The idea of making delicious tea from fresh herbs is an intriguing one.
It calls to mind refreshing, tasty herbs that elevate a cup of tea’s flavor. In addition to that, making herbal tea is interesting because herbs have so many health benefits.
What’s the benefit of making tea from fresh herbs?
Herbs are healthy to consume in tea because if you brew tea with fresh herbs instead of dried ones they will maintain between 50 and 90 percent of the plant’s healthy ingredients, as Country Living reports.
Best of all, you can make tea with herbs that you grow in your garden, as herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, and many others are edible and will be delicious in herbal tea.
Interested to get started on making your own brew of herbal tea? Let’s go!
How To Make Your Own Herbal Tea
Making herbal tea at home is really easy. Here’s a quick guide you can get started with right away.
- You’ll need about one quarter-cup’s worth of fresh herbs.
- Put them into a teapot.
- Boil water in a kettle and then pour it over the herbs that are in the teapot.
- Cover the teapot to keep the heat inside, and then steep the fresh herbs for five minutes.
- Make sure you strain the tea before serving it.
Yes, it’s that easy!
But, there are some important tips to follow so that you enhance the herbs’ flavors.
Here are the tips and tricks to becoming a herbs tea master.
- Steep, don’t boil, the herbs. You should never boil the fresh herbs that you’ve picked as this will make them lose their flavor. Steep them in the water that you pour over them, but don’t bring herbs to a boil.
- Gently crush the herbs before use. You want to be careful when treating fresh herbs so that you don’t damage them, but it can help to gently crush them so that they release their delicious flavors before you put them in a teapot.
- Clean the teapot well. If you’ve previously used the teapot for regular tea, you want to be sure that you clean it thoroughly with warm water and dish soap so that you remove any traces of previous tea that you’ve made in the teapot as this could disrupt the taste of your herbal tea.
- Get the right temperature. When making herbal tea, the water you use should be close to the boiling point. Aim for water that’s about 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a kettle that has a temperature gauge, you’ll know that it’s ready just before it whistles.
- You can add a base to your tea. If you like the taste of black or white tea, you could use this as a base for your herbal tea. It’s also a good idea to do this if you want a bit of caffeine in your tea, such as first thing in the morning. Simply put a teaspoon of green, white, oolong, or black tea into the herbs.
- Don’t be afraid to add other ingredients. After you’ve chosen the herbs that you want to use in tea, you can enhance the flavor of your tea by adding sweet spices such as cinnamon or citrus zest to it. You’ll put these into the blend of herbs you have and steep them all together so that the flavors can mix nicely, giving you a flavorful cup of tea.
Two Methods Of Making Herbal Tea
Earlier we mentioned the importance of straining your tea, such as with the use of a strainer.
But there are other ways to make delicious herbal tea.
Let’s look at two methods.
The French Press Method
As with brewing other kinds of tea, you can make herbal tea in a French press.
Make sure you put the plunger on top of the carafe.
Allow the tea to steep for five minutes, then press the plunger.
For in-depth information on how to make tea in a French press, read the article “How to (and why) Make Tea in a French Press.”
The Basket Infuser Method
You can make a cup of herbal tea with the use of a basket-style infuser.
What you need to do is warm up the teapot and then pour the water out of it.
Put the basket infuser into the teapot, put your tea leaves in it, then pour hot water into it.
Let the tea steep for five minutes.
The reason why it’s suggested that you warm the teapot first is to ensure that it will be of the right temperature to steep your tea.
How To Cut Your Own Herbs To Make Tea
Growing your own herbs that you want to use in tea?
You need to cut them properly so that you preserve their flavors – you want all those flavors to end up in your tea, of course!
When you cut your herbs, here are some important tips to follow:
- Cut herbs with sharp pruners. You should do this in the morning before the day gets too hot as this will ensure that the herbs have moisture and freshness in their leaves, as Garden Therapy points out. However, cut the plant stems and then pick the leaves off it so that the plant isn’t left with bare stems. And, always make sure you use clean pruners!
- Wait for the flowers to form. If you’re using flowering herbs to make tea, you should wait for the flowers on the herbs to have formed on the plant. When it comes to plants such as chamomile, you should wait for when the buds have flowered properly. If you’ve got lavender plants, you can cut them off the plant before they bloom.
Should You Steep Herbs For A Certain Amount Of Time?
When steeping tea leaves, it’s often recommended to do so according to the type of tea that you’re brewing.
However, herbs are quite different. You don’t have to worry about the herbs becoming bitter if you steep them for a long time.
You could even leave them for 15 to 30 minutes if you like!
To get the right taste, you’ll have to experiment with different steeping times.
The Best Herbs For Herbal Tea
When you choose herbs to make tea, they’re not all the same.
Some are actually better than others for use in tea.
Let’s look at the best herbs to use in herbal tea, based on what type of herbs they are and what benefits they offer.
These types of herbs can give you energy because they activate the nerve endings.
Types of Stimulating Herbs To Use In Tea
- Mint – It has many positive effects on the body, such as by treating nausea, and it has a refreshing flavor.
- Coriander – This also has health benefits, such as treating anxiety and stomach problems. Leave it whole so that it releases sweetness.
- Astragalus – This medicinal herb can treat many ailments, such as allergies and the common cold. It’s known to have an earthy, sweet taste.
The Tastiest Herbs To Add To Your Cup
Medicinal uses aside, you want your herbal tea to taste delicious!
You can achieve a variety of different flavors depending on the types of herbs you use.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular and delicious ones to use in your tea.
- Lemongrass. It tastes like lemon with subtle traces of ginger.
