*Please consult a doctor if you are taking certain medications or to find out whether Greek mountain tea is right for you. I’m not a nutritionist, but I truly enjoy Greek mountain tea regularly, believe in its numerous health benefits, and love its comforting taste.
WHAT IS GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA?
You may have come across Greek mountain tea at your specialty foods store or online and wondered, what is this mysterious leafy stemmed tea? And does it actually taste good? Spoiler alert… it tastes great, and it has many benefits!
Greek mountain tea (commonly called “Tsai tou vounou,” which translates to Tea of the Mountain) is made from the leaves, flowers, and stems of the Sideritis plant.
I buy Greek mountain tea at my local European specialty store, but you can also buy Krinos Greek mountain tea online. If you can find it at a grocery store, Meditteranean or Greek deli, or Greek restaurant in your town or city, it may be cheaper than buying it online. Mountain tea has a naturally sweet floral flavour, and the fact that this tea tastes so good and has so many health benefits is a bonus!
Sideritis Raeseri (also known as ironwort, mountain tea, or shepherd’s tea) is packaged as a loose tea and not in tea bags. Its dried stems contain small yellow flowers and silvery leaves. To make the tea, you simply place two handfuls of the herb (stems, leaves, and flowers) into the water and boil it together in a saucepan or steep the herb in a teapot with an infuser.
I like to boil the stems, leaves, and flowers in hot water or steep them in an infuser teapot for about 10 minutes, but if you like the flavour to be stronger, you can boil the tea for longer. If I’m making Greek mountain tea in a saucepan and there’s extra, I’ll leave the extra tea in there overnight and reheat it in the morning with the same leaves. The best part is that it doesn’t taste bitter even if you steep it for hours and has a stronger flavour.
You will likely need to use a small mesh strainer, tea infuser or a teapot with a built-in infuser when making this tea to remove the leaves before drinking it. If you place the leaves directly into the teapot, then they’ll get stuck in the spout when you’re trying to pour your tea. I learned the hard way, haha.
HOW TO MAKE GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA: STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: You can either make this tea using a kettle and teapot or a small saucepan with a lid. If you’re using a kettle, pour three cups of water into the kettle. If you’re using a saucepan, add three cups of water to the saucepan and add two handfuls of Greek mountain tea. Gradually heat the tea over medium-low heat for ten minutes (or longer if you like it stronger)
STEP 2: While the water is heating up, place about two handfuls of the Greek mountain tea (stems, leaves, and flowers) into your tea infuser or teapot with a built-in infuser.
STEP 3: Pour the hot water over the leaves in the teapot and cover it with the lid. Allow the tea to steep for at least ten minutes. You can steep it for longer if you’d like the taste to be stronger.
STEP 4: If you’re using a saucepan, then you can use a small mesh strainer when pouring the tea into your cup to catch the leaves. Enjoy Greek mountain tea and all of its benefits on its own, with milk and honey or honey and a squeeze of lemon!
WHAT DOES GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA TASTE LIKE?
Greek mountain tea has a beautifully rich golden colour, and each sip is full of antioxidants. This tea has a soft, calming flavour with floral notes and an earthy but slightly sweet taste. I love to drink mountain tea after dinner and as part of a healthy nighttime routine to relax and calm my mind before bed. Since it’s naturally caffeine free, it can be enjoyed any time of the day!
In the winter, Greek mountain tea is really popular, but it’s also delicious as iced tea in the summer with some fresh lemon makes it easy to enjoy the health benefits year round!
WHERE DID GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA ORIGINATE?
This nutritious tea has been grown in the mountains of Greece for centuries. The herb called Sideritis grows wild at high elevations on the sides of Greek mountains. Sideritis got its name from the Greek word for iron, sideros, and the Ancient Greeks used Sideritis to heal wounds caused by iron weapons.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA?
It is said that drinking Greek mountain tea daily can:
- Improve mood and energy
- Helps to reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system
- Lower blood pressure and improve gut health and indigestion
- Contains essential oils that make Greek mountain tea as powerful as green tea when it comes to antioxidants
- Relaxing properties in the tea help with mild anxiety and have an overall positive effect on mood
- Healing properties and pain management for colds, aches and allergies
Desserts To Enjoy With Greek Mountain Tea
- Irresistible Greek Ekmek With Kataifi
- Yiayia’s Soft Biscotti Recipe (Paximadakia)
- Greek Apricot Tart Recipe (Pasta Flora)
Greek Mountain Tea
- 3 cups water
- 2 handfuls of Greek mountain tea include the stems, leaves, and flowers
- Honey optional
- Milk of your choice optional
- Fresh lemon optional
- You can either make this tea using a kettle and teapot or a small saucepan with a lid. If you're using a kettle, pour three cups of water into the kettle. If you're using a saucepan, add three cups of water to the saucepan and add two handfuls of Greek mountain tea. Heat the tea over medium-low heat for ten minutes (or longer if you like it stronger)
- While the water is heating up, place about two handfuls of the Greek mountain tea (stems, leaves, and flowers) into your tea infuser or teapot with a built-in infuser.
- Pour the hot water over the leaves in the teapot and cover with the lid. Allow the tea to steep for at least ten minutes. You can steep it for longer if you'd like the taste to be stronger.
- If you're using a saucepan, then you can use a small mesh strainer when pouring the tea into your cup to catch the leaves.
- Enjoy Greek mountain tea and all of its benefits on its own, with milk and honey or honey and a squeeze of lemon!
- Greek mountain tea comes in loose leaves, so you'll need to use a tea infuser or a teapot with a built-in infuser otherwise, the tea leaves will get stuck in the spout of the teapot. If you're making the tea in a saucepan, it can be helpful to use a small mesh strainer when pouring the tea into your cup.
- Greek mountain tea is a herbal and naturally caffeine-free tea
- This beautiful tea doesn't taste bitter even when it's steeped for hours, so you can steep it for longer if you'd like a stronger flavour without worrying about it tasting bitter
Date Published: September 23, 2022