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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Herbal Tea: A Tutorial

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary. ~Chinese Proverb

A cup of tea is such a lovely break in the day.  Whether sipped with friends and conversation or alone in a quiet corner with a good book, it is always a welcome moment in time.  Black tea is the most common form of tea consumed and it has been for centuries.   Herbal teas have also been enjoyed for centuries and with good reason.

 Depending upon the herbs used, the tea can be calming or stimulating, even healing!  At the very least, it is a gift to your senses from the warmth of the cup in your hands to the sight of the beautiful colors,  to the wafting of the enticing and welcoming fragrances and then to the delicious moment of the taste of the first sip.  It is a true gift from the plants of our world.  

Herbal teas can be made by the teapot or the teacup.  I hope you have set aside a really beautiful tea set to treat yourself.  If you haven't yet, put it on your next gift list. I am the only one in my home right now who enjoys herbal teas and I have a small, clear glass teapot that I love because the sun shines just right through the glass and illuminates the tea inside. 

Making tea is simple but requires patience.  Use fresh, clean water and bring it to a rolling boil. Pour the hot water over the herbs and let it sit!  Herb teas need to steep for about 5-7 minutes for flavors to fully develop.  Many times, people stop steeping the tea way too soon.   

The tea enjoyment is even more enhanced when you have created your own tea blends to enjoy. The Homegrown Collective January Greenbox included some tea bags to fill that you can seal closed with an iron.  You can buy them here. Or, if you have a mesh tea ball use that!  It really is fun to make your own tea bags - the handmade versions are just so...homey and comforting.  Handmade teabags can be reusable drawstring muslin bags but I like to make mine with coffee filters and I can put them in the compost bin when they have given up their lovely gifts.    

All you need are paper coffee filters, sewing thread and some decorative tape for the label.  Here is how: 

Homemade Tea Bag
  • Cut away the ruffled part of two coffee filters to have two circular pieces. 
  • Hand sew around the circle leaving an opening to place the tea inside.  (leave the opening bigger than you think you might need - you will be placing about a tablespoon of herbs inside) 
  • Hand sew the opening closed leaving a long tail of thread to attach the decorative tape as a label.  

There are so many herbal blends to use for tea.  Here are three of my favorites:  

Spiced Vanilla Tea
makes three teabags
1 Tablespoon Black Tea
1 Tablespoon crushed Cinnamon Stick
1 Tablespoon crushed Cloves
1 split Vanilla Bean cut into small pieces

Citrus Ginger
makes three teabags
1 Tablespoon minced Ginger
2 Tablespoons Mint Leaves
Zest from two Lemons

Lemon Balm Lift
makes three teabags
1 Tablespoon Lemon Balm
1 Tablespoon Raspberry Leaf
1 Tablespoon minced Ginger

There are multitudes of combinations you can make with herbs, spices, fruits, black tea or green tea.  Get creative and make some blends of your own.  I would love to hear what you make!  Leave a comment and share... :) and, thanks for visiting today.  

Tomorrow, I'll share a tutorial on making your own vapor rub and also a soothing oil for sore muscles.  I hope to see you then!  

Peace be with you, 

Star Schipp 

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase using one of those links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.  It is a great way to support your favorite hobby farm blogger.  Thank you!   


  1. Interesting post. I have liked Herbal Teas for a long time but never made my owns. Thanks for the info and recipes. MB

  2. I have an herbal tea infuser in the shape of the TARDIS. My geekiness knows no boundaries. Thanks for the recipes. I will share them with my daughter who loves tea.