Greek mountain tea, having come from the sideritis plant, is not only a flavorful herbal infusion but also boasts immune-boosting properties that have been cherished since ancient times. If you’re intrigued by this aromatic brew, we’re here to guide you on how to make the perfect cup of Greek mountain tea.
Ingredients and Equipment
For this delicious cuppa, you’ll need some dried mountain tea, water, and a small saucepan with a lid.
You can also add some honey for sweetness and some lemon for a kick, but both of these are optional and not needed to enjoy this tea to the fullest.
Preparing and Boiling
Begin by gathering your dried mountain tea, which is typically sold in loose bunches of stems, leaves, and flowers. For each cup of tea, take two to three stems from the bunch. Place them in a small pot.
Add 8 to 10 fluid ounces of water to the pot for each cup of tea. Place the pot on your stove over medium-high heat and cover it with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the tea for anywhere from one to three minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Keep the lid on at all times during this process to preserve the essential oils in the tea.
Steep, Strain, Serve and Savor
After simmering, turn off the heat and let the tea steep for at least two minutes, still with the lid on. The longer you steep it, the stronger the flavor will be. Don’t worry if you forget about it; Greek mountain tea can steep for up to 15 minutes without becoming bitter.
To serve, you can use a ladle directly from the pot, as the solids are easy to strain out. If there are numerous small bits in the pot, consider passing the tea through a fine mesh strainer. You can also add honey for sweetness or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a zesty kick.
Mountain Tea Tips and Ideas
Greek mountain tea isn’t limited to just hot brews. You can also experiment with the recipe and brew a cup of delicious iced mountain tea! To do this, follow the steps above, then chill the tea in the refrigerator. Prepare a pitcher and keep it in the fridge for refreshing sips throughout the week.
Alternatively, you can also try different flavor combinations. In Greece, it’s common to add a cinnamon stick to the pot while brewing mountain tea, introducing an extra layer of flavor. You can also get creative with additions like lavender and chamomile to complement the herbal charm of Greek mountain tea.