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Herbalism in Fiction Recipes Tea

Courage Tea

I just finished reading the third and fourth books in the Practical Magic series by Alice Hoffman, Magic Lessons and The Book of Magic. I do not exaggerate when I say these books have been life altering for me. They capture so much, I can’t even put a fraction of it into words. All I can say is, go read these magical books!

Now, a thread that runs through all the stories is courage: courage to love, courage to get hurt, courage to take leaps and trust others and trust yourself. This is illustrated throughout the books by the frequent mention of Courage Tea. It’s an old family recipe that dates back to the Owens women who started it all, Hannah and Maria. The recipe has been passed down through the centuries to bolster the Owenses in the face of all the trials and demands of life, as well as those in need they minister to.

Hints of the recipe are dropped throughout the series, but the whole recipe is never explicitly stated. As explained in The Rules of Magic:

Aunt Isabelle refused to hand over the formula for Courage Tea. That, she said, was one recipe you had to discover for yourself.”

Piecing together the hints and clues of the Courage Tea recipe from the books is actually a pretty fun scavenger hunt. I’ve spent a good deal of time on this exercise, and have filled in the blanks with my own additions as Aunt Isabelle instructed. I encourage you to do the same and come up with your own version if you read the books! But until then, here is my interpretation:

(A few notes on ingredients: I found dried currants at the grocery store. I use powdered vanilla bean in tea recipes because it is more affordable than whole vanilla beans while still imparting natural vanilla flavor; you can also add a dash of vanilla extract instead. You may want to adjust the thyme to taste based on how savory you like your tea to taste, as it can be quite strong. And, if you’d prefer a decaf version, you can leave out the green tea or replace it with rooibos.)

What would you put in your version of Courage Tea?

2 replies on “Courage Tea”

Thanks SO much for this! I have seen *Practical Magic* (for some reason, haven’t read any of the books prior to—>) and also have just finished reading *The Book of Magic*. Wondrous on all levels. ✨ I, too, found myself craving some Courage Tea, and thought I could remember the ingredients listed in *TBoM*—no go! Too many distractions and interruptions before I wrote any of it down. DID remember the dried currants, vanilla and thyme. Figured I’d run a Web search, and discovered your page. Not sure about linden, will see if I can find it; if not, may substitute white pine needles.
Blessed be! 🙌🏼

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I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wanted to experience Courage Tea! I also scoured the web for recipes before putting it all together with the info from the books to create this spin. If you really want linden, I’ve purchased it for a good price from mountainroseherbs.com, but white pine sounds like a lovely substitute / personalization. Glad you found your way here 💚💚💚 Blessed be to you!!

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