Our newest crop has a few names: tulsi, holy basil, sacred basil. We could claim that we started growing it to experiment with its uses as a medicinal since its a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine. But truthfully, we bought seed because it looked interesting in the seed catalog. Lucky for us, it grows really well on our farm and we should have a bumper crop of leaves this year. Although it’s used in lots of Thai and Indian cooking (see our previous post Holy Basil, Batman), we have found it’s primary daily use to be in teas. Although in certain combinations we’ve found the taste to clash with other tastes (lemon juice in tulsi tea is not a good idea), we’ve found the sweet spot in mixing it with our bergamot leaves to make a refreshing, interesting, hot or iced tea.
For a nice iced tea, boil some water in a saucepan (6 cups is fine, but no need to be exact). Once boiling, turn it off, then add 3 sprigs of fresh tulsi and 3 sprigs of fresh bergamot. Steep for 7-10 minutes, depending upon how strong you want the tea. Then remove the sprigs and add 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir and dissolve. Have a pitcher half full with cold water waiting and pour the hot tea into the cold water and store in the refrigerator. Post to the site if you’ve tried it and tell us what you think!
And next time you see us at the Person County Farmer’s Market, ask us for some tulsi tea leaves and bergamot. We should have them both for the rest of the summer.