Today I want to talk about holly tea, it is my first time experimenting with this plant it is feral here so a good free foraging resource. I picked the branches carefully!! And I let them dry in my car for a week then I again very carefully picked the individual leaves off the stems and blended them until they were like corse green tea or Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) which is a holly as well. The holly I’ve used here is (Ilex aquifolium) I don’t know if this species has the same compounds as Yerba mate, I know some of the hollies have caffeine and some don’t but I’m more interested in it as a nice drink that I can forage for.
After blending I roast half the batch to see if there would be a difference in flavor and there is so it is worth doing both ways. the green version taste similar to a light green tea doesn’t have that tannin after kick, and the roast version taste an bit like Oolong, almost caramel like.
Apparently it will upset your tummy if you use it raw not dried, I don’t know if this is the case so dry it anyway to be sure.