With the weeks quickly marching towards a fiery summer here in Dubai, I can't believe that it was only a month ago that I was in Jordan, picking my way through the rain soaked streets of Amman on a chilly spring weekend.
Being a work trip, I didn't quite manage to pack in a lot of platetrotting (bar a hasty roll from the famous Shwarma Reem just before heading to the airport) but I did discover something I had never seen or even heard of before - sage tea.
Somehow the musty herb has always been associated in my mind mainly with more hearty preparations than tea - well, chiefly lamb and potatoes. Truth be told, I don't really use it with any regularity in my cooking.
The sage tea arrived with a strange sister, thyme tea (which I have yet to taste), in my welcome pack for the training I was attending in Amman. Although I was immediately intrigued I didn't get round to making myself a cup until this week and was pleasantly surprised at the results.
Sage tea tastes a bit like mint tea, but not quite. I remember reading a description of the minty aftertaste of sage vis-a-vis that of mint itself as more a Fall rather than a Spring taste, and I think that describes it perfectly. It tastes a bit mossy and minty and the flavour was definitely improved with the addition of sugar, with which it is usually served.
The tea is apparently very popular in Jordan and traces its usage back to Bedouin folk, who prescribed it for all sorts of ailments ranging from coughs, colds, sore throats and even skin infections. The tea concentrates the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb which probably accounts for its reputation as a cure for all sorts of ills.
I'll definitely be sipping some more if I ever head back to Jordan, and I'm hoping the next time I'll be able to enjoy it as it should - brewed in the traditional manner at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.
Named Best Blog for Food & Travel
Top 10 UAE Food Blogs in UAE