I’ve been experimenting with all of the lovely stuff available at the moment, as you’ve no doubt noticed from my recent spate of posts, and the latest experiment was with White Deadnettle (Lamium album) flowers, which I tend to call White Archangel – another old folk name, and one that I find far more appropriate for such a delicate and beautiful flower.
I popped out in the late afternoon on a fairly overcast day, rain threatening but not actually falling. I love this time of year – the air smells utterly gorgeous, and I feel as though I could live off it, especially at dawn and dusk. In our vegetable patch, which has really poor soil at present, I’ve found clumps of happily self sown White Archangel, much visited by the bees, and decided to raid it shamelessly for the creamy white flowers that are in profusion at the moment. Twenty minutes of gathering later, and I had a double handful of flowers, which I gleefully scuttled back to the kitchen with.
The first thing I noticed was the scent – pop the flowers in a basket and bury your nose in them, and its a beautiful, subtle but aromatic fragrance, utterly indescribable. The scent seems to be intensifying as the flowers dry down, as well, so I have high hopes that, dried slowly, this will give a beautiful tea for later in the year. I’ll go out and gather more, later on!
The tea, made with a small handful of the flowers, made two infusions, not just one. The first one came out a beautiful pale green colour, but the second one is what really surprised me – it came out a rich amber! Both teas taste fairly similar, with the second one packing more of a punch. Delicately sweet, aromatic and tasting like spring rain over blooms, White Archangel tea encourages a feeling of lightness, an ability to put down the worries for a little while and just revel in spring. I highly recommend it – if you have any of these beautiful plants growing near you, nip out and thieve a few flowers for a tea for yourself. You won’t regret it!