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Fantastic Fennel

November 23, 2010

Today’s Tea: Organic Fennel Tea by Tea Gschwendner
Imbibed by: goodtea

As chilly winter weather takes over much of the Northern Hemisphere, the time has come to fight off the cold with a hot cup of tea. If you want a hot cuppa on a cold evening–but without the caffeine–a nice herbal infusion will do the trick.

Today I made a cup of fennel tea. Fennel tea is traditionally used in some parts of the world to help improve eyesight, though who knows if that’s true. (Always take health claims for teas with a grain of salt!) Fennel tea is also (supposedly) good for freshening your breath and preventing bloating, which would make it the perfect after-dinner drink, too.

The light-colored fennel seeds (which, apparently, are actually whole fennel “fruits”) smell like sweet, dry hay–most appropriate, since the word “fennel” derives from the Latin word for “hay.” I let the fennel seeds steep for about six minutes in boiling water and got a lovely, light yellow-green infusion out of it. A faint hay smell remains, but sweeter, with a biting note of anise, too.

The flavor is remarkable. It is light on the tongue, but with a very potent flavor. It’s fairly sweet with hints of anise and a sort of peppery, tingling feeling on the tongue–rather invigorating! The infusion takes honey very well if you’d like it even sweeter.

Sadly, I don’t see this tea available in Tea Gschwendner’s USA online shop, and the new design of the German website prevents me from linking to the tea directly. It’s tea number 1236 at Tea Gschwendners, if you’re interested. You can surely find other fennel teas elsewhere, or just brew it yourself with culinary grade fennel from your spice rack.

Conclusion: A sweet-and-spicy, caffeine-free treat for a cold winter day.

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