I do like a nice cup of tea… and then another. Drinking a lot of tea seems to run in my family but I am not sure if any of them have ever made their own.
I think making my own tea blends from ingredients found in my garden we be fun and rewarding and another great way to enjoy my gardens bounty. You do not need a large area to grow plants to make tea as even a small window box on a patio or balcony will work.
In our garden there are already a lot of herbs planted in our garden, many planted by the previous owners, that can be used. I will be buying some new plants for some more variety as I will be doing a lot of experimenting with my tea making. Thanks to our mild climate (zone 7-8) most the perennials will re-seed themselves or grow again in the spring from the previous years roots.
I am not really a herbal or green tea fan, as they are just too weak or too fruity for me, so I will be adding these herbs to loose black tea. If I enjoyed herbal tea more I would not add black tea and just use the fresh herbs.
For a basic herbal tea add 2-3 tsp of fresh or 1 tsp of dried herbs to one cup of hot water and steep for 5-8 minutes. I add the same amount to 1-2 tsp of black tea and steep around the same time.
Teas that I can make right now with ingredients currently in our garden are raspberry leaf, mint, thyme, violet, pansy, rosemary, and even dandelion (but I’m not sure if I want to try it yet)
Later in the spring, and into the summer, I will use raspberries, rose petals, rose hips, jasmine flowers, lavender buds, and cilantro.
The four fruit bearing trees found in our yard are apple, cherry, peach, and plum and I figure I can dehydrate and make teas out of all four of these fruits. I will have to be patient until the summer when these trees begin to bear fruit so for now I will make do with herbs. One of my favourite teas is a peach flavoured black tea and I can’t wait to try homemade.
I have found many herbs online that can be made into tea including Lemon Verbena, Bergamot(Bee Balm), Lemon Balm, and Chamomile which I will be looking for the next time I’m at the gardening store.
Some combination to try are:
- elder flowers, rose petals and mint
- lavender buds and chamomile – for relaxation
- spearmint – energizing
- black tea and rose petals
- spearmint leaves, lavender blossoms, rose petals, elder flowers, and red clover
- lemongrass, citrus peel, rosehips, and lavender blossoms
- lemongrass, peppermint leaves, and seaweed
Some of these ingredients may be hard to grow in your area and hard to find although many are found in health food stores.
With all the chaos that goes on in our house it will be nice to find a quiet place to sit in solitude and drink a homemade cup of tea. Cheers.