Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sassafras Tea. Mmmmmmmm.....

So yesterday my buddy from over at Saturday Sports Blog and I were hiking through some of his family's land when we came across a stand of Sassafras trees. I am absolutely addicted to fresh Sassafras tea so we pulled, dug, and cut some Sassafras root to take home. This morning I washed the roots and sat them out to dry. Once they were dry I put a few in a pot of water to boil and made some Sassafras Tea. If you've never had, or even heard of, Sassafras Tea you are really missing out. It is a very light, flavorful tea that is great either iced or hot. Sassafras trees can be found in most areas of the lower 48 but is most prominent in the southern states.

Sassafras was banned from commercial sale in 1960 because researchers found that extreme doses of an ingredient found in Sassafras, called safrole, caused liver cancer in rats. These findings were very controversial for several reasons. The main reason being that it would take MASSIVE amounts of Sassafras being consumed to cause any negative effects. However, if you're concerned, please do the research before you try to make yourself any Sassafras tea.

If you'd like try some, here is the process from harvest to the glass:

1. Find a Sassafras tree.



2. Dig up some roots. Take them home and wash them really well then throw three to five roots about 4" long in a pot of boiling water. I normally do about a gallon of water for this amount of root.


3. Let the roots come to a rolling boil and sustain that boil for 30 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 3 to 4 hours. The water will have turned a medium pink to a darker red color. Carefully pull the roots from the tea and strain the tea to get any small particles out.


4. Enjoy! If you like your tea strong you can drink it straight. Or you can dilute it with water like you would normal iced tea. I prefer mine diluted, with a bit of sugar, on ice. Just experiment with the variation that works best for you. You can also adjust the recipe to find the strength that you like. Just add more root to make it stronger or leave some out to make it weaker.

Or, you could just buy some commercial Sassafras Tea. The commercial teas use a safrole-free Sassafras flavoring to skirt by the safrole ban, so it won't be as tasty as the real thing, but it is better than nothing!



48 comments:

  1. I'm fund of tea! This looks really delicious! Thanks!

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  2. I like tea, but knowing me, I would find the wrong plant and next thing you know I'll be drinking poison ivy cocktails.

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  3. @surrealmethod, It is almost impossible to incorrectly identify Sassafras. If you look at the pictures you will notice that the tree has three different shaped leaves. It is the only tree with these three distinctive leaf shapes. Also, if you crush the leaves or cut the root they both smell like root beer. Sassafras was originally used to flavor root beer. This was obviously before the ban.

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  4. Or, you could just buy some commercial Sassafras Tea

    Yeah, that seems easier. XD

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  5. @Politically Challenged, Indeed. But it's just not the same. haha

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  6. What doe sasafras taste like? I always thought it was just a word that Yosemite Sam used on Looney Tunes!

    Is it sweet or something? Clear out the ol' nasal passageways?

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  7. nice info about this kind of tea ^^

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  8. thanks! ill will also check out your friends blog!

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  9. @Rorschach Redemption, it is a very unique flavor. If you can imagine a non-carbonated organic root beer, that is about as close of a description as I can come up with. It isn't overly sweet at all. It is very light, some fruit and citrus flavors, but very mellow.

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  10. Haven't been much into tea, but I know of a place where I can get this from at least. If it's as good as people say I might give it a try.

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  11. I'm a huge tea fan, so imma deff check this out when I get the time. Sounds very funny but calming. I love Green tea<3 Thanks for post! *Followed and Supporting*

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  12. I like the way you designed your blog :)

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  13. I'll have to try this, I love the way the crushed leaves smell

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  14. Suffering sassafras that sounds good!

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  15. Natural is the way to go, that's awesome dood!

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  16. Love learning new stuff every day, keep it up

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  17. I'm an avid reader of yours so I'd appreciate it if you headed over to my blog and voted in my poll and stuff =)

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  18. Nothing beats the mornings in my office with a hot cup of tea (i MUST have my private tea time) in these dark and ever colder days.

    Sadly, Sassafras trees aren't exactly plentyful around in these parts of the world. But i'd love to try some one day.

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  19. My friends family runs a tea store so I know what your talking about =P This is good stuff, also highly reccomend it

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  20. I've never really been a tea person! :( ill try it our since I know a couple of these trees around

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  21. Not a tea fan, but I always try before I reject, will have to give it a try.

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  22. I spent two years in China and happened to try loads of different teas-this sounds like it might be good: will give it a shot!

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  23. that tea looks so nice to have to drink during a hot day :) gotta try to buy some.

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  24. I really like tea but usally i put some sugar in it ESP iced teas. What does this taste like? is it like normal tea?

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  25. I liked your input on my last blog post :)

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  26. can´t believe that this tastes good :D

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  27. Pretty cool I must say! Are you into plants and stuff? My blog is basically a plant picture blog.

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  28. this and birch beer are two of my favorites.

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  29. looks like a lot of work. hope it would be worth it :P

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  30. Awesome Post!!

    New follower, Please check out my blog and follow me back :)

    australiascrapas.blogspot.com

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  31. Heh your a bushmaster of somekind?

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  32. I'm thristy now, but I have a feeling nothing I have n the house will cut it.

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  33. I love tea, I have to admit Earl Grey is my favorite flavor.

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  34. If you like this you should look into Sorrel tea. Stuff is so good.

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  35. I am quite a tea lover and I loved this mate.

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  36. Very interessant, i'll go test that

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  37. Neat, I'll give this a shot sometime...

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  38. Great post!

    looking forward to reading the next one

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  39. I used to make this when i was a kid although i didnt didnt spend as much time making it as you said but next time ill try it your way.

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  40. Fascinating! I didn't know you could do that! I'm going to try it next week.

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