Lately I've been making my own Tea Blends. One of my favorites I came up with one morning was a happy accident. My plan was to try out a cup of Lavender Tea with honey. I've never had it before but told how wonderful it was by one of my D&A Counseling instructors several years back. It sounded -oh so- exotic and enchanting, I had to try it. Only, I didn't know where to get it. Then I thought: 'Amazon.com' Of Course! Amazon.com is the portal from which all good thing come through so I ordered a pound bag of 'Organic Culinary Lavender' (you won't believe how many little lavender buds there are in a pound). Anyway..... I made a cup and I HATED IT!!! It was strong in flavor and bitter. I'm sure I must have done something wrong. So in my I decided on my usual Green Tea instead. Pulled out my three cup French Press (a GoodWill Shop find), dumped in 3 teaspoons of Gun Powder Green Tea, then I thought: 'Why not make it Vanilla Green Tea' so sliced (I used scissors )very thin 1/4 Vanilla Bean...then I noticed a few Lavender buds had fallen and scattered across the countertop... and I though: 'Oh hell, why not'? so I scooped them up and dropped them into the French Press with the sliced vanilla bean & green tea, poured in the boiling water, let it steep for about 5 minuts. Poured a cup, sweetened with honey -and- it was DELICIOUS! A perfect blend. Other blends I've tried are Earl Grey & Lavender -and- Chamomile with Lavender.
I haven't tried the recipes below yet but am looking forward to doing so. Soon I will be filling pint Mason Jars with different Loose Tea Blends, labeling and decorating..... Guess what the people in my family are going to be getting for Christmas?
- Buy your favorite herbs (mint, chamomile, ginger, etc.) and teas (black, green, white, oolong, mate’) in bulk from a natural food store or online suppliers.
- Pair good flavors together and mix them up in small batches. See Recipes. Store your blends in airtight containers. (Small glass mason jars work best.)
- To drink, put loose tea (about 2 tsp. per cup of boiling water) in a tea ball, tea strainer/infuser, muslin bag, tea bag, coffee filter, or tea pot with infuser and cover with boiling water. Let steep, covered anywhere from 1-10 minutes (depending on the tea). See Tips for how to prepare different teas.
What should I use to make great tasting tea?Best Fresh Herbs:
Basil, Elder Flower, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Sage, Stevia (to sweeten)
Best Dry Herbs:
Chamomile, Elder Flower, Hibiscus, Honeybush, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemon Grass, Oatstraw, Orange Peel, Peppermint, Rooibos, Rose Buds, Rose Hips, Raspberry Leaf, Spearmint, Stevia (to sweeten)
Best Roots, Seeds, and Barks:
Allspice, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dandelion, Fennel, Ginger, Licorice, Marshmallow, Sarsaparilla, Star Anise
Best Caffeinated Teas:
Green (Jasmine, Gunpowder, Pearls, Twig, etc.), Black (Ceylon, Darjeeling, Orange Pekoe, Oolong, etc.), White, Yerba Mate’
RecipesSweet Mint Tea
Makes: about 1 C. dry and 18 servings
¾ C. peppermint leaf
3 T. licorice root ( known to raise Blood Pressure) I would try substituting with crushed Anis Seed
Makes: about 1 C. dry and 25 servings
6 T. cinnamon chips
4 T. dry ginger root
2 T. whole allspice, lightly crushed
2 T. cardamom, decorticated (or whole pods, crushed)
1 T. fennel seeds
1 T. whole clove, lightly crushed
1 T. black pepper corns
Directions: combine 1 tsp. of chai mix per cup of water in a small pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let it steep in the pot with the lid on for 5 minutes. Strain into a mug. Use more chai mix and/or less water to make a stronger chai if you are going to add milk.
Follow the above directions for herbal chai. After boiling the herbs for 1 minute, add 1 tsp. of loose black tea per cup of water and then steep for 5 minutes off the heat. Strain into a mug.
Makes: about 1 C. dry and 20 servings
¼ C. lemon balm
¼ C. chamomile flowers
¼ C. rose petals
¼ C. calendula petals
1 tsp. lavender flower
1 tsp. stevia leaf
Makes: almost 1 C. and 16 servings
½ C. orange peel
¼ C. ginger root
2 T. fennel seeds
Holiday Hibiscus Tea
Makes: 1 C. plus 2 T. and 22 serving
¼ C. cinnamon chips
¼ C. orange peel
¼ C. red rose petals
2 T. whole cloves, lightly crushed
2 T. whole allspice, lightly crushed
1-2 T. hibiscus flowers (petals)
Chamomile – Mint
Makes: 1 C. plus 2 T. and 22 servings
½ C. mint
½ C. chamomile
2 T. licorice root
Dandelion Root “Coffee”
Makes: 1/2 C. and 12 servings
1/2 C.raw dandelion root pieces
Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Place 1/2 C.raw dandelion root pieces in a glass pie plate or small baking tray so that it makes an even layer. Bake for about 10 minutes depending on the cut of dandelion root. Shake the pan to stir and check for doneness every 2-3 minutes. You want a deep brown, but not burnt. Let it cool completely. Grind in a small coffee or spice grinder until powdery. Place 2 tsp. of the ground dandelion in the bottom of a mug or in a tea strainer, pour boiling water over, and let steep for 5 minutes. The bigger root pieces will stay at the bottom, so don’t drink you last sip unless you want to eat dandelion too! Store the remaining powder in a jar in you tea cabinet.