Today begins the big experiment with making tea concentrate granules. First, I’d like to thank Christopher Hobbs for planting this seed in my brain. I attended a plant walk with him at the 2012 American Herbalists Guild Symposium and he just happened to mention this process. It was the missing link for the Herb Bus– a way to deliver effective herbal medicine without utilizing the traditional (American) alcohol based tincture.
For starters — WHAT ARE TEA CONCENTRATE GRANULES?
They are concentrated extracts made by dehydrating an herbal tea or decoction till you are left with a concentrated powder. It seems there are two distinctive ways to make the granules, either with or without added starch or an herbal powder.
Due to the high humidity of Atlanta, I have decided to create my granules utilizing starch powder. This will prevent the granules from sticking together and creating a tea concentrate rock.
Here are links to a couple resources I found helpful as I tried to learn more:
While the process is pretty straightforward in the descriptions, the information I have not been able to locate is how much potato starch to add per ounce of the greatly-reduced-decoction-of-herbal-glop. Based on my gleanings from other kitchen preparations which utilize a starch of some type (jello, jelly, etc) I am beginning with 1 tsp per 2 oz of reduction.
Ginger Concentrate Granules – The Maiden Voyage
I began by putting 2 ounces of dried ginger root (powdered fresh) in a stainless steel pot and covering it with 16 oz of cold, distilled water (1:8). I then simmered it covered for 20 minutes to get out the goods. Then I let it simmer on the lowest heat possible for another 20 minutes uncovered to begin reducing it down. After a slight cooling period I strained the glop through a muslin press cloth to separate out the solids. After an exciting explosion of gingery shrapnel as the cloth gave way to my relentless pressing, I was left with about 4 oz of reduction. So based on the ratio of 1 tsp potato starch per 2 oz reduction, I mixed in 2 tsp of potato starch.
Next I poured the lovely, ginger goo onto a tray meant for making fruit leather in the lovely dehydrator donated to the cause by Kyla Zaro-Moore. I’ve set the thermostat to 95 degrees (the lowest setting) and now I just have to wait and see…