Most people believe that all teas taste nearly the same. Whether it is black tea, green tea, or white tea, they do not think there is any difference in them. However, they do not realise that all teas have a unique flavour profile and even the same tea from the same garden can have a different taste each year. That being said, some still prefer their tea to have a different flavour as compared to regular teas. For them, herbal teas are the best bet. They can either be had plain or blended with loose tea leafs. What’s more, herbal teas can be easily made at home.
Fresh herbs, spices, and flowers are a good way to begin making your own herbal teas. Fresh ingredients are far removed from the artificial tasting herbal teas that are sold in the market. Unless the ingredients are 100% natural, the same flavour cannot be mimicked in store-bought varieties.
Alfalfa, lemon balm, mint, rosehips, rosemary, chamomile, and thyme, are popular herbs that can be brewed to make a delicious tea. One should, however, be careful that the herbs selected are non-toxic. For that one should contact their local gardener or seed supplier to be sure.
Herbs for tea are not hard to grow. A good book or even the internet is good sources for finding out how to plant different plants for herbal teas. Teas from fruits can be made by buying organically grown fruits and then drying them out. Peels from orange and lemon are easily dried out at home. Drying whole fresh fruits at home are more difficult to achieve. The Book of Herbal Teas: A Guide to Gathering, Brewing and Drinking by Sara Perry is a good book to grow your herbal tea knowledge.
A comprehensive selection of herbal teas is as follows: Fresh or dried leaves of: alfalfa, bee balm, blackberry, blueberry, catnip, celery, comfrey, lemon balm, mint (all kinds), parsley, raspberry, rue, sage. Root of licorice Fresh or dried blossoms of: chamomile, chrysanthemum, clover, elderberry, linden. Seeds of: alfalfa, anise, caraway, celery, coriander, dill, fennel, fenugreek. Fresh or dried berries of rosehips.
You can harvest a whole lot of the leaves, blossoms, seeds, and roots and dry them all at once for future use. You can use the following procedure to dry them: Gather leaves, berries, or blossoms in mid-morning, after most of the dew has evaporated. (If the leaves are dusty, wash them in cold water and drain or shake off excess moisture.) Set the vegetation in a dry, warm place, out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can do damage to the flavour of the ingredients. The important thing is to lay the herbage out one plant deep on a clean paper towel, dish towel, or (if you have one) drying screen. Piling up the herbs can cause them to rot, so make sure they are in a single layer. Place a paper towel or cheesecloth over them and you are good to go. Allow the plants to dry for about 10 days (longer, if they still feel moist), then store them in tightly closed, labelled jars.
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