How to Make an Herbal Tea Infusion: Loose Leaf Herbal Tea for the Beginner
I remember looking at some gorgeous loose leaf teas in an herb shop several years ago, and wondering, "What on earth do you do with this? How do you use these flowers and leaves?" Maybe you've had the same feeling: Wanting so badly to make your own loose leaf teas, but not quite sure where to start? 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. I WAS that person. If you are ready to take the plunge into making your own herbal teas for health, here are the simple steps to making a healthy, rejuvenating tea!
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How to Make a Loose Leaf Herbal Tea Infusion for Health
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.
1) Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of the loose leaf tea blend for one cup of tea. 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 cup 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 & Enjoy All Day:
Here is my favorite way to enjoy herbal tea for health. I make a large amount of tea in a Mason jar right before going to bed and allow it to steep overnight. Then I strain out the herbs in the morning and have a quart Mason jar of strong infused tea full of health benefits to drink throughout the day. I'm not so concerned about its temperature when I make it this way---I like tea either hot, lukewarm, or cold. Steeping overnight makes for a VERY strong tea, so play around with this. The whole goal of making a tea infusion is to drink as a tonic for your health.
1) Put about an inch (and even a bit more) of the herbal tea 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 beneficial plant constituents inside your tea instead of allowing them to escape with the steam.)
4) Allow to steep for at least 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 a certain amount in a day. Herbs are full of nutrients and minerals to support your 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!
Final Thoughts on Infusing Herbal Loose Leaf Tea
Once you start drinking herbal loose leaf teas, you'll never want to return to those stale old tea bags from the grocery store, I guarantee it. Using freshly dried herbs makes such a HUGE difference in the quality of your tea, not to mention the improved health benefits! Those gorgeous , colorful leaves and flowers in that loose leaf tea blend? Now you know how easy it is to make your own tea, whether you want just a cup or a medicinal infusion!
If you're interested in creating some great herbal tea for your family, here are a couple of articles you may be interested in: Manly Man Tea (Support for the Male Body), Sensuous Skin, Healthy Hair Tea, and Sore Throat Soothing Tea.
If you still have questions about making a tea infusion for health, please ask away! Leave a comment in the comments section, and I'll be sure to reply! :-)
Thank you for reading! I hope you'll share your tea making experiences with us!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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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!)