Gail Bussi gives us a marvelous look into the world of tea. There is a little bit of everything in this book, starting with history and traditions, such as English Teas and Japanese Tea Ceremonies, to how to create rituals of your own, as well as how to cultivate your own herbal garden.
For those who are into divination, there is a small but thorough primer for reading tea leaves. Along with tea reading, there are also astrological correspondences to explore. For those born with a Leo Moon, they could enjoy spicy warm notes found in teas containing cinnamon, nutmeg orange and marigold.
There are tea blends that align chakras as well as herbal teas used for healing both body and spirit. There are syrups, tinctures, and a wide variety of tea blends that are easy and fun to make. One of my favorites is Everyday Health Tea, found on pp. 116. It is a simple tea that is made by steeping a bag of roobios tea with slices of ginger,cloves, lemon balm or spearmint leaves and aids in my digestion and lifts my spirits.
Bussi discusses English teas, including the origins of the English High Tea, as well as the Japanese Tea Ceremony. From there, we learn how to create our own tea centered rituals based on whatever we choose. Whether it is sitting out in a beautiful garden with a cup of our favorite handmade herbal blend, or watching the sunrise from the balcony in our pajamas, we can create a ritual as simple as making a cup of tea and pouring it for ourselves, or as complex as casting a formal circle using crystals and incense.
There are recipes for both sweet and savory snacks to go with tea time. I made the Almond Raspberry Swirls, but being diabetic, I had to forgo sugar and used Raspberry Jam made with Splenda with excellent results. I also made Little Homity Pies which were also quite excellent. These recipes and more are definitely going to go into my recipe journal.
There are tea recipes and blends as well. Some of the recipes call for flowers, such a cornflowers in the Blue Sky Tea or marigold petals in the Bright New Day blend. There is a Dandelion Divination Tea, which I have yet to try but am looking forward to it as soon as I make a trip to the local botanica.
There are healing teas, ritual teas, spiritual teas; just about any kind of tea blend you can imagine, you can find it here.
This is a wonderful book, masterfully written and chocked full of advice on just about everything related to tea. Written in a friendly, informal manner, Bussi makes it easy and fun to delve into the world of everything tea. This book is a must have for any green kitchen witch.
~review by Patricia Snodgrass
Author: Gail Bussi
Llewellyn Publications, 2023
p. $17.99, pp. 228