Tea Time With Shari Altman —MAV

I’m honored today to have a guest post here on 3191. It’s our first guest post EVER! Of course, we had to ask someone completely amazing to take on our first guest post and that friend had to be Shari Altman. We love Shari!

Those of you who have gotten an copy of 3191 Quarterly, Issue No. 11, have probably already poured over Shari’s piece in the issue (the opening spread can seen above). I love Shari’s approach to practical and simple wellness.

Shari has been a big support in my life over the years not only with her dedicated friendship but with her spot on advice. So, a special tea treat today from Shari to you! I will let her take it away now … Shari: Thank you for all of your sage advice, dear friend. xo


I created this herbal tea as a refreshing and nourishing blend for the late afternoon or early evening. It’s a pre-dinner tea, so to speak, to help me unwind from the stresses of the day and refresh myself for dinner preparations, while also nourishing my body.

1 pt Skullcap (dried)
1 pt Anise Hyssop (dried flowers and leaves, homegrown)
2 pt Peppermint (dried)
2 pt Schisandra berry (dried)
1 pt Milky oat tops (dried, homegrown and given to me by a friend)
1 pt Grapefruit peel (dried by me)
Note: a part is just a measurement. In the recipe when I refer to parts, I am using ounces.

I chose skullcap because it is a wonderful nervine plant that aids in relieving tension and helping me let go of the problems and stresses of the day. Anise hyssop adds a wonderful flavor to the tea and is good for digestion. Peppermint is my go-to herb when I need an afternoon pick-me-up but don’t want any caffeine. Schisandra berry is an adaptogen, providing energy and focus but it is also restorative. Milky oat tops soothe the nerves and nourish the whole body. I added grapefruit peel for that important bitter flavor that our body needs in order to get the digestive juices flowing before a meal.

A few great additions or substitutions:

Lemon Balm-Now that I have lemon balm growing in my herb garden again, I might add some fresh lemon balm leaves to this tea to give it a great lemony flavor, to improve mood, and to aid in digestion. If you don’t have any lemon balm on hand, try a squeeze of lemon juice.

Honey-Raw, unpasteurized honey is the perfect sweetener for this blend.

Mint- Experiment with different types of mint such as spearmint, apple mint, or even chocolate mint.

Berries: Dried blueberries or dried elderberries could be used in place of the schisandra berries.

Ginger: Crystallized ginger or fresh ginger slices would add a spicy kick to this blend.

I typicaly add 1-2 TB to a French press and then pour hot water in just off the boil. For a medicinal strength tea, you should let it steep for at least 10 minutes. If you want a lighter, more fragrant tea, then aim for just a few minutes of steeping.

During the growing season in Vermont, I concentrate on making fresh tea blends. Today I made a fresh tea with dandelion flowers and leaves, violet flowers and leaves, lemon balm, and oregano (do not drink oregano tea when pregnant). I generally pack my French press full of fresh herbs and then add water just off the boil. Play around with steeping times. Take a taste at 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes and see which you prefer. You can also make a cold water infusion during the summer months.

Happy tea time!

p.s. If you’ve never used these herbs before or are taking medication or pregnant, please consult your doctor before using.