There’s no better way to stay warm on chilly nights than drinking a hot brew of herbal tea. There’s a variety of brands, but fresh ingredients are not only tastier but healthier too. You can grow everything you need for fresh, health boosting tea in your own backyard. It is time to start making your own herbal tea.
What constitutes a great brew of herbal tea? Typically, there are three categories: the base, the herbs, and the blossoms. The base leaves keep the brew strong and bring flavors together. The herbs can add a cooling or spicy element. The flowers add fragrance, taste, and visual appeal. Plus, the vitamins and minerals found in all of these ingredients can strengthen your immune system.
If you’re looking to grow a tea garden consider these plants. For the base, try black or green tea leaves. Blackberry or raspberry leaves adds sweetness and nettle leaves has a neutral flavor. For herbs try rosemary, sage, or basil. Mint is a cooling flavor and thyme soothes sore throats. For flowers try chamomile, jasmine, or lavender. Roses are popular and bee balm has a citrus-mint flavor.
How do you create different types of tea? Check out these tips for homemade tea and start making your own herbal tea
- Fresh or dried. Don’t have all fresh ingredients? You can find dried substitutes, but remember flavor varies between fresh and dry ingredients. A general rule is that 1 tablespoon of a fresh ingredient equals 1 teaspoon of its dried counterpart.
- Measurements. Measuring you ingredients is a personal decision depending on how strong you like your tea and how many cups you plan on making. Keep in mind that you generally want two parts base, one part blossoms, and one part herbs.
- Marinate. You can put your ingredients in a tea ball or a filter of some kind. Soak in hot (not boiling) water for five minutes.
- Experiment. Don’t be afraid to mix-n-match flavors. If your brew is missing something try adding honey, sugar, lemon, or the zest of a lemon or orange.
Caution: Don’t make herbal tea if you use pesticides in your garden. Be cautious of poisonous substances like tomato or potato leaves and any plants along the roadside.