Friday, May 14, 2010

Herbal Tea Blends

In an effort to use as much from my garden as possible, I have begun to blend my own custom herbal teas. Making your own herbal concoctions is a great way to sustain the growing season and a fun way to figure out which flavours you like best. The best part is of course, that this is a cheap and easy activity which guarantees enjoyment for months to come!

We have two fairly well-appointed culinary and medicinal herb gardens boasting such plants as Chamomile, Lemon Verbena, Comfrey, French Lavender, Peppermint and others. Likewise, we have a Potager and Flower garden growing two varieties of Citrus, Hibiscus, Roses and Fennel. All of these materials exude unique scent and taste notes which can be combined and used in herbal tea blends. We usually gather ingredients during their peak season and either dry them in a food dehydrator or on a low setting on a baking sheet in the oven. This preserves them quickly and efficiently without the risk of dust settling on them during the drying process. I recommend storing all ingredients either in a blend or on their own in an airtight mason jar stored in a dark room.

These herbs are wonderful either on their own, or paired with other tea bases such as Rooibos (Red Tea), White, Green or Black teas. My favourite natural sweetener is honey, but feel free to find that perfect blend all your own.

Here are some of my favourite blend to get the ball rolling. It is good to experiment with different combinations and amounts until you find that blend perfect for you!

Sore Throat Tea: Rooibos (Red Tea), Hibiscus blossoms, Rose petals

Raspberry Earl Grey: Nigiri (Black Tea), dried Raspberry leaf, dried Raspberry fruit, Bergamot

Red Lavender: Rooibos (Red Tea), French Lavender

Fennel and Chamomile Tea: Chamomile, Fennel, Hibiscus, Lemon peel, Orange peel, Licorice root, Rose petal, Lemon myrtle, Lemon grass

Dream Tea: Jasmine Flower, Skullcap, Lavender, Passion flower, Rose Petal

Upset Stomach Tea: Peppermint, Ginger, Chamomile, Lemon Peel

Lemon Tea: Rooibos (Red Tea), lemon myrtle, osmanthus flower, honey bush, french lavender

Chai Tea: Rooibos (Red Tea), Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom pods, whole Clove, Orange Peel, Nutmeg, Black Pepper


Jenni said...

Very impressive! You should begin hosting neighborhood tea parties with your excellent blends :)

Urban Cottager said...

Thanks, Jenni! That is a good idea! Tea blends are a great way to get more from your garden.

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