Herbal tea is delicious and healthful, but store-bought herbal tea can be quite expensive, and you never know if store-bought herbal tea is truly fresh. If you want fresh and delicious herbal tea, consider preserving herbs from your garden. Garden-fresh herbal tea is rich flavor, and you can be sure it’s as fresh as possible.
Sage, sweet fennel, orange thyme, chamomile, rose hips, lavender, and mint are just some of the herbs you can use to make delicious herbal tea. Combine herbs with spices and fruits to come up with your own delicious herbal tea, and use the following information to preserve herbs for your own very special blend.
Precautions Regarding Herbal Tea
Know your herbs before making tea. Some plants are not suitable for consumption and are actually poisonous. Herbs have been known to cause allergic reactions in some people, and some herbs contain ingredients that can be harmful when ingested with certain medications. If you are nursing, pregnant, on medication, or have a particular medical condition, ask your doctor before consuming herbal tea.
Freezing Herbs for Tea
Not all herbs are suitable for drying, and herbs may be brewed, concentrated, and frozen for later use. To make a herbal concentrate for tea, mash the leaves of chosen herbs, pour boiling water over the leaves, and allow them to steep for a couple of days. Pour the herbal concentrate through a strainer, and freeze it in ice cube trays.
To make a cup of tea with herbal concentrate, place a frozen herbal concentrate cube into a cup, and pour hot water over the cube. If you like stronger tea, add a second cube. Add honey, lemon, or sugar if desired, and enjoy your tea while relaxing.
These frozen cubes may also be added to punch, regular iced tea, or hot dishes that are enhanced by herbs. Develop herbal tea for specific drinks and dishes, and keep them on hand for your special drinks and recipes.
Drying Herbs for Tea
Clip branches from garden herbs while they are young, and allow them to hang upside down in a cool, dry, dark location that receives plenty of air flow. After the herbs are dry, crumble them, and store them in airtight containers.
Alternately you can dry your garden herbs faster with a food dehydrator. Most food dehydrators come with herbal drying trays. The tray keeps the herbs from falling through the grates, and the holes in the tray allow heat to reach the herbs. If you have a food dehydrator that didn’t come with inserts for drying herbs, you can find them in most kitchen gadget stores. Follow the directions that came with your food dehydrator for drying times and specific drying instructions.
Making Tea From Dried Herbs
To make tea from dried herbs, steep about a tablespoon of dried herbs in boiling water for about ten minutes or twelve minutes. Allow the herbs to steep longer if you like stronger tea. Strain the herbs, and add sugar, lemon, or honey if desired.
If you’d rather not have to strain the tea, make disposable tea bags by trimming disposable coffee filters into smaller circles. Place the dried herbs in the center of the filter, secure the top with a piece of cotton thread, and allow the tea to steep as long as desired.
Herbal tea infusion is delicious, and tea infusion is quick and easy to make. Remove the leaves and stems from chosen herbs, and boil the herbs with twice as much water. Allow the herbs and water to boil for about five minutes. After the mixture cools, pour it through a metal strainer, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make a cup of tea, mix six ounces of water with about two ounces of herbal infusion. Add more or less according to your individual preference, and add honey, lemon, or sugar if desired.