Herbal teas, which have grown immensely in popularity, can be made from herbs grown in a backyard, patio, or kitchen herb garden.
How? Fresh or dried herbs can be used for tea. Just remember to keep dried herbs in an airtight container. A general method for making herbal teas calls for 1 teaspoon of dried herbs per 6-oz. or 8-oz. teacup of boiling water; or 2-3 teaspoons* of fresh herbs per cup (crush the leaves before adding boiling water.) Place the herbs in the cup first, then pour in the water. Cover the cup and leave for 5 minutes before straining out the herbs and drinking. When making iced tea, follow the same method. Remove the herbs once steeped. Cover the container and then put it in the refrigerator to cool. To sweeten, add a little honey or sugar, and for added effect, add a sprig of the fresh herb as a garnish.
Here are a few of the more popular herbs used for teas, and tips on how to turn them into a delicious drink:
Mint is a popular flavor for tea drinkers. There are many varieties of mint, including spearmint, peppermint, orange mint, and more. Experiment with all of them to find your favorite flavor. To make the tea, use whole mint leaves, slightly crushed (use method listed).
Chamomile is another tasty herb for making tea. But this tea requires the flowers only, not the leaves of the plant. Steep for not more than 3 to 4 minutes, using 1 teaspoon of dried flowers, or 3 teaspoons of fresh, to a
6-oz. or 8-oz. cup of boiling water.
Bergamot herbs make a sweet, citrus-flavored tea. It is best made by using 1 teaspoon of dried flowers per cupful, and simmering gently for 5 or 6 minutes.
Lavender is not only a popular aromatherapy herb, but also a flavorful herb for tea. Use the flowers and steep according to the general method listed.
Lemon verbena is a tea for the lemon lover. For best results, use fresh leaves, about 1 tablespoon per 6-oz. or 8-oz. cup of boiling water. Steep for at least 5 minutes.
And for those who enjoy soft drinks better…try this Ginger Ale Spritzer.
You’ll need: 2 sprigs of crushed mint, a pint of ginger ale, pitcher, ice, and one lemon. Place the crushed mint in a pitcher filled with ice. Then add the juice from half of a lemon. Pour a pint of ginger ale into the pitcher, slice up remaining lemon, and add to the drink. Stir and serve immediately.