Sassafras tea has long been forgotten by most. Mostly due to the ban of its commercial use in the early 1960's. Luckily enough for me, my family has always cherished it, and has passed on this trait through the generations.
Disclaimer: Safrole oil, a key component of sassafras tea was declared carcinogenic by the FDA...try this at your own risk.
Step 1: What You Need...
like any tea you need...
pot(to put water in...just to clarify)
and of course Sassafas roots.
Sassafras roots will need to be dug from a sassafras tree in spring, and dried...I still have some I keep stored in the freezer. This spring I will put up an instructable on identifying and harvesting Sassafras.
Step 2: Preparation
Start by getting a few roots, and washing them off in the sink. The reason being, is that Sassafras roots like most roots are found in dirt. I generally will just rinse them, and rub any dirt off. You may decide to use soap, but if you do make sure that you rinse them really well.
Step 3: Now...
...fill a pot with water. I normally will just fill it half-full, but more water will be needed for more people. Also, for larger servings or stronger tea, add more roots.
In most tea's you pour hot/boiling water on whatever your making tea out of and let it steep. With Sassafras however you need to put them in while the water is still cool, and let it stay in the pot and boil until it turns a deep red color.
Start by turning the stove all the way up, but once it reaches a rolling boil turn it down a little so that it doesn't boil quite as violently. Now just wait and watch until it turns a deep red color(this may take a little while). Then, continue on to the next step.
Step 4: Steeping
Once the tea turns the desired, deep red color, it's time to start steeping. Steeping will give the tea better flavor, and also give a little bit more time to cool off. Put the lid on the pot and let it sit for five minutes.
Step 5: Enjoy!
It is now finished, but can be sweetened if desired. Another thing about Sassafras tea is that it needs to be served hot. When ever it is drank cold it acquires a different flavor, and leaves a funny after-taste in your mouth. Also, it is just all around better hot. It tastes amazing and smells great. almost like rootbeer, but healthier, and better tasting.