I have a new comfort drink and it’s a lot healthier than my go-to winter cocktail. It’s a homemade organic herbal tea, also known as a tisane. I grow herbs it in the summers, dry them in the fall, and enjoy a warm organic herbal tea all winter long. During these cold winter days between hockey and snowball fights a warm mug of herb tea is a wonderful way to warm up my hands before I have to tie yet another pair of skates. This article has helpful affiliate links on Amazon.
My family already grows such a big garden and love finding different ways of preserving it. Using our dried herbs from our tea garden is a great way to prolong this summer treat. We’ll show you how to make a wonderful tisane, but don’t just use these herbs for tea, they are great for everyday cooking, sauces, dips, and marinades too.
How To Make Herbal Tea
I’ve long wondered how to make your own herbal tea. It turns out it really isn’t that hard! We had several jars of dried herbs from our garden that were sitting on our counter and we started experimenting. Here’s what happened…
A simple tisane or herbal tea made from dried garden herbs.
5 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
Yields 1 cup
- Dried herbs (our demonstration was made with verbena, basil, and rosemary)
- Heat water to near boiling.
- Steep herbs in water for 5 minutes
- Mix in some honey if desired for sweetener
Fresh herbs or dried herbs are fine. We used a mix of rosemary, basil, and verbena that was dried from our own garden. Then, we used some of our own honey we harvested from our bee hives.
You will need some kind of fine mesh loose leaf tea strainer like this one: http://amzn.to/2Bcu1Dx
Heat water to a near boil.
While the water is heating, you can add your herb mixture to your tea strainer.
Stir and enjoy! Thats it! What a fun little recipe for a warm winter drink! I had a lot of questions about herbal tea and I went on below to talk about some of the common questions that people ask about this drink.
What is Herbal Tea? What is a Tisane?
Herbal teas are also called herb teas or tisanes. They are really the same thing. They aren’t a true tea in the sense that they don’t contain cured tea leaves from the tea plant like black tea, oolong, green tea, etc…. Rather, an herbal tea or tisane is a “tea” made by steeping flowers, roots, and leaves in hot water to bring out the flavor and some nutrients from some other plant that is not a tea plant. In our example today, we are using common garden herbs like basil, rosemary, and verbena mixed with some local honey.
Does Herbal Tea Have Caffeine?
One common question people have about tisane is whether or not it has caffeine. Caffeine is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in several plants like cocoa, tea, and coffee beans. Unless you are using these plants, your tea will not have caffeine. If you are using garden herbs like we are, your herbal tea or tisane will be caffeine free.
Decaffeinated tea is slightly different. Because tea that comes from the tea plant would have caffeine in it naturally, it would need to go through a process to remove that chemical from the plant. When a coffee or tea is labeled decaffeinated, that means it went through this process.
How to Make Loose Leaf Tea
First of all, what is loose leaf tea? Loose leaf tea refers to tea leaves that are whole in a package and have room to expand as they steep. There are many reasons why people prefer this method. It is usually a higher quality product that a tea from a standard tea bag would and offers better flavors and a well-rounded palate. When we dry own herbs, we leave the plant largely intact. If you look at the image above you can the large leaves in the jar. As we steep these leaves, they will gradually expand and rehydrate in the hot water release nutrients and flavor from the whole leaf, not just ground dust that is left over from processing dried leaves.
Growing a Tea Garden for Dried Herbs
This year, we dried several different herbs including rosemary, basil, parsley, and lemon balm. We ran out of time to do mint (or we just forgot!). So, unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to experiment with the dried mint tea but I’m sure it will work just as well!
It is very easy and rewarding to grow your own tea. We have a corner of our larger straw bale gardens we use for herbs and tea and we rob the fresh herbs for cooking all summer long. In the fall, we dry the herbs for storage. When growing herbs for tea, keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent than the fresh plant per volume. When substituting fresh and dried herbs, I generally recommend a 3 to 1 ratio of fresh to dried for most recipes, including tisane.
If you like the idea of drying your own herbs, make sure you visit the article we linked to above, otherwise, we have used these herbs on recipes like our Traeger 321 Ribs, Pork Ribs, Smoked Turkey, and our Cast Iron Chicken.
Herbs for Tea
Because you are growing and drying your own herbs, you can make your own custom blends. Try using your own herbs as a base and then purchasing additional dried herbs you can’t grow in your garden to make perfect custom herbal teas. The following list of herbs are easily grown in your tea garden.
- Lemon Verbena
- Lemon Balm
If you want to start from seed, consider buying an herb tea kit like this one from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zDMcFW
Other Posts About Fresh From the Garden Recipes
- Drying Herbs Fresh From The Garden
- Low Carb Lettuce Wrap
- Rhubarb Mojito
- Home Made Coleslaw
- Caprese Salad
- Preserved Roasted Tomatoes
- Salsa Recipe for Small Garden Batches