Get down and dirty in the garden
Happy January! I would like to talk about National Hot Tea Month before this month comes to an end! Because of my GERD I have had to give up drinking coffee. After replacing my morning beverage of choice with tea, I still have to be careful of caffeine (especially when I drink something that has black tea in it). Herbs in different combinations are appealing, but a single herb in a cup of hot water is often most delicious. If you want to read a good article about making your own tea, read the Mother Earth Living article "Herbal Tea Recipes and Tips" by Tammy Safi.
These are my three favorite booklets with herb tea recipes.
Because I have an herb garden, I’m always looking for ways to use the herbs I've dried, and tea is the perfect way to use them. I found several blends I like in a booklet by Pat Humpheries and Bertha Reppert called Herb Teas for Pleasure. One of my favorite recipes is The Herbs of Shakespeare Tea.
The Herbs of Shakespeare Tea
Makes about 24 teabags
• 2 cups mint
• 1/2 cup marjoram
• 1/3 cup whole savory leaves
• 1/4 cup lavender flowers
You can make this one of two ways.
1. Combine all of the whole leaves and flowers in a jar with a lid that seals well. Spoon a teaspoon into your cup or mug and steep for 5 minutes.
2. With an herb mill, shred the leaves and flowers, and mix them together. To store the tea for later use, put the blend into self-sealing teabags and put them in a jar. Don’t forget to label the jar with the name and date of the blend.
Rosemary House Tranquilla Tea
Makes about 19 teabags
I also found a Rosemary House Tranquilla Tea in a booklet called Blending Herbal Teas compiled by Tina Sams of The Essential Herbal Magazine that I liked. Here's the recipe. I usually equate 1/4 cup with 1 part.
• 4 parts peppermint, or 1 cup mint (Spearmint is a bit easier for me to tolerate.)
• 1 part sage, or 1/4 cup sage
• 2 parts rosemary, or 1/2 cup rosemary
You can make the measurements out of whatever you have dried.
Love of Lemon Tea
This Love of Lemon Tea is filled with a lot of citrusy herbs.
Dried lemon verbena is especially perfect for herbal tea. In combination with other lemon herbs—as in this recipe for Love of Lemon Tea—lemon verbena is outstanding, herbally speaking. I found this recipe in the booklet called Beverages with Herb Scents by the Western Reserve Unit of the Herb Society of America. It is described as “a light green in color but never weak, if given plenty of time to steep.”
Makes about 24 teabags
• 1 cup lemon verbena leaves, crushed
• 1 cup lemon balm leaves, crushed
• 1 cup lemon geranium leaves, crushed (I recommend ‘Crispum’ or ‘Rober’s Lemon Rose’.)
• 1 cup lemon thyme leaves, crushed
• 3 tablespoons dried lemon rind curls
• 1 fat tablespoon dried calendula petals
Mix all of the ingredients together and store them in a jar. You could also spoon the blend into self-sealing teabags and place them in a jar for storage. When you make a cup or mug, steep for 4 to 6 minutes.
These herbal teas are ready for a very cold day! All photos by Nancy C. Heraud.
DON'T FORGET to label your jars with the name of the tea blend and the date.
It has been so cold here—it is the perfect time for a good book and a cup of herbal tea! What are you doing to keep warm?
As always, if you have a comment or question about any of my posts, please write to me here or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject line “Herb Comment or Question.” If you could also let me know where you live in the U.S. (or elsewhere), it will help me answer your herb question more precisely. And be sure to visit my blog Lemon Verbena Lady's Herb Garden. Talk to you soon.