How to Make a Cup of Herbal Tea

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As it is #HotTeaMonth I thought it was a good time to write about how to brew herbal tea. It is a question I get asked a lot at markets, which is surprising as most people make herbal tea most days without thinking about it, we just don’t think of Tetley as herbal tea! Making herbal tea can seem daunting if you are not used to using loose tea, but it is really simple once you know how.

There are many ways that people suggest how to brew herbs, so I will write about four, including the way I make my herbal teas. If you make yours differently I’d love to hear about it.20150320_0074final

1 – The Solar Ripe Way.

I prefer to use loose herbs, and this is how we sell our teas, as you can then add as much herb as you like, and you can mix herbs to suit how you are feeling. I take a big pinch of whichever herb I want to use and put it in a small teapot or mug. If I feel unwell and want to make a medicinal brew I usually mix 2 or 3 herbs, a pinch of each (over the years I have learnt to trust my intuition on this and put it ‘what feels right’). For example if I have indigestion I may mix Peppermint and Marigold. I pour boiling water over and cover. After about 10 minutes I strain the tea off. I use a standard tea strainer and compost the herb. There are many fancy strainers on the market but a lot of them don’t let the herbs move around in the water for a nicely infused brew, and often end up leaking, so you have to strain the herb through your teeth as well! Before I sit down to enjoy the tea I top the pot up with water from the kettle for a second brew later on. I enjoy the taste of most herbs as they are, but if I feel the need I may add some honey or agave syrup to sweeten the taste. This is also nice when you have a cold and have lost some of your sense of taste.

2 – Standard Herbal Medicine Brew. 

When using herbs medicinally you will usually be recommended by your herbalist to use 1-2 tsp of dried herb (depends on each herb – this is a rule of thumb) per cup of boiling water, made in the way mentioned above. Leave for 5-10 minutes to steep. A standard amount is three cups per day (Hedley and Shaw, 1996).

3 – Juliette’s Standard Brew.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy is a favourite of many herbalists and used a ‘standard brew’ method. This method is for a herbal infusion for health benefits, rather than an everyday cup of tea. She recommends using one large handful of herbs to two cups of water. Place in a pan (enamel, steel or earthenware) and ‘add a gentle heat until boiling point is almost reached’. Keep on heat for three minutes – do not boil – remove from heat and steep for another 3 hours. Drink as required (de Bairacli Levy, 1974).

20150320_0045final4 – Susun Weed’s Nourishing Herbal Infusions.

Inspired by Juliette of the Herbs standard brew Susun Weed uses Nourishing Herbal Infusions as her method of drinking nutritive herbs. This is my main way of drinking herbs as well since learning about it. This method is used for nourishing herbs such as nettle and oat straw rather than stronger medicinal herbs such as mint or chamomile. They can be drunk hot or cold, and any time of day. They are stronger in taste to a normal cup of herbal tea and have more health benefits as they contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals.

One ounce of dried herb is put into a quart (approx. one litre) container and covered with boiling water, and then a tight lid put on. It is left to steep for four hours or overnight (I leave mine overnight), strained and then stored in the fridge and drunk over the next day or two. For more information and a list of herbs you can use this method with see Susun Weed’s website.

This method uses larger quantities of herbs, if you would like to buy herbs in bulk please contact me for prices.

 

 

 

 

 

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