A guide to choosing and preparing loose-leaf herbal tea

Herbal Tea
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Sometime during high school, my sister gifted me a loose-leaf tea set with a sloth-shaped strainer. I had never experienced preparing tea at home that wasn’t individually wrapped and from out of a box. The gift I received was to be a new phase in my tea-drinking journey. Memories from that year are filled with tea blend flavors such as cherry marzipan and vanilla pear.  It was at that point in my life that I discovered the freedom and excitement of making loose-leaf tea!

However you brew them, loose-leaf herbal teas are delicious drinks that can benefit your physical and mental well-being. Many herbs brewed in warm water (aka tea) have been used to treat and prevent illness for a long time and may be just what you need to feel good. In addition to a preparation method, this guide includes a list of herbal teas that you can brew at home if you have the means to do so!

Preparation

Go bagless with the straining or the double boil method. A strainer is super easy to use for infusion. If you’re using a powder-based tea, consider pouring the tea directly into a mason jar of water or milk and placing it in a large pot of water to boil. For each cup of liquid, add 1-2 teaspoons of the herb or tea blend you are using.

Choose based on how you want to feel

Herbal teas are great for adjusting your mood and energy levels. If you typically turn to coffee or other caffeinated beverages, consider turning to herbal teas to wind down or even to replace energy drinks from time to time.  Find the rest of this piece as a guide to herbal teas. 

Calm down and de-stress with 

Lavender and rose hips. These are great herbs to blend for stress relief. Prepare your tea with water and strain the herbs before you drink. If you like it sweet, add a teaspoon of honey or turbinado sugar.

Fall asleep with 

Chamomile and peppermint, as they are bedtime teas that can help you to be calm and relax. They’re a good pair, but you can drink either one plain or with another herb of your choice. Try to