HOW TO MAKE POPPY SEED TEA – OVERVIEW
This post is for informational purposes only, I do not suggest growing or ingesting poppy plants in any form. It is dangerous and can lead to possible addiction. Several years ago, I searched the internet for a simple guide describing how to make poppy seed tea. I found a majority of “guides” explaining how to make poppy seed tea were first hand accounts quickly posted to blogs that included incomplete, inaccurate, and just flat out bad information. I found one good article that explained How to Make Poppy Pod Tea, which is closely related. I decided to try the same search again recently, and I discovered absolutely nothing had changed. The information is the exact same and hadn’t been updated at all. I decided to take the time to make my own guide explaining how poppy seed tea is made. Making Poppy Seed Tea correctly is not a difficult process for most people. Here is my step-by-step detailed guide on how Poppy Seed Tea is made, and I have included a video at the end!
If you are experienced and have made tea before, you can check out our Simple Poppy Seed Tea Recipe.
HOW TO MAKE POPPY SEED TEA – STEPS
PART I: THE PREPARATION
The first three steps are for preparation. This includes making sure that you obtain all of the ingredients and items necessary and get them ready to start making your poppy seed tea.
PURCHASE UNWASHED POPPY SEEDS:
The first step (and the most important) is to purchase the poppy seeds. One pound of seeds is plenty for your first time. You may consider buying a larger amount to get a better price, especially if you’re planning on doing this more than once or sharing with others. You need to choose the correct brand of unwashed poppy seeds, or the tea will not work. Some brands work much better than others. If you are unsure of which poppy seeds to purchase or where to purchase them, please visit my Best Poppy Seed List. If you order your seeds online, it may take a few days to arrive. The top seeds I list are all available on Amazon. You can purchase them by clicking on the links I provide on right side of this page or the link I listed above.
If you attempt to purchase the seeds locally, the key is to purchase unwashed seeds. It is usually easiest to check the natural or health food stores first. Many of the national stores have already stopped selling bulk poppy seeds because they have lost money from people stealing the product. You may also run into another common problem. Local stores may carry the seeds, but they don’t have the item in stock. Chances are that you won’t be the only person in your town/city looking for unwashed poppy seeds. The stores also may carry unwashed seeds that are not very good, and you can end up wasting your money. You could spend hours looking, which is why I suggest purchasing online.
ENVIRONMENT & NECESSARY ITEMS:
The second step is to make sure that you have the correct environment and items necessary to make poppy seed tea. The best and easiest environment is a kitchen. You should set aside an hour that you can have access to a kitchen without distractions. The tools/items necessary are very simple:
1.) Plastic Funnel – A plastic funnel is necessary to help pour the seeds and minimize spillage. If you don’t have a plastic funnel, you can make one out of paper. You can try to pour the seeds without a funnel if you are too lazy to make one out of paper, but you will probably end up making a big mess.
2.)Strainer or Colander – If you use a Gatorade bottle, this is not necessary. Other containers may require a strainer to separate the liquid from the poppy seeds. You may also be able to use a cheese cloth, but it is not ideal.
3.) Drinking Glass or Cup – The drinking glass or cup will be used to hold the tea and can also be used to drink out of. It can be a standard size.
PURCHASE OTHER INGREDIENTS:
The remaining ingredients can all be purchased at your local neighborhood grocery store. The remaining list includes:
1.) Lemon Juice – A small bottle of lemon juice will be plenty for your first few preparations. I suggest purchasing a bottle of lemon juice rather than squeezing actual lemons. It is much easier to squeeze the lemon juice directly into the bottle than it is to prepare the lemon juice from actual lemons. Lemon juice is cheap! If you prefer method of squeezing the actual lemons, 1-2 lemons will be plenty.
2.) 32 oz (~1 liter) Gatorade Bottle – You can use any plastic bottle you desire, but it must be at least 1 quart (32 ounces) which is equivalent to 1 liter for our metric friends. I highly suggest the use of a Gatorade bottle, especially for your first time. This bottle is great for three reasons: It is the perfect size, it has a wide top, and the screw on cap is ideal for straining out the seeds. You can also use one gallon water jugs, two liter plastic soda bottles, or any other plastic container. Keep in mind, the wider the opening, the easier it will be to pour the seeds in.
3.) Water, One Gallon (2 Liters) – You can used bottled or tap water. It is totally up to personal preference and it doesn’t make a big difference either way.
4.) A Flavor Enhancer (Optional) – The flavor enhancer is an optional juice or other flavoring agent which can be used to help the bitter taste of the tea. Some people add honey, orange juice, or MiO flavor enhancers. You can use anything you would like to help.
PART II: MAKE A SMALL TEST BATCH
The next steps will describe how to make a small test batch of poppy seed tea. This test batch is necessary to familiarize yourself with the process and make sure that the tea is the correct strength.
POUR SEEDS INTO CONTAINER:
Start by pouring two cups of seeds into your plastic container. You can use an actual funnel or make a paper funnel to reduce the amount that you spill. Pour slowly and pay attention the entire time.
Add two cups of cool water (not freezing cold, just a little cooler than room temperature). The reason I use cool water, is that it helps prevent the tea from fermenting or going bad. This is even more important when dealing with larger quantities of seeds. Using warm water will make the tea go bad and taste terrible very quickly. It is a common misconception that you have to use hot water. This is probably because it is called “poppy tea” so people assume hot water is necessary.
ADD LEMON JUICE:
Add one teaspoon of lemon juice. The acid of the lemon juice helps extract the alkaloids from the seeds and transfer it to the water. The lemon juice can also help with flavor.
Make sure the lid to your container is screwed on tight, then shake your bottle vigorously for 5 minutes. You can pause intermittently to take rest breaks. This agitation helps remove the active ingredients from the poppy seeds and transfer them to the water.
The mixture is now referred to as a slurry. Place the container on a table and let it rest. Wait for the sediment to sink to the bottom, then inspect the color of the liquid. The liquid should be dark yellow to brown. As a general guide, the darker the liquid, the stronger the resulting tea will be. If the liquid is clear, you most likely have seeds that are previously washed. Don’t waste your time moving forward if the water is clear; start back over and pay more attention to Step #1.
STRAIN THE MIXTURE:
If you are using the Gatorade bottle that I suggested, then you can slowly loosen the cap a 1/4 turn (90 degrees). Flip the bottle upside down and rest the top in a cup. Slowly squeeze the bottle until all of the liquid is in the cup. Be careful not to over loosen the cap or it will make a huge mess!
If you are using another container, you can use an actual strainer or cheese cloth to strain out the poppy seeds.
The tea should be complete, so you can now slowly consume. Wait to feel the effects of the tea. I would wait at least 30-45 minutes, then you can decide if you would like more. If you would like to make more, start at Step #4. You can increase the amount of seeds used this time if desired, but make sure to increase the water as well.
PART III: BE CAREFUL
Poppy Seed Tea can be habit forming and addictive. It can also be dangerous due to the varying strength of the active ingredients in the seeds. Make sue to use extreme caution when dealing with any opiate, including poppy seed tea.
VIDEO- HOW TO MAKE POPPY SEED TEA!
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Do you disagree with any of the steps listed above regarding How to Make Poppy Seed Tea? Feel free to leave comments below!