A couple of weeks ago, I was driving down the road in the Charleston suburbs, and there I spotted a sign: A Southern Season.
By Jove, could it be the beloved kitchen/grocery store from Chapel Hill that took a lot of my money when I worked in Durham> It couldn’t be. I didn’t dare to check just in case I was wrong. I was utterly terrified that my heart could not bear it.
But it was. It was! It was. To celebrate, I went there on their opening day and purchased a couple of their loose leaf teas, tea budget be damned. Yeah, I have a tea budget, and if you want to fight about it, please refer to the “About” tab.
This week, the selection is cranberry acai herbal. I’m not an enormous herbal tea drinker, since I like to get some real bang for my caffeine buck, but the berries looked so chubby and juicy in the tea bins that I had to try it. When I opened up the canister to do that annoying wafting thing that people do when they want to be horrible, all the autumn smells were pungent and singular. I think it’s the mark of a really good herbal tea if everything still smells like it should. Think about when you haul out the pear-vanilla Celestial Seasonings or whatever: it smells pleasant, to be sure, but not like something specific.
I hustled home with it and my suspicions were confirmed: It’s a damned winner. It’s berry-forward without tasting like jam, and is the perfect herbal tea for a quiet night spent reading with a dog/cat/chinchilla/large blanket. If you have a fireplace, more power to you. I remain a non-doctor, but acai is allegedly a powerful antioxidant, and cranberry helps ward off infectious beasts, so it couldn’t hurt to knock back a couple of cups. The fruits in this particular herbal are large enough, too, that I’m comfortable saying there’s probably some vitamin C to boot.
You can buy own here for about $3 for 2 ounces. Steep it for about 6 minutes on the first infusion, probably more like 8 in the second.