if you think outside the tea bag, “tea” is just plant matter steeped in water to extract flavor. that’s the thinking that gave us herbal tea – flowers, leaves, stems, bark, etc.
you’ve probably used a tea bag – traditional or herbal – at some point. you may have even enjoyed loose leaf tea. did you know you can make your own herbal tea at home? i love doing this and it’s a great way to use leftover herbs you bought for a recipe and didn’t use up.
you can use any combination you like. right now i’m making one with mint, lemon, star anise, and cinnamon stick.
to make this, i twist a few mint sprigs together to start breaking the leaves and stems so they’ll release their oil. i muddle them (in a sense) with the cinnamon stick, toss in the star anise, squeeze the juice of half lemon in and toss in the squeezed half.
bring water to just off the boil and add it to your mug. i sip this and refill the water once it gets halfway down. i do this about 3-4 times. this particular mix is very lemony but the cinnamon and star anise show up more the longer they steep. the best way to enjoy everything you put in is to inhale as you bring the cup to your lips to get the smell.
now you can use my recipe or create your own. you can also vary the amounts of what you put in.
other things you could use would be limes or oranges, rosemary, fennel seeds, apple peel, ginger … you get the hint!
if you try your hand at making herbal tea at home, let us all know what you used and how you liked it!