When I was shopping in a farmers market, I bought some ‘mountain thyme,’ also known as ‘wild thyme’ or ‘zahter.’ I did not expect to find it in the market, nor I knew what to do with it. I used some of the fresh leaves while cooking and decided to sundry the rest, which took about a week, given Istanbul’s humid climate. It smelt heavenly when I started to ‘crush’ the leaves, then I thought to myself, let’s leave a couple of branches and see if I can make a tisane out of it.
Oh my! It was the best decision I made for a while, and I had a few delicious infusions of this tea. And I did not make it up, there is such thing as wild thyme tea.
Endemic to the South-eastern Anatolia (mountainous areas) and some eastern Mediterranean countries where it grows in the wild. Its dried leaves can be consumed as a salad after being pickled in brine (very strong but tasty) or used as a condiment. In folk medicine, wild thyme plant is used to cure diseases such as coughs, asthma, and bronchitis. Its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties were also established in some studies.
This was pleasant tisane with a fragrance of thyme and vegetal tasting notes along with some sweetness, almost like sweet peppermint but tastier. I am glad I ended up experimenting as this tea totally deserves to be part of this challenge.
Type: Herbal (non-tea)
Harvest time: May 2020
Leave colour: Dark green
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea aroma: Intense vegetal (thyme like)
Tea taste: Vegetal Pepper-mint sweetness
Steeping/brewing: Infuse about 3 gr of dry leaves in 100°C water for about 3 minutes.
Shelf life: Up to 2 years (the freshest the better)