Fennel tea doesn’t seem like the common kind of teas we get at a tea room, or Starbucks. But if you get your hands on this puppy, you’ll be in for a surprise!
I grew up on Fennel tea in Brazil (it’s called Erva Doce in Portuguese…literally, sweet herb) and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s very calming like chamomile, has a lot of digestive benefits like peppermint and it’s so naturally sweet, you don’t need to add anything to it.
Fennel is a bulb vegetable that belongs to the carrot family. It grow feathery dill-like leaves and yellowish umbrella-shaped little flowers. the seeds look like teeny tiny, thin, ribbed pistachios. That’s the best I can think of!
Warning: If you’re allergic to carrots or celery, don’t drink this tea. Proceed at your own discretion.
We’re about the get a little technical here, so if you’re looking for an overview, skip down below. But if I’ve intrigued your inner chemistry nerd, then let’s go:
Anethole is a compound essential oil found in Anise and Fennel (it’s also one of the main ingredients in Absinthe and found in ouzo. Opa!).
I actually had a hard time figuring out if Erva Doce was Fennel or Anise. Even Google Translate couldn’t figure it out. I had to look up the Latin. Oy.
(Left is Fennel Seed, Right is Aniseed)
Believe or not, Fennel and Aniseed are keenly similar in both taste and the look of the seed. Fennel is not as strong as Anise, however. You could see why one would get easily confused!
Found primarily in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian regions, the Fennel has been naturalized in many parts of the world. It thrives in drier soil in sub-tropical climates.
Fun Fact: the name “Marathon” comes from the greek word for fennel!
sweet, chamomile-like but more grassy than earthy. Extremely similar in both look and taste to Anise.
Fennel tea is most popularly made from the seed. That’s the only one I’ve tried, although I’ve seen recipes for fennel tea that use the leaves and the bulb itself.
Drink Fennel seed tea for its healing benefits but also can be used for topical treatments and a cotton ball compress for the eyes and a gargle for gum health and bad breath.
ready-made tea: pour freshly boiled water into your mug of choice and pop in your tea bag. Steep for a couple of minutes depending on your taste. Enjoy!
fennel seeds: crush a teaspoon of Fennel Seeds in a mortar and pestle for each cup of tea, depending on how strong you like your tea. Pop your fennel seeds into a tea infuser or strainer and pour freshly boiled water over the fennel seeds. Steep for a couple of minutes and remove seeds. Enjoy!
Fennel Seed tea may not be the most popular tea at a local grocery store, but if you haven’t tried it yet, I urge to find some! whether you buy ready made teas in-store or online…or even make it yourself with the seeds!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tea feature on one of my favorite simple teas!
Keep on steeping, tea lovers!