Organic Liquorice Tea Loose Leaf 100g Steenbergs details and description
Steenbergs Loose Organic Licorice Tea is decent sized chunks of organic liquorice root that allow you to make your own French style réglisse tea. A naturally caffeine free traditional herbal tea, licorice root tea has a characteristic sweet and anise-like flavour that is pleasant, lingering and mouth-freshening, perhaps medicinal. I love it after a meal or just in the afternoon as I start to feel snoozy.
The licorice plant is a small, hardy perennial legume that grows to 1-1½ metres high (that's around 3-5ft). The liquorice plant is a clump of straight, woody stems, with frond-like, large greenish leaves along the stems and pea-like flowers that are deep lilac-blue in hue in short spiked clusters in late summer. Small, bean-like pods that contain several seeds, but these have no practical application. The key part of the licorice shrub is its large taproot and the rhizomes that wander off horizontally from the central taproot. these are harvested for drying in early winter from established 3 or 4 years old plants. The main variety for food and drink is Glycyrrhiza glabra.
The root sections of Glcyrrhiza glabra are grey-brown on the outer woody surface and a yellow fibrous centre. The aroma is mild and sweet, with a hint of damp grass. The flavour of licorice roots is bitter at the start, then morphs into a sweet and distinctly anise taste that lingers and is freshening. I used to love to chew on the sticks of liquorice root that you used to get from the local health food store - those were those days of delicious innocence.
It was first introduced to England by Cluniac monks in Pontefract in the 16th century, where liquorice used to grown for the eponymous Pontefract Cakes. Sadly, these are now made with imported liquorice, as we have chased ourselves up the economic value chain and away from simpler manufactures.
We sell it here as an herbal infusion, but it can be used for cooking, combining well with cassia, cloves, fennel, Sichuan pepper and star anise - basically other spices with an anise flavour or those that combine well with anise flavours.
Brewing tip: add 1 teaspoon of liquorice tea to a 2-cup pot (2.5g per 180ml water). Add boiling water, infuse for 4 minutes. Do not add milk, nor sugar as it is really sweet in flavour.
Liquorice products should be avoided by pregnant women, and you should always seek medical advice if drinking this when pregnant.
Steenbergs Organic Licorice Tea is part of the Steenbergs retailers range of herbal teas.