Tea is one of the most simple and beautiful ways to introduce herbs into your daily routine. Both the brewing and the sipping of tea can be kinds of ritual, offering an opportunity to pause and care for yourself. A lot of folks are familiar with using herbal tea bags, but aren’t totally sure what to do with loose-leaf teas like ours- it’s something we get questions about a lot. Making your own tea does require a few extra steps, but it’s worth it. It's those extra steps that help you slow down and turn the experience into a self-care practice. Plus, not only is loose-leaf tea beautiful, it's often more fresh and potent.
The most common ways of making tea from loose-leaf herbs are a hot infusion, cold infusion, and/or a decoction. You can also make a solar infusion, or even a lunar one. You can play around with the ratio of herb to water, but we recommend 1-3 tsp dried herb per cup of water for a pleasure tea, and 1-2 tbsp per cup for a medicinal-strength tea.
Hot infusion- this is the best way to make a tea out of leaves and flowers, and probably the way most people know how to brew loose-leaf tea. If you have a teapot with a strainer basket in it, that’s great; a french press set aside solely for tea is also very nice. But you don’t need them. As long as you have some kind of tea strainer, you can use any ol’ teapot or jar.
- Boil water.
- Place herbs in pot or jar.
- Pour the desired amount of freshly boiled water onto the herbs.
- Cover. This part is important- otherwise the volatile oils can evaporate, which in plain terms means you might lose a lot of scent and flavor.
- Steep. The steep time can vary. Simply steeping for 10 or 15 minutes gives you a lovely tea; however, if you are shooting for medicinal-stength, let the tea sit for a least 1-2 hours.
- Strain and enjoy.
Cold infusion- if you have the time, a cold infusion is the easiest way to make tea with leaves and flowers, and because heat is never used, all the most delicate constituents of the herbs are preserved. This is also a great way to make a really strong tea. Try doing an overnight cold infusion with dried nettle leaf- in the morning, you’ll find a dark green brew that feels incredibly nourishing to sip.
- Place herbs in a jar
- Pour cold water over the herbs.
- Cover and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
- In the morning, strain and enjoy.
Decoction- the best way to make tea out of roots, bark and seeds. Think ginger, dandelion, or cardamom. These herbs are hardier and need more heat to release their flavors and constituents. For example, we recommend folks decoct our Chai.
- Place herbs in a pot or pan on the stove.
- Pour desired amount of cold water over the herbs.
- Slowly bring to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Strain and enjoy.
Solar Infusion- generally called a 'sun tea,' this is a wonderfully easy way to make tea on hot summer days. You might want to try using fresh herbs from your garden, if you have any- lemon balm and mint are especially nice. We also love using our soothing Blossom blend.
- Place herbs in a glass jar. Start as early in the day as you can.
- Cover with water. Put lid on jar.
- Put jar in direct sunlight.
- Allow tea to infuse for all day before straining.