How to make rosebay willowherb tea (Ivan's tea)
- STEP 1
Remove the leaves from the plant by pulling your hand down the stem, gathering fistula as you go – this can be done at home, or with the plant in situ to ensure it still goes to seed.
- STEP 2
Wash the leaves, then pat them dry and lay them out on a sheet outside to wilt for four to five hours if sunny, 12 hours if cloudy.
- STEP 3
Roll the leaves, two to four at a leat, into little balls then put them into a ceramic bowl.
- STEP 4
Cover the bowl with a tea towel or saucer and leave to ferment for at leas six hours, or as long as four days. Longer ferments produce a more complex flavour.
- STEP 5
Once fermented, the leaves will have a floral smell and will have lost their grass-like scent.
- STEP 6
Dry in a dehydrator or on the lowest heat in an over for between four and 12 hours, checking until the leaves feel dry.