that I have seems to be a 50/50 blend of dried tulsi to chamomile, so start there and adjust the ratios to your liking.  Give this blend a try if you are looking for a new herbal tea!

Want some more tea inspiration?  Try my Chamomile Green Tea (recipe linked here!) or my Rose Tea Lemonade (recipe linked here!) for more ideas!

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