Armenian herbal tea

This would be chapter 3 of our series – ‘Culinary Experiences’ for journaling some of the best ambrosial culinary experiences, be it the finest cordon bleu delights of a master chef, cultural intricacies discovered in a bowl of an exquisite delicacy or a cheesy experimental simmer at our little kitchen, we are trying to scribe it here.

In July 2019, we tried a variant of Armenian tea. Herbal tea is very popular in Armenian culture. Mkhitar Heratsi, the founder of Armenian Classical medicine is known to have proposed different herbs for several common ailments. In some of his works highly revered in Armenian history,  he has outlined recommendations on using rose, violet, lily, nunufar, sorrel, watercress, basil, asparagus, among wild plants capers and thyme to cure infectious-allergic diseases.

The tea we tasted was very subtle and had a herbal feel to it. We had it after a heavy meal and it felt very luscious on the taste buds. There’s a famous saying in Armenia – “The higher is the mountain the better the herbs are”. Armenia is known for its mountainous terrains and these herbs predominantly grow on hillsides and they are used extensively for tea. I could find lot of variants in Armenian markets with some of them being thyme, chamomile, pomegranate flower, and rosehip teas. They have a rich and profuse tea tradition rooting back to thousands of years.