DIY Herbal Teas: A Tutorial

Erica Strauss

Herbal tea isn’t technically tea, since it doesn’t contain the leaf of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. But rather than debate the minutia of infusions and tisanes, I’d rather just get to the good stuff: how to make your own herbal tea.

Fresh herbal tea is one of the seasonal benefits of being an herb grower. Last summer I had a pair of big, thriving lemon verbena plants, and when I wanted a lemony tea it was as easy as dropping several leaves of fresh verbena into a mug of hot water and waiting for a few minutes.

Fresh herbs typically have more vibrant, punchy flavors, but for convenience and year round herbal tea enjoyment most people will want to dry their tea herbs.

Typically, 5 or 6 leaves of fresh herbs like mint or verbena are sufficient to make a cup of tea. When using dried herbs, 1 tablespoon of lightly crushed herbs per big mug of tea is a good rule of thumb.

Don’t boil herbs. Instead, pour nearly boiling water over herbs and let your tea steep for 5 to 10 minutes.




DIY Herbal Teas: A Tutorial


What happens when a professional chef turns into a gardening fanatic? Can ‘homemaker’ be a political statement? How self-suffieiant can a family be on one-third of an acre in suburban Seattle? Where is the right balance between living cheap and living well? Can one ever have too many rutabagas? How much lawn do growing kids really need when there are fruit trees to be planted? Erica blogs about gardening, cooking, urban homesteading and living slow-ish in the Maritime Northwest.