How to Make an Herbal Tea Infusion: Loose Leaf Herbal Tea for the Beginner
This may sound like a silly post to some of you out there---especially if you are a seasoned tea drinker. However, as an herbalist, one of the questions I hear the most is, "How do you use these herbs? How do you make the tea?" Because herbal tea blends are generally in loose leaf form, people who haven't made tea before often just don't know the basics about how to make herbal loose leaf tea. Here are the simple steps!
How to Make a Loose Leaf Herbal Tea Infusion
Important: One of the things people need to know about infusing herbs is the leaves need room to expand to get the most benefits.
Method 1: For a Cup:
You'll need a large (2 inch) tea ball, or better yet, a cup especially made for infusing tea. Alternatively, you can strain the tea into another cup, but for just one cup, that method doesn't really make a lot of sense, imho.
1) Use about 2 teaspoons of the loose leaf tea blend, in general. You can either use a large tea ball (2 inch diameter so the leaves can expand) OR my favorite is to use a tea infusion cup with a removable strainer.
NOTE: Since tea has become quite a trend in the past few years, there are now some very beautiful tea infusion options available! Explore! I've listed some below, too!
2) Pour just boiled water over the herbs and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Generally, herbal teas take a little longer to steep than black or green tea. The longer steep time allows you to obtain the most benefits from the leaves/flowers. You can let it go even longer for an even stronger tea. Just do some taste testing and find out what times work best for your tastes!
3) Sweeten (or not) to taste. Personally, I like mine unsweetened, but a bit of honey can help soothe a sore throat! Enjoy!
Method 2: For a Quart Amount to Drink All Day:
Here is Mr. HHH's and my absolute favorite way to enjoy our herbal teas. We make a large amount right before we go to bed and allow it to steep overnight. Then we strain out the herbs in the morning and have a quart Mason jar to drink throughout our day. We're not so concerned about it being hot or not---we both just love the herbs and knowing we are getting those benefits throughout the day. Steeping overnight makes for a VERY strong tea, so play around with this.
1) We put about an inch or so of our herbal tea blend in the bottom of a quart size Mason Jar.
2) Pour just boiled water over the top to within about an inch and a half from the top of the jar.
3) Put a lid on loosely (Steeping with a lid keeps the volatile oils and benefits inside your tea instead of allowing them to escape with the steam.)
4) Allow to steep for 20 to 30 minutes....or like we do, just leave for several hours. It will cool down, of course, so if you don't mind cooled and very strong tea, this is a good way to go.
5) Strain out the herbs.
6) Sweeten (or not) and enjoy throughout your day!
The nice thing about this method is you know you are getting enough of your tonic tea if you are trying to drink so much in a day. Herbs are full of different nutrients and minerals and depending on the herbs in your tea, will help support your entire body!
Where Do I Buy My Loose Leaf Herbal Tea?
I blend my own teas with herbs I either grow, wildcraft, or purchase. I buy my bulk herbs at Starwest Botanicals. The GREAT thing about Starwest is they also have a huge selection of already blended herbal teas to suit every purpose!
I don't actually have this, but I would love it! It will make a larger amount of tea with a removable strainer/infuser---just like the Mason jar method. Only, it's not as messy, and you have a handy pitcher!
This is the infuser I have in the one picture above. It works great and keeps your tea hot for a long time because the glass is extra thick.
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Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional, and the statements made in this post and elsewhere in this website are for informational purposes only. They are based on my years of experience and study and are in no way meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health issue. (Sorry--I have to add this!)
Hugs and Self-Sustainability!
P.S. I love comments! Please leave one, especially if you have more ideas! :-)