- Lavender. Not only calming, but lavender also gives the tea a sweet taste.
- Lemon balm. It has a distinct lemon flavor that is quite appealing in a fresh brew of tea.
- Jasmine. You’re probably familiar with its wonderful scent. Jasmine can be sweet, but its flavor depends on the type of tea that you use as a base.
- Fennel. This herb imparts a licorice flavor to your tea.
- Rosehips. This colorful herb creates a fruity, floral taste. Crush the chips and add them to the water, The Spruce reports.
- Rosemary. If you want something less sweet and more pungent, opt for rosemary. But, a little goes a long way as it can end up being bitter so use it sparingly.
Try These Easy Recipes For Herbal Tea
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to brewing herbs for tea, such as what herbs will go together nicely, here are some easy recipes to try.
Best of all, you can choose recipes according to their health properties, such as if you need a specific herbal tea that will relax you.
Recipe 1: Mint And Ginger Tea
The mint herb is extremely useful for treating ailments such as nausea and indigestion, so make this your go-to herbal tea if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
Simply combine two teaspoons of fresh mint leaves with ginger that’s either fresh or dried.
Ginger is also an excellent ingredient if you’re experiencing gastrointestinal problems.
Tip: When you use fresh herbs to make tea, you will need more than the amount you’d usually use with dried herbs, so bear that in mind.
It’s probably best to taste-test the tea and adjust it if necessary.
Recipe 2: Chamomile And Rose Tea
This is great to help you relax. You’ll need four parts chamomile, two parts lemongrass, and two parts rose petals.
- Put all the ingredients in a glass jar.
- Add one teaspoon of the mixture to a strainer.
- Steep it by putting boiling water over it for about five minutes.
Can You Use Frozen Herbs To Make Tea?
You know what they say: fresh is always best.
However, if you have some herbs in your freezer, you can definitely use them to brew tea.
This is because freezing herbs helps to maintain their flavor.
However, before using them in your brew, make sure that they don’t have a freezer burn or smell strange.
The trick when using frozen herbs to make a cup of tea is not to thaw them as that can bruise the leaves.
Add the frozen herbs to a teapot and then pour hot water over them – this is what will thaw the leaves and release the flavor directly into your tea.
How To Make Iced Tea With Fresh Herbs
If you’re interested in making iced tea instead, the process isn’t that different from making hot tea with fresh herbs. Here’s what to do:
- You’ll need about a handful of fresh herbs.
- After crushing them a bit, put them in a clear jar and fill the jar with water that’s cold.
- Let it sit overnight before enjoying it.
Delicious Herbal Tea: It’s All In The Blend
Making herbal tea isn’t just about throwing together some delicious herbs.
Well, it doesn’t only have to be.
There are ways to perfect your blend so that you get all the right flavors and aromas.
Here are three components to having a great herbal tea blend:
Decide What You Want
As can be seen earlier in this article, there are herbs that do different things.
Some have strong medicinal properties while others can benefit you in various ways, such as by helping to invigorate your mind or keep you calm.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve so that you can choose the right herbs for your goal.
Take those herbs you’ve decided to use and make them your base ingredient.
Get A Supporting Ingredient
These herbs complement the first herbs’ flavors.
For example, based ingredients such as peppermint and chamomile work well with supporting ingredients of thyme and lemon balm.
Next, Choose An Accent
An accent is a final ingredient that gives your tea a burst of flavor, as Mountain Rose Herbs reports.
Examples include lavender, cinnamon, and spearmint.
The site goes on to say that you should choose different quantities of the different herb categories.
It suggests starting with three parts of your base ingredient, one or two parts of your supporting herb, and then one-quarter to one part of your accent.
Try this out and see how it tastes. You might have to tweak the quantities of the herbs a bit to get a tasty cup of tea.
Herbal Tea vs. Fruit Tea
You might be wondering if herbal tea is the same as fruit tea.
Indeed, the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Although you might be wondering how that’s possible if fruits are quite different from fresh herbs, basically herbal teas are made with herbs, spices, and other plant materials, but they don’t make use of tea leaves, as Develop Good Habits reports.
You can use all of these ingredients in your cup of herbal tea.
The above explanation is also why herbal teas are referred to as tisanes.
This is because the herbal tea is really a blend of bark, flowers, fruits, roots of plants that become extracted by hot water.
If you’re interested in making tea that’s infused with herbs and fruit, here are some combinations that go really well together in tea.
Chamomile works well with oranges, apples, and strawberries.
Peppermint tea works with pineapples and oranges to sweeten it.
On the other hand, if you like herbs such as rosehip, it blends well with fruits such as apples, strawberries, and oranges.
What is Sun Tea?
This is when you brew tea by putting tea bags and cold water in a jar and then leaving in the sun to steep.
The danger is that tea can reach temperatures that encourage bacteria to grow.
Are herbs free of caffeine?
Herbs are generally caffeine-free, and that means that the herbs tea you make yourself will also be, even if you use seeds, roots, flowers, or leaves in it.
It’s really easy to brew your own herbal tea.
Even if you’ve never tried brewing your own tea at home, it’s clear to see from this article that you can easily make a fresh herbal tea that’s full of nutrients and tastes delicious.
In this article, we’ve discussed easy methods of making your own tea with the use of fresh herbs.
It’s best to pluck these straight from your garden, but even frozen herbs can work well as they will have preserved their flavors.
We’ve also looked at some easy herbal tea recipes you can try when you experience a tea craving, as well as provide you with tips for which herbs to combine to get the best tasting herbal tea out of your kitchen that your guests will love.