Urban Forage: Bottlebrush Tea

Bottlebrush Tea

There’s a general rule of thumb whilst perusing the patches of our plastic pasture, hot on the trail of frolicsome foraged foliage…if the bees are sweet on it, you can bet your boots that it’ll sweeten your pot as well. The bees have been all up on the grill of my local Bottlebrush trees, prompting me to get all pensive and wonder “can I put ya in me?!” 

The answer is a resounding yes, and I reckon she’s sweeter than a July ham. Folks in the know have been sippin’ on Callistemon Citrinus for ages, and a tea of its leaves is perfectly sweetened by a smattering of its flowers. It’s like Gypsy tears sipped from cups of Tuberose during a tea party with imaginary friends on a decrepit wrap-around porch in the ether. For a genteel pot, throw in a generous handful of leaves and 3-4 red boughs of blossoms. Steep for longish spell to coerce all the sweet brouhaha from the boughs, and enjoy with a homemade pickle plate or a Rose-Geranium poundcake (recipe pending). Oh, and like pretty much everything that’s stuck in the ground, Bottlebrush tea has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant activity. Pinkies up, brah!