I was making hot tea this past winter with various combinations of mint, lemon balm, lavender and citrus peel that I bought at the store in bulk and loved them all. To keep it going but to reduce the expense, I made an effort to peel the zest from citrus to dry and store. I separated a neglected pot of mint into several pots; it has been growing like crazy so I've been drying its leaves. Lemon balm has invaded part of our yard and rather than trying to dig it out, I decided to let it grow for harvesting and drying. I'll definitely be saving flower parts through the summer and hope to create some tea mixes to give as gifts. Thanks for the inspiration Food Hero!
Ideas for tea ingredients:
- Leaves: mint (any type), bee balm, catnip, cilantro, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, sage, stevia, thyme
- Flowers: calendula, chamomile, echinacea, hibiscus, lavender, rose (petals and hips), yarrow
- Seeds: cardamom, coriander, fennel (grind or chop seeds first)
- Roots: chicory, ginger (chop first)
- Fruits: fresh berries (any type), fresh or dried citrus peel (any type)
Try blending ingredients:
- lemon balm and mint or rosemary
- lavender blossoms and mint
- cilantro, mint, orange peel
- mint and fresh raspberry
- lemon balm, mint, lavender leaf, fennel
- coriander, stevia and ginger
Ways to strain tea:
- Put ingredients into a tea strainer or any strainer that fits into your cup, such as a coffee filter, paper towel or empty tea bag, or pour through a strainer into a clean cup.
- For a stronger or lighter flavor: experiment with different amounts of ingredients and steeping time.
- Use only tea ingredients that you know are safe to consume.
- Try growing your own plants for tea, in the ground or in pots. Some can be aggressive spreaders (such as mint and lemon balm), so plant them in pots or places where you don't mind them taking over.
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons dried or 2 to 4 Tablespoons fresh herbs (see Notes)
- boiling water
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Place herbs at the bottom of a drinking cup or mug (see Notes).
- Fill the cup with water to cover the herbs. Let sit for 10 minutes. This is called "steeping."
- Strain the herbs from the water (see Notes) and enjoy the tea warm or cold.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.