Herbal tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Millions of people enjoy a hot cup to unwind at the end of a busy day or to feel more alert after lunch. You’ll find a wide variety of herbals in the shops but did you know that you can also make your own herbal brew? You don’t need specialist knowledge, just a bit of time and some imagination. You’ll soon be enjoying a fresh blend of herbs in a cup, proud that you’ve created it from scratch.
Herbal Teas and Infusions
Herbal teas, herbals or herbal infusions are teas made from the roots, seeds, flowers, or fruits of different plants. These teas do not come from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. But they should be brewed, like white and black true teas, with boiling water. Grow your own herbs and plants to provide the raw ingredients for your own herbal concoctions. These blends help relieve stress, improve digestion, and boost energy. Herbs like peppermint, chamomile, and parsley are simple to grow.
But if you’re short on time or you don’t have access to fresh herbs, don’t despair. Find a high quality UK tea shop uk online and you don’t have to put up with the lower-quality blends often sold at supermarkets and in the corner shop. A pre-made blend is the best way to guarantee freshness and a balance of flavours.
Grow Your Herbs
Grow herbal plants in direct sunlight or partial sun. The more sun, the better the foliage yield. You can plant herbs together in a pot or singly in separate places. Make sure mint goes in its own pot as it will take over the garden otherwise. Harvest the herbs by cutting the stem instead of pulling out individual leaves. This promotes more growth and maintains the shape of the plant.
Dry Your Herbs
Herbal tea is usually made from dried herbs but can be created from fresh plants. A fresh herb brew is not as potent as a dried mix, but it is often more convenient. Of course, drying herbs does take time. You’ll need a little forward thinking to enjoy your own herbal tea. Thick-leaved herbs dry in the air in around two to three weeks. Hang them upside down in a cool place. Place herbs with seeds, like coriander or fennel, in a paper bag so you catch the seeds as the herbs dehydrate. Herbs like mint and basil, with soft and large leaves, must be dried swiftly to avoid mould. Use a drying rack in bright sunlight.
Preparing Your Tea
Infuse the dried herbs in boiling water for around 15 minutes. You can use a strainer or tea holder, or put the herbs directly in the pot and strain as you pour. Add extra ingredients to the brew like spices – cinnamon, black pepper and ginger are excellent accompaniments – or dried fruit like apricots.
Herbal teas are hugely popular and deservedly so. Create your own blends or enjoy a pre-made cup from your favourite tea supplier.