#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

10 Points

Brew up a storm with the ultimate homegrown tea made from native plant leaves, then get your parents or teacher to judge the results.

Read the instructions

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What to do

Your mission is:

Make tea using leaves from the NZ bush. Check out the notes for the tool list you need (above) and get brewing!
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1. GOT YOUR ID?

Find a native tree that is fit-to-a-T for tea making in your garden or nearest park. Kawakawa is easy to recognize, but only grows as far south as Banks Peninsula. If you’re stewing in the south, you could swap kawakawa with horopito (try chewing horopito leaf raw: it’s hotter than a dragon’s burp!).

Only choose leaves that you know are safe to eat (check with an adult). Check out this list of poisonous NZ garden plants, and don't use them! If you're not sure = don't use! Got it?

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2. BE-LEAF IN YOURSELF

Pick a handful of leaves. Don’t skip the leaves with the holes in them: kawakawa has its very only caterpillar taste-tester who only eats the best leaves so they have the seal of approval. 

Other good leaves are mānuka and patē (aka seven finger). If you like you can go non-native and use herbs from your mum’s garden: mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage are worth a try. 

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3. MAGIC POTION MAKING

Get your leaves, mug and boiling water. Be like Harry Potter and mix your magic potion: add the leaves to the water.

Let your brew stew!

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4. BREW AND IMPROVED

Most leaves should only need 5-10 mins to infuse in the hot water.

Then, give it a sip – what does it need?

Is it sweet-as how it is, or do you need to flava up your brew with some secret herbs’n’spices from your kitchen’s spice rack? Or there’s the ol’ classic slice of lemon and a spoonful of mānuka honey. Or go radical with some ginger.

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5. TEA REFEREES

Present your brew to your tea party judging panel. Run a master-chef tea-brewing competition with a friend and get your parents or teacher to judge the results.

And remember to UPLOAD a photo of you with your brew to Wild Eyes and level up to make your avatar's eyes go WILDER!

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WILD FACTOR

Take it even further and set up a stall on your street to see who can be the best kawakawa tea shopkeeper! Most sales wins!

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PG TIPS!

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid): Then you’ll be able to taste the different flavours of the leaves. 

What's happening?

DOCTOR OF TEA-OLOGY

Kawakawa has un-be-leaf-able superpowers and has long been in the rongoā medicine kete (kit bag). Rongoā are the traditional Māori ways of treating illness and disease, and kawakawa is used as part of treatments for everything from toothache to sore muscles. Check out more about rongoā here.

Kawakawa leaves are also used for head wreaths (pare kawakawa) worn in the time of mourning death. 

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– Kawakawa spotting

 

ROYAL TEA

Chef Charles Royal incorporates traditional Māori kai with modern cuisine. Check out Charles showing a visitor from the US the way brewing is done Aotearoa-style, with a dollop of mānuka honey: tu meke tea!

TEA-LOFA!

Kawakawa is traditionally used to treat toothache: it's a mild sedative (i.e. it makes your tongue a bit numb). Kawakawa is the cousin of kava, the root of which is brewed up in the Pacific: Tea-lofa!

SCIENCE SAYS: KA PAI KAWAKAWA!

When he was still at Howick College, award-winning young scientist Chris Ryan researched the use of kawakawa as medicine and proved that its power came from the way it was prepared as part of rongoā. His combo of fresh science with traditional tikanga (aka customs) showed what the locals have known for ages: the kawakwa leaf is super powerful. Ka pai Chris, you deserve a cuppa! 

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– Science + rongoā = totes tea-mendous

Inspiration

BEAR WITH IT

Bear Grylls

– No Man vs Wild without tea!

Adventurer Bear Grylls is a big fan of a brew-up. “A cup of tea solves a lot of problems. I like a bit of spruce or pine-needle tea. For President Obama I brewed catnip tea. Anywhere you go in the wild you’d be able to make tea.”

Would he prefer your kawakawa or horopito tea or do you reckon he'd go for his own poo brew (see below)?

BEAR'S POO BREW: TEA LICIOUS?

We know Bear likes a cuppa, but we're not sure he would've got President of the United States Barack Obama drinking this tea: made from Dassie dung!

PEPPER WITH YOUR TEA M'AM?

Kawakawa is a member of the pepper tree family. Nibble on a leaf and your tastebuds will tell you why!

BUG OFF = THE BUSINESS!

Fourteen-year-old Palmerston North Girls' High School pupil Zoe Glentworth made an insect repellant from kawakawa. Her school science research project was recognised by the Royal Society and she has gone into business! Just goes to show what self be-leaf and science can achieve!

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– No flies on Zoe!

What other members have done:

#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Kawakawa cafe

Kawakawa cafe

coo3.12
RedCow
We went up the maunga and found some kawakawa leaves. We put them in my Dad's teapot, and then poured the tea into tiny teacups. It doesn't taste nice though.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Caution Hot!

Caution Hot!

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SJay
I picked the Kawakawa leaves off the tree. Mum boiled the water and I put the leaves in the cup and carefully poured in the water. My brother and sister tried it. It smelled weird!
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Me drinking the tea

Me drinking the tea

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CrAzY
I ripped some kawakawa leaves into pieces and then put them in a jug
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

kawakawa mint tea

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By soccerchamp1489

kawakawa mint tea

soccerchamp1489
my brother got the kawakawa leaves from a school trip and i got mint from garden. put leaves and hot water into a cup. left it for 5 mins before drinking. i could taste the mint and i liked the taste.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

kapu ti

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Leecher Creature 50
By Leecher Creature

kapu ti

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Leecher Creature
We were walking The Snout Track and found some kawakawa leaves (and some fungi!). The kawakawa tea was alright. It smelt weird!!!
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Kawakawa and lemon verbena tea party

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thebuglover 70
By thebuglover

Kawakawa and lemon verbena tea party

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thebuglover
Me and my friend Violet made the tea together. We added lemon verbena from our garden also. We made hot and cold and put it in thermos. It was really delicious. It's best served cold.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

honeysuckle,lemon,lemonbarm,calandela tea

honeysuckle,lemon,lemonbarm,calandela tea

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NEON
i love this homemade creation it is blasting are house with a amazing aroma
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

My Tea.

My Tea.

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Agent101
We found the leaves in the bush. I used kawakawa and lemonwood. It was gross! I put some honey in but it was still gross.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Potion Making!

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DragonKnight 20
By DragonKnight

Potion Making!

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DragonKnight
I made tea with kawakawa and lemonwood leaves. It was kind of yum.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Fresh Kawakawa Manuka Tea

Fresh Kawakawa Manuka Tea

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Hailstorm
I boiled the billy and put a few leaves of kawakawa and manuka leaves in for each person, and let it brew. My brother, mum, dad and nan and grandpa joined me for a tea party.
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

MINT TEA. YUM!!!

MINT TEA. YUM!!!

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Victoria
Sugar, lemon, boiling water and mint is how ya make it!!!! EASY!!!
#9 Kawakawa Tea Party

Tea Time!

Tea Time!

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JGspy
My tea was yummy. I used mint and honey in water that boiled over the fire pit.my family made tea using, lavender, lemon and manuka. The lemon was nice too.