A New Year in the Desert and Herbal Tea

by Sarah on January 11, 2010

Deer overlooking the Negev and the Dead Sea

The Melameds do things a little differently, ushering in the New Year alone in the Negev in front of a windblown campfire and a partial eclipse of the moon.

The New Year started with endless possibilities, a view to eternity and in the company of my favorite people in the world.

Moonset in the Negev

Acrabim (Scorpian) Wadi in the Negev

Sign: Be careful quicksand

wild and rough landscape

But I did forget my pillow and found it impossible to sleep cramped in the little tent so by the time we arrived home I felt my body’s defence give way. When my friend Gayle, who writes a food blog called Kosher Camembert, arrived,  I was already sounding like a frog but coming from smoggy Cairo she wasn’t sounding much better. While she was here we drank lots of herbal tea the perfect antidote for a sore throat and went ahead with our plans of visiting the shuk in Ramle and Bet Guvrin National Park.

Bell Cave in Bet Guvrin

Remains of Byzantine Church, Bet Guvrin National Park

Nifty Lemonaide pouring gadget at the shuk

The old vegetable farmer

One of the many herbal teas we drank.

Sheba-wormwood popular with Moroccans

Perfect for making a steaming cup of mint tea.

Most popular herb for tea- mint

Micromeria-used to make traditional Arab herbal tea

Sage-Salvia dominica- for making Bedouin tea

Pelargonium graveolens- lemon geranium

Lippia citriodora- Lemon verbena

Thyme, lemon thyme is great for tea

Mircromeria fruticosa (white savory) near Tarum in Judean hills

Calling my brother and father to show them the wild Micromeria (Zuta levana in Hebrew) but clearly they are not interested

In addition to these plants cinnamon, rose petals, cardamom, orange peels, lemon grass, rosemarie, crushed walnuts and almonds can also be used to make herbal infusions.

What’s your favorite herbal tea?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Yael January 11, 2010 at 3:41 am

My favourtie is with Mrava Refuit (sage) and Nana (mint) with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Loved the photos.


Michael January 11, 2010 at 5:27 am

Been reading your blog for a few months now & wanted to stop in and say I really like it! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and experiences. I love food from the Middle East and accompanied with your pictures it is truly an experience for my family who can’t travel there. Thanks again and keep up the good work!


Fun Joel January 11, 2010 at 5:57 am

I want to go foraging with you some time! :-)


Miriam/The winter guest January 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

Well, it’s a lovely way to start the year… Happy New Year!


Yael the Finn January 11, 2010 at 9:01 am

My favourite herbal tea is verbena tea.
Your pictures are so beautiful,the first one is breathtaking!


Zahavah January 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

How funny — I was going to write a post about chatting with you over cups and cups of herbal tea! I’m drinking nana tea right now, its the easiest for me to get, but that lemongrass was great when we both sounded like frogs.


Cmiranda January 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences and pictures .Always a pleasure to read.


ali February 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm

thanks for your beautiful pictures.it was so nice and i love to cooking middle east food


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