Tea Leaves Thursday: Shiso Tea
Thursdays are officially Tea Leaves Thursdays! Every Thursday we'll talk about my favorite teas and what they can do for you! And some weeks we'll even delve into how to read tea leaves!
For the first Tea Leaves Thursday, I wanted to focus on my favorite of all teas: shiso tea.
Perilla frutescens var. crispa, or shiso, is a perennial plant of the mint family. It produces red-purple leaves or green-leaved forms and is sometimes referred to as the "beefsteak plant."
When I first tried shiso tea in the hills of Sanzen-in Temple, I actually mistook it for broth. The flavor is so savory and hearty that I couldn't tell what I was drinking was just tea!
The red-purple variation is sometimes referred to as akajiso and is used for coloring umeboshi (pickled plum) in Japan.
Shiso is well known in Japanese cooking but also serves deliciously as a tea!
Shiso can help protect the body's nervous and circulatory system, and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well. It can also be found in many Asian herbal remedies for cough, congestion, colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections.
When I was studying in Japan, one of my professors highly recommended hot shiso tea in the winter.
There's nothing that warms my heart more in this dreary weather than a hot cup of shiso tea. I hope you'll all give it a try and let me know what you think!