It’s been uncharacteristically hot and humid here in Paris, Maine for the past several days. Today, thanks to a cold front passing through, we have much cooler, drier conditions. I’d enjoy the recipe I’m about to give you any day of the year, but it’s proven especially good when you’re trying to survive a dog day of summer.
I spent last weekend mostly at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine. On Saturday, my husband and I taught a beginner soap making workshop, and then on Sunday I participated in Open Farm Day, demonstrating rug hooking in the historic Shaker barn. After our workshop on Saturday, we stopped in to the Shaker store and picked up the Society of Shakers Fruit Blend Tea. You can purchase it HERE in the on-line Shaker store, but if you are local or anywhere near local, better yet to go visit the community and take advantage of their wonderful farm and garden tours, two beautiful shops, educational programs, and inviting and peaceful atmosphere. Lots of things in the Shaker stores would make amazing holiday gifts, so start your shopping early.
The Fruit Blend Tea is unbelievably delicious and refreshing. In the fall, you’ll want their mulling spices, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
This is how I make iced tea with it…
- Put three heaping teaspoons of Society of Shakers Fruit Blend Tea in a 1 quart Ball jar. I brew mine loose and then strain it, but you can use a tea ball that will fit through the opening. A wide mouth jar is best for this.
- Add almost boiling water to the 3 cup marker on the side. Let brew at least 8 – 10 minutes; you want it to be strong.
- If you need to strain the tea, now is the time to do it, but put it in to another quart sized Ball jar.
- Add a heaping teaspoon of local honey or to taste. I do believe at certain times of year you can purchase Shaker honey as well. I get mine from a self serve stand on Mount Mica Road in Paris, Maine. See the label in the pic! Next year, fingers crossed, we will be offering Parris House Honey from our own hives.
- Now add ice until the tea level comes to just the bottom of the jar lid threads.
- When the ice melts it’s ready to drink! Pour it over ice or put it in the fridge to chill.
I have been making one of these jars every morning and just about finishing it over the course of the day. You could add lemon or lime to it, but honestly, the flavors in this tea are so perfectly blended I have found that adding fresh citrus takes a bit away from it. Nor does it really need fresh mint as it already has some mint incorporated.
I support the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community as a Friend of the Shakers and through teaching and volunteer work at the village. I hope you will consider doing so as well. The Sabbathday Lake community is the home of three living Shakers, Brother Arnold, Sister June, and Sister Frances. There is no other Shaker site in the nation inhabited by Shakers. You may read about them in this Downeast Magazine article, aptly titled, Unshaken. The Shakers are very engaged with the outside world lest anyone think they are cloistered, and yet they are examples of love, faith, hard work, and devotion, qualities we could all aspire to just a little more in this world of ours.
Enjoy the tea, and happy hooking! – Beth