This morning I was served breakfast in bed. While the meal was nothing fancy (a toasted cheese sandwich with hot pepper sauce and some mango on the side), the tea was really special. Shawn put a cup of bay leaf tea on the table next to me.
If you use bay leaves the way I do, they go in spaghetti sauce and stews, marinades and rubs. But you’ve probably never had it in tea. I know I never had before. I looked into the cup and at the bottom there were 3 or 4 leaves. Shawn just poured boiling water over the leaves and let them steep for about 10 minutes. However, a quick Google search tells me that I can simmer the leaves for a stronger brew.
The flavour was really intriguing. When I cook with bay leaves, I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about the flavour. After all, I’m just going to let the dish simmer a long time and then take the bay leaf out. Well, I really noticed the flavour this morning. It was warm, and earthy and had a kind of licorice bite to it. Shawn had put a bit of sugar in my tea, but I will definitely try it again unsweetened.
I’d also never really considered the potential health benefits of bay leaves. Keep in mind I am not a doctor, have never played one on tv, and have no training or experience in herbal medicine. There do seem be lots of benefits to drinking bay leaf tea, including:
- Relief from cold symptoms (when used as a compress on the chest)
- Reducing fever symptoms (when drunk as a tea)
- Aids in digestive issues and reduces flatulence (this is my personal favourite since I am just getting involved in a new relationship. I’d hate to be too gassy!)
I used the following websites to pull a bit of information: