To end the menu we served some digestive iced herbal teas. All of the teas had some health benefits, but were also pleasing to the eye, albeit unnerving for some of our guests who have not seen steeped basil seeds before. These resemble the tiny eyes of tadpoles and their texture is quite slippery. We paired basil seeds with hibiscus, lavender and mallow teas. Hibiscus to ward off the flu season, lavender as a calming and headache-soothing elixir and mallow for cleansing our breathing apparatus. The ethnobotanical inspirations behind this drink are connected with the human-plant interaction that has profound consequences in the Transform scenario. We hope our visitors left slightly transformed themselves…


  • 2 teaspoons of sweet basil seeds
  • 1 handful of hibiscus flowers
  • 2 tsp dried lavender
  • 2 tsp dried roses
  • 5 tsp dried mallow (+ 1 tsp should be kept apart to add just before serving)
  • sugar/honey/stevia to taste
  • ~3 l boiling water


Basil seeds:

Pour the basil seeds into a jar and fill with ample water (the water level should be at least 5 cm above the seeds). The seeds will expand over about 10 minutes. Make sure that they don't form a gel, otherwise they'll stick to each other – add some more water in this case. The swollen seeds should still be “swimming” in a some liquid when they stop expanding. Place the closed jar in the fridge for a few hours.

Iced teas:

Steep the flowers separately in boiling water. For the quantities above we used between 500 ml and 1 l of water – it depends how strong you prefer your tea. Add a sweetener to taste while the water is still warm. Cool down, then chill in the fridge overnight.

A note about the mallow tea: the flowers will colour the tea a beautiful blue when you just put them in, then turn purple and eventually yellow. If you want to serve a strikingly coloured drink, add a teaspoon of the flowers to the tea just before serving.


In small glasses pour first a teaspoon of basil seeds, then fill the glass with one of the flower teas.


Sweet basil seeds came from the Central Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Hibiscus flowers were a gift from Veronique Linard which she picked up while working with craft jewellers in Burkina Faso. Dried lavender came from a lavender farm in Istria, Croatia; roses and mallow came from Mmmmh in Brussels.


This recipe is part of 🍴Food Futures