Greek mountain tea with various ingredients like lemons and cinnamon.
Food - Drink
What Makes Greek Mountain Tea Unique?
Across the Mediterranean, the Sideritis plant has been used to make herbal tea for thousands of years, and has long been esteemed for its supposed medicinal qualities. While known by many regional names, the plant is particularly prevalent in Greece, which is why it's commonly referred to as Greek mountain tea in the U.S.
A single serving of Greek mountain tea calls for two to three Sideritis stems placed in a pot with nine ounces of water. The mixture is brought to a boil and simmered for one to three minutes, depending on the drink's potency preference, then steeped with the lid on for a minimum of two minutes, strained, and poured into a mug.
Greek mountain tea is caffeine-free and not part of the Camellia sinensis family that hosts green, black, and white teas. With no distinct growth and processing methods, the Sideritis name represents a less defined product and is often associated with unsubstantiated health claims, though some are actually true.
Greek tea contains polyphenol compounds that may help to prevent cancer, cardiovascular issues, and inflammation, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology. In addition, research demonstrates a possible link between the tea and easing depression and sleep apnea.
As with other teas, it's important to purchase from a reputable purveyor to fully enjoy authentic Greek mountain tea, such as an online seller, a Greek grocery store, or an herb shop. Do check the packaging dates before buying if you can, since Greek mountain tea is most aromatic and delicious when fresh.