Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making Tea and Saving Herbs

I ended up with quite a few requests yesterday after my post of people asking me how to make your own tea! It's really so freaking simple!! I swear guys...it's really easy. The hardest part is picking the herbs off of the stems :p

Step one is growing your own herbs. I think an herb garden is the most rewarding garden of them all and it's probably the easiest garden of them all. I won't say herbs are care-free, but they're about as carefree as you get. Certain herbs like mint are near impossible to kill and they'll take over if you're not careful!! A warning to the herb growing novice, ALWAYS plant mint in a pot or container. If you don't you will have a lawn full of it. Which is kind of wonderful, but not something that everyone wants :p

Pick herbs that you like! If you just want herbs for tea, so really good ones are mints, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, chamomile...some people get brave and make tea with basil, but it's not a flavor I'm crazy about. Then of course there are some wonderful savory herbs to cook with! Like rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, parsley, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, chives, cilantro...the list goes on and on!

You can grow these in a raised bed, in containers, or just plant them right in the ground with your other plants. Plant them in ball jars on your windowsill and just snip them whenever you need them for cooking. Nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs for cooking!!
 If you're wanting to make tea, you're going to have to dry your herbs. There are many many different ways of doing this. You can hang them with a clothes pin in the sun, put them in the microwave, bake them at a low heat, but what I do is cut what I want, put them in a paper bag and punch holes in the bag and leave them in a warm place (I put them in my mom's garage) for about a week. This is the best method I've found for really dehydrating them well and keeping their flavor.
 Then, you just strip the dried leaves from their stems and then crumble the leaves into the consistency you want your tea leaves to be! You can make a tea of just one herb or of a combination :) And there really is no guide as to how much of which...just put however much of whatever you want! And that's it!! It's that simple. Clip your herbs, dry them, and crumble them together. Then get yourself a tea infuser and steep it in water or you can even buy tea bags and stuff them if you really want to.
 I also had some questions about where I got my jars from that I'm storing my dried herbs in! I got them from World Market and I absolutely LOVE them!! I bought two sets :) And they're super affordable! A pack of four for $3.99. They have shaker tops with two different size holes too. If you don't have a world market by you, you can order them on their website :) Highly recommended!! I love my little jars!!

I'm going to go ahead and link this post up to Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking post too!

10 comments:

DesLily said...

my son the tea maker! I was drinking Sage tea for a while but I found I tired of it easily. I am so happy you have become so domestic ..but then my son the farmer would be!!! :o) has my other son arrived yet?

Carl V. said...

Love the herb jars, very cool! I can practically smell that fresh rich smell from here.

Beth F said...

I love growing herbs. In my youth and when we had a sunnier yard, I had a huge herb garden with something like 60 varieties. These days I tend to grow just a handful.

Anyway, I need to buy some of those jars. I *love* them.

Thanks for posting about drying herbs -- I've done a ton of methods, but your way sounds the easiest.

christina said...

Thanks Chris! I'm totally running to World Market soon. Love that place.

Uniflame said...

I have fresh herbs on my balcony! Love it!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

This was a very informative post, I enjoyed reading it.

Becky said...

I've grown basil and thyme, but haven't wandered into any other herbs. This post really makes me want to get on it though! You're amazing Chris!

Linda said...

Wonderful! I wish I could grow herbs but I have no where to grow them now. Someday.

Carole said...

Great ingenuity.

Daphne said...

I love mint and lemon verbena together, and I just started some anise hyssop this year. I am having so much fun growing herbs, I need more! I need another raised bed just for herbs! I like making tea too. I just dry them on paper towels in the garage.