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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Persimmon Leaves for Loose Leaf Tea

So I have been experimenting to find the best drying process for larger quantities of the persimmon leaves to obtain the highest quality brew. As I have noted earlier, all of my blends could be considered green teas, because I only pick and dry the leaves.

The persimmon leaves must be harvested in June, after June the leaves will start to get splotchy black spots. I have seen this happen year after year, and I believe this natural occurrence happens  as the astringent fruit ripens.

I have read multiple articles regarding a forced wilt period of 6 hours, flipping leaves midway. This is to be followed by final drying and curing in a dark airy space .

For my dark airy space, since I have an empty nest at this point, I have been using multiple large closets I have available, as well as rolled out brown packing paper in every space available. I keep the blinds drawn in the rooms, and have the herbs spread on screens, on racks. I keep the closet doors open, and the ceiling fans always on. This arrangement has been working out wonderfully.

With the persimmons leaves I have so far been most satisfied with a compromise of 2 hours in warm air outside, on sheets of brown paper, shaded from the sun. This brief forced the wilt, is  followed by final drying in the "dark and airy space". The leaves have retained color very nicely in this manner with almost zero oxidation.

The tea itself has a rather strong taste, but personal taste will be able to manage this with steeping time, and the stevia definitely takes the edge off. It could give coffee a run for it's money. As a matter of fact in colonial times the large seeds were harvested and used as a form of coffee, although the leaves are naturally caffeine free.

Okay, kind of late getting off now.

1 comment:

  1. so can we not harvest the leaves in October for making tea?


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