Black Currant Tea

“Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.”–author unknown

Two years into my coffee-free lifestyle and hot teas are finally becoming *my thing*! I’m so happy about it, too. The health benefits of tea drinking are fabulous. I’ve already shared here about my favorite, ginger tea, and another one the girls and I enjoy is organic peppermint leaf tea, which we buy in bulk!

Here’s a new one: Black Currant Tea. Long a favorite of the “tea queen” at my church–by that I mean that we’re extremely blessed to have a godly “older woman” who coincidentally throws the BEST tea parties EVER and also hosts meetings for stay-at-home moms every Wednesday at our church. Black Currant tea and orange cranberry scones are staple treats at these weekly gatherings, and though I am a sporadic guest to these occasions, I really enjoy and look forward to a “spot” of this bracing, dark tea.

I asked my friend where she purchases her Black Currant tea, and she highly recommends First Colony Coffees and Teas for the quality and taste, she assures me there is none other!

For one thing, my quest for teas has to keep me away from the caffeinated variety. And I was also curious as to the health benefits of this particular kind. Am I happy about the results? Fairly happy…

No caffeine in the real Black Currant tea, check! However, it seems that it’s difficult to find unless you make your own from dried leaves off the black currant bush! *Edited to add: After publishing this post I was alerted to the fact that First Colony’s Black Currant tea is actually black tea leaves flavored with the essence of Black Currant berries. Too bad, huh! Still, a great tasting tea, however, it does have caffeine.  :O( Which might not bother most of you!

But if you happen upon an authentic Black Currant bush, or tea that isn’t just flavored with the essence of Black Currant, you’ve stumbled on a gold mine of good health! Pioneers relied on Black Currants heavily for their home remedies. Health benefits include:

  • Black Currant berries are packed with Vitamin C
  • It’s soothing to a sore throat, as the berries are full of tannins which fight bacteria at the outset of a cold
  • French plant scientists have long believed that Black Currant is useful in draining tissues…ie: anywhere you have congested tissues as per: inflammations, arthritis, gout, prostatitis and…
  • It’s helpful in clearing up skin problems such as dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema. According to the French, skin problems respond well to liver therapies, and Black Currant is widely used in France as a liver remedy.
  • Black Currant tea gives many menopausal women relief because it’s a well known hormone regulator
  • It increases micro-circulation which is helpful for women suffering with varicose veins
  • It improves visual acuity
  • It’s believed to be a preventative for Alzheimers
  • It can be used as a treatment to expel intestinal parasites

And so much more!

To make an infusion of Black Current Tea, take one tablespoon of the leaves and pour one cup boiling water over them. Steep for ten minutes and enjoy!

“There is nobody who, having a garden, shouldn’t plant a great number [of black currant bushes] for the needs of their family,” wrote the Abbé P. Bailly de Montaran in 1712. And he added: “Black currant is a fruit that promotes long life in human beings.”

22 thoughts on “Black Currant Tea”

  1. I have pots of herbs on my deck outside such as mint, calendula, tarragon, rosemary and parsley. parsley and mint are my favourites though. Very refreshing!

  2. Well, finally, honey! I have checked your blog several times a day for whatever you deem ‘latest’. Your black current tea sounds do-able. Will you offer me some? Are you going to plant some black currants? Your Grandpa in Wyoming had a whole row of red currants behind the house separating the front yard from the back. But oh, the ants that lived in and on those bushes. Wonder if those leaves had any value? Do you have an herbal that says?

  3. Parsley tea, Amy? Hmmm. We do love mint. Our neighbor has apple mint growing (among many other mints) and we really liked the sample he sent home with us for tea! Yum!

    Yes, mom! I finally had time to blog! Yay! When my Black Currant tea arrives you will be sure to receive a cup! I can’t wait! Thanks for the family history on currants! I don’t know anything about red currant leaves. But it’s the leaves of Black Currant that have so much goodie. The roots and berries are good also, but of course, those aren’t in the tea form.

    Check it out Bethanie, or maybe I’ll send you a sample! Do you have one of those spoon tea balls for individual cups of tea?

  4. Oh, dear, I don’t want to burst your happy healthy bubble :), but I’m fairly certain that the Black Currant Tea from First Colony is black currant FLAVORED. It’s acutally black tea leaves flavored with black currant flavoring. Sorry, it IS caffinated, since it’s tea leaves – I probably shouldn’t have told you, I hope I don’t ruin it for you! I’m sure you COULD make a tea from the leaves of the currant bush, but that’s not what’s being mailed to you. I do know they offer a decaf version at First Colony, but I’m not really a fan. Mom, your “tea queen” :), once did some research on decaf tea, and found that to make it decaf companies just rinse the tea leaves and then dry them again, therefore rinsing out the concentration of caffination and a lot of the taste! Tea does have much less caffine then coffee, but I don’t know the numbers. Enjoy it as a treat, though!

    I just bought a chocolate mint plant yesterday, and I’m excited to try that for tea!

  5. Oh man! Really???? You did burst my bubble, but I’m glad to know it. Hm. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed the BC tea I was ordering from First Colony was straight from the bush! It didn’t say otherwise. Well, I guess if I want the authentic stuff I’ll have to plant a bush, huh! ;O) I am bummed that it has caffeine!!!

    Thanks though, for setting the record straight, Haley! I guess I need to edit the above post as soon as I have time!

  6. Here in our neck of the woods, wild gooseberries are blooming in the pastures and wooded creek areas. Gooseberries and currants are sort of kissing cousins (closely related) in the plant world. Never made tea from the leaves, though. Currants typically grow in the western states in the mountain areas. Gooseberries are usually picked green with a reddish tinge, to be added with rhubarb for rhubarb-gooseberry pies. Very tart tasting, so a sweetener is almost always added. Here’s a link with photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gooseberry There are “gooseberry currants” and crosses of gooseberries and currants. I just noticed several large gooseberry bushes blooming profusely not far away from your favorite trail, Mary. They are very thorny, so wear gloves if you decide to go gooseberry picking.

    “Gooseberry” is sometimes used as a slang term used to describe a 3rd party tag-along of a dating couple. Her “kid brother” is a gooseberry!

    As for parsley tea, the leaves, but especially the roots have been used medicinally in tea form for all kinds of kidney/bladder problems and infections. It’s more than a garnish, it’s medicinal and a great breath freshener, so go ahead and eat it raw! There are many cultivated varieties of parsley.

  7. After a quick check in some on-line reference material, black currants and gooseberries are from the same family and genus “Ribes.” Black currant is “Ribes nigrum” and Gooseberry is “Ribes uva-crispa.” The medicinal values for both are similar, although the black currant seems to have been cultivated and studied more.

    Gooseberries are not native, but were introduced here in the States from Europe. Indians used the wild gooseberry as both a fresh and dried fruit. The big gooseberry bushes I observed yesterday were on what was originally Indian hunting grounds, about 1/4 mile from a Kanza Indian village site.

  8. Gooseberry tea! 😉 I’d think it would be sour! I love knowing that gooseberries are related to black currants, that’s interesting! My mouth is puckering up just thinking about the tartness!

    I’ve long called my kiddos “gooseberry pies” when I’m feeling affectionately sassy!

    Guess we should keep an eye on those bushes and harvest some leaves for tea soon! Hm? With gloves on, of course!

    Thanks for the all the good info as always!

  9. I looked up the tea on First Colony – wanted to make sure they weren’t false advertising! I’m not computer savvy enough to do a cool link, but here’s the discription on the Loose Leaf Black Currant Tea:

    “Of all nature’s fruits, the black currant is the smallest. But the flavor it brings to a tea is not only sweet, but also hearty. First Colony’s Black Currant Tea Blends natural fruit essence and fine Oriental Black tea in a blend that ranks high among life’s small pleasures.”

    …fruit essence and fine Oriental Black tea…there ya have it! I still recommend it as the best tea I’ve ever had! :)

  10. Blushing here, yeah, I went back AFTER ordering it and checked the description out better. Says just that. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that such a great tasting tea has caffeine. :O( But you’re right, it’s worth a splurge now and then!

    Thanks, I think! ;O)

  11. I do have a black currant bush I planted a couple of years ago. I got my first crop today – just enough to make one jar of jam. So do I just pick the leaves and dry them for tea??

  12. it is rare that I come across a post in regards to psoriasis which surprises me, but blackcurrant tea to clear up psoriasis is very interesting.It seems people with skin problems like psoriasis and eczema are told to stay away from anything that contains vitamin c i.e lemons or orange juice. As a sufferer of psoriasis I myself do not believe this and this post proves me right. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  13. Thanks, glad to be of help! Just make sure you get the real black currant, not the black tea infused with the good flavor of black currant! ;O)

  14. I love to drink Ice Tea…but never drink hot teas before so I just started trying different kinds of tea hot because I hear they are healthier for you and I have been trying to lose some weight…So I have tried Chammamile and now Blackcurrant both with Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar and WOW…I like these so much better than Ice Tea with Sugar….So far the Blackcurrant is my favorite..

  15. I enjoy ice tea on occasion, but hot drinks are a daily thing for me! I was so happy to see the UPS truck yesterday evening, bringing me my order of Black Currant tea! I will have to brew some and chill it to try, it does sound delicious! And so many of my friends enjoy ice tea. Thanks for commenting, Sandy!

  16. Colleen, if it is fruiting after a few years, then it is not a true black currant (ribes nigrum), rather it is a Albol (missouri, golden flowering, cross) currant, which is ‘ribes aureum’.
    A true black currant bears on the previous seasons growth, and was banned for a long time in the USA, due to the mistaken belief it harbored a white pine disease.
    We are just drying our leaves, from the 2 year old wood that we harvested berries from.
    If you still have not found any ‘real’ black currant tea, i can send you a sample (organic).

    Take care

  17. I purchased a black currant bush fron Jung Seed online. It produced a few berries the first year here in central Illinois, and almost a gallon the second year.
    Since the second year wood is supposed to be cut out after fruiting, I will save the leaves. There are no thorns on the bushes so this should be easy.
    I wonder if soaking the leaves in the juice before drying will impart flavor to the tea. I’ll have to do a little research on that. Does anyone know if the leaves from a white currant can be used for tea.

  18. Br. Benedict wrote: I saw you blog about blackcurrant tea. We have 15 blackcurrant bushes. How does one dry the leaves to make tea???
    I am most interested.

    Peace and Blessings,

    Br. Benedict

    Hi there! Firstly, how wonderful to have black currant bushes in abundance! Do you have a greenhouse, or access to one? If so, drying the leaves should be a fairly quick process. I’m not an expert, but I have “borrowed” my friends’ greenhouse for drying herbs like yarrow after wild edible hunts. As their greenhouse reaches very hot temps, things dry out quickly spread out on clean trays. This is how I would go about this project, if I were you. Or, you could prune your bushes and hang the pruned branches to dry, then harvest the leaves once dried. I’d love an update if you follow through with this project!

    Isn’t God good to grant us not only salvation but so many delights to enjoy in His creation!

    Thank you for your comment!

    Mary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge