of the Lazy Literatus

Greek Mountain and Growing Pains

Two things have been very consistent the last couple of weeks. I’ve written a lot about weird herbs lately, and I’ve been spending a lot of time at my parents’ house. I was starting to wonder if both were somehow – cosmically – connected. Proof showed itself on Saturday.

My sibling/roommate failed to tell me that our dryer was kaput. I had to learn of this morsel o’ knowledge while on the phone with my mother. Being the kind soul that she was, she offered up their dryer in case I had to do laundry. That was a given since I was one of those poor souls who worked a job that required a uniform. Weekly laundry travails were necessary.

Doing laundry at my parents’ house; I felt like a college student again.

Originally, though, my plan for the evening was to dip into a giant bushel of Greek Mountain “tea” I received from a new outfit called Klio Tea.

Heck with it, I thought. I’ll just brew it at my parents’. I packed a kettle, a cup, the Klio bag, and my clothes – all in a laundry basket – and off I went.

The good Nicole “Tea For Me Please” Martin had sent Klio Tea my way. My love for all things “Greek” and “Mountain” were common knowledge in the tea community. I first wrote about that fascinating herb back in 2010, and I’d extolled its virtues in one form or another ever since.

What was unique about Klio’s offering was the emphasis on orthodoxy. Sure, I’d had Greek Mountain before, but I honestly couldn’t tell you where it came from. This was the first outfit that was transparent about the origin and picking standards of the product they carried.

This particular batch hailed from Mount Othrys (wherever that is), and was organically sourced and unprocessed. They simply picked it, cut the stocks if necessary and packed it. What I hadn’t known this entire time was that the herb was picked fresh; no oxidation was meant to occur. Most herbs were dried before packing so that they could decoct or infuse better with water.

The freshness showed.

Upon first opening the bag at my parent’s house, the kitchen was bombarded with a scent of Mediterranean wilderness. Equal parts honey lemon and mint plumed through the air. A long time had passed since I last prepped Greek Mountain “tea”. I was oddly nostalgic for the smell.

For brewing, Klio didn’t even bother trying to explain it on their site. It’s kinda hard to describe; I should know. Instead, they did something better, and offered up this instructional video:

Their guide was “close” to my approach, but I preferred it another way. Putting a handful of herb stocks in, and boiling it for ten minutes, then decanting. No additional infusing.

Either process resulted in a yellow-to-amber liquor . . . and a kitchen that smelled like a Greek hillside. It was just as wonderful a sensation as always. I even shared the results of my labors with my mother – who was getting over a cold. (Since that’s what the herb was known for.)

finished brew

Did I like it? Answer: Does a Greek philosopher ask too many questions? Of course I bloody well liked it! It was like lathering my body in the finest oils, taking a hot bath in flowers, and being waited upon by nubile maidens from a neighboring village. All the while being spoon-fed fresh lemons from a chained cherub.

But . . . that’s not an image I would ever share with my parents.

Oh, would you look at that . . . laundry’s done.


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  1. Margo Hutchinson

    Be sure to bring Larry’s shirt back. It was good tea. WOW! another article.

  2. your tea knowledge fascinates me! looks delicious!

  3. “a scent of Mediterranean wilderness” – lovely description, and once again, excellent story telling!

  4. Bea

    Now a broken dryer is a very very important tidbit of information to know. Good thing you were able to use an alternate dryer.

    The tea sounds amazing – is it for drinking only or also for bathing?! Or to bathe the soul?

  5. Compared to what I know, it sounds like you are a tea master! Thanks for the interesting article.

  6. I must really try to find a real tea from Greece for you. 😉

    And Mount Othrys is there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Othrys and was the base of the Titans in their war with the Olympian Gods.

  7. I have to try this. My son is OBSESSED with all things Greek culture/mythology/food, this might get him to actually enjoy tea. 🙂

  8. On behalf of Klio Tea, thank you for such a nice and flattering review of our Greek Mountain Tea! We will be offering other organic Greek herbal teas early in the New Year, including the magical Sage and an amazing Chamomile. Btw – that cup looked a wee bit light:) I personally think its best when boiled/steeped to more of an amber color…but thats just me:) Thanks again, Steve Raftopoulos / Founder – Klio Tea

    • Yep, that was only after a five-minute boil. And just that. Later boils were amber. That just happened to be the best photograph of the bunch.

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