Making your own herbal tea

01 May 2018
When I jumped down the rabbit hole that is 'making your own from scratch' I analysed everything. I tried so many things and techniques to find a way to make things myself that would work for me and my lifestyle. One thing I was stuck on for a little while was tea.

I'm a big tea drinker. I'm talking pots of tea a day not just mugs! It was a big part of my pantry that I couldn't really impact on as I didn't live in a climate where I could grow it. I swapped to tea leaves to reduce waste but that was it for a while.

Mint ready to be dried for tea.

I've never been a big herbal tea drinker. Frankly I find most commercial herbal teas or 'infusions' pretty uninspiring. However, home dried herbs are a whole other thing. The trigger to give homemade herbal tea a go was receiving a delicious T2 blend that, when I looked at the ingredients, was all dried herbs and spices. I still drink my pot or two of black tea a day but I also mix it up with a few herbal teas largely made from things in my own backyard.

Now that we are coming into the cooler months I know I'll be reaching for the tea pot a little more frequently and I thought you might be too. So here are a few ideas to get you thinking about making your own blends.


Leaves


  • Many herbs are great fresh, just pop in your mug or cup and cover with boiling water.
  • Drying leaves intensifies the flavour and is  a good option if you live in a climate where your herbs die off over winter. I dry mine on cake cooling racks but if you live in a humid climate where they are likely to go mouldy try a very low oven or dehydrator (or just stick to fresh).
  • Favourites: mint, peppermint, chocolate mint, lemon thyme, lemongrass and lemon balm.
  • A few I haven't tried but am keen to give a go - raspberry and olive leaves.

Left to right: ginger, rose petals, cornflower petals, lemon zest and orange peel.


Seeds and spices


  • You can grow your own or use what's in your pantry. Think about what flavours you like or check the pack of any herbal teas you have in the cupboard for inspiration.
  • Ginger can be dried as above if you grow your own or get your hands on some local fresh stuff.
  • Favourites: fennel, corriander, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger.


Flowers and fruits


  • Many flowers can add a subtle flavour to you tea or a hint of colour.
  • Favourites: cornflower, rose petals, pineapple sage.
  • A couple I haven't made but would be great if you grow them - chamomile and Rosella.
  • Citrus fruits are a winning tea addition - fresh slices are great as are dried peel or zest.


Once you assemble a few ingredients you can either enjoy them straight up or experiment with a few blends. Here are some of my favourites for a little inspiration to get you started:

  • Lemongrass and ginger.
  • Thyme, cinnamon, fresh lemon and honey.
  • Coriander, ginger, cornflower and orange peel.
  • Lemon balm, lemon zest and rose.
  • Black tea, cardamom, ginger and honey.
  • Any mint straight up!

Is it tea or coffee for you?
Do you have any favourite tea combinations to share?


6 comments

  1. Laura, I need to drink less caffeine as I do like my coffee but we have so many herbs growing that I need to start changing my habits and make tea out if them like we used to back in the hippy era :-) We used to be in a Herb Club back in the day. The cornflowers are doing well so there will be a lot of blue tea coming up and blue tinged soaps eventually.

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    Replies
    1. Herb club in the hippy era - that sounds interesting! Do share any enjoyable tea blends you come up with.
      Cheers,
      Laura

      Delete
  2. I grew spearmint at my last house and dried it in a paper bag on top of the fridge. We moved to a new place and I forgot about it a couple of years. I opened the glass container I had stored it in and it smelled wonderful. It also tasted wonderful. Thanks for a few more tea ideas!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to inspire Cate. I need to add spearmint to my herb garden for tea making, must find someone I can get a piece off.
      Cheers,
      Laura

      Delete
  3. I normally drink regular tea and sometimes coffee.
    I make coriander and ginger tea when I have a cold. That's one of my mom's home remedies. :)
    Once in a while I drink chamomile tea. I do have lemongrass and mint in the garden, so one of these days I'll use them for tea.

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  4. These are so pretty and would make a lovely gift too! :D

    ReplyDelete

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