I’m going to say this right now, before I begin to stray from the topic at hand, cannabis. Spaceship Earth Breakfast Blend is exactly what it sounds like, a breakfast tea blend with cannabis, but it’s also a work in progress, so I’m open to suggestions.
Now there are some recipes for cannabis tea that will actually get you pretty stoned. They essentially involve adding a little cannabutter to some hot water, and allowing it to dissolve, or adding butter and about a gram of cannabis to boiling water for roughly 45 minutes. Much like eating edibles, it takes 30 to 45 minutes after ingestion to feel the effects, so a little care should be taken if you aren’t sure how much you should take. These recipes are great if you want to medicate without smoking, but what follows is more along the lines of an uplifting, healthy, and tasty alternative to coffee.
This is how it all started. I had enjoyed my coffee black for nearly 20 years when I met Aarr Kellz. Or so I thought. Maybe I thought I was being sophisticated, looking down my nose at the dessert drinks that folks nowadays refer to as coffee. What he pointed out, was that if it really upset my stomach so badly in the mornings when I drank it, then I wasn’t truly enjoying the whole ritual of caffeinating myself in the morning.
He suggested that I try Yerba Mate. He’d heard that it had just as much caffeine as coffee, but wouldn’t make my stomach turn. Turns out that he was only partially right, as to say that mate has as much caffeine as coffee, is a gross understatement in how awesome an herb it actually is. In fact, there are places in the world where caffeine is actually referred to as mateine, the same way that we see energy drinks cleverly containing guaranine, which is just another synonym for caffeine. Mate was first cultivated by the Guarani and Tupi people of southern Brazil and Paraguay.
It’s an amazing beverage. Obviously people find it energizing, but they also claim that it helps them sleep more deeply. When properly prepared, with water that is not quite boiling, it can have an antioxidant concentration that is 10 times that of green tea. It also has been shown to increase the feeling of being sated by slowing gastric emptying. Though more studies need to be done, it has been suggested that mate could be used to help with obesity.
It can be, like coffee, very bitter when it’s prepared with water that is too hot, and when I started on this, I didn’t know any better, so I just used my trusty ol’ auto-drip coffee maker. Needless to say I wasn’t overwhelmed with the flavor of mate. I was however, surprised by how good it felt to be making for the 2nd time, once my body already knew what it was going to be getting, it was like one of those old Folgers commercials, only mate was now the best part of waking up. Basically, I could feel why people all over the world claimed that mate was such an uplifting drink, and I wanted to keep drinking it. Even when it’s not bitter, it has the taste of the earth, of grass and trees, mountains and water, and while I enjoy all these things, not in my mouth.
This is where we get back to cannabis. I wanted to flavor this new drink I’d discovered, and not with cream and sugar. I started by experimenting with various herbs. Ironically, it did not occur to me at first to try to flavor my morning infusion with cannabis. As it turns out, a well-steeped herbal infusion is one of the best ways to get nutrients and essential oils from a plant into the human body. That said, part of the mixture that follows is for flavor, but it’s all medicine, and it’s important to get ingredients that are organic.
To get started, I would start by getting a french press. I have no idea why anyone would ever use an auto-drip machine after having coffee or tea prepared this way. I add 2 parts cannabis and 2 parts mate. Now as far as cannabis, I use some dried sugary sun leaves that come from some Spaceship Earth Geoffrey. Now we can get into the ins and outs of properly caring for plants later. Suffice to say, these leaves have not been sprayed with chemicals or inedible oils such as NEEM oil. I certainly would not be using them for tea if they had.
I have also had luck making tea out of ground up stems, and I’ve never tried it because the idea never occurred to me until now, but I imagine you could take about a half gram worth of flower, grind it up, and add that to the press. I then add the other various herbs that I have come to enjoy. It’s way easier to buy them in bulk, but if you simply want to experiment, I started by buying tea bags, tearing them open, and adding them. I add both 1 part fennel and 1 part ginger for flavor, though both have health benefits. I also add 1 part nettle, as it is known to promote joint health, and I have a bum ankle. This is why I recommend experimenting, as any herbalist can tell you, the powers of herbs range far and wide. I found that lavender, chamomile, and mint also made a tasty infusion, but with the addition of Geoffrey it was too relaxing for me to be a morning drink.
Now, I simply add everything to the press, pour over boiling water, place the lid on, and let it all steep for about 10 to 20 minutes. With a french press, once you are ready to imbibe your beverage, you simply rest your and on the top of the press, allowing gravity to do the work, separating the the plant matter from the infusion. If you are familiar with quantum physics, this is a good time to give it a little blessing. Now you pour it into a cup, and get on with enjoying the rest of your day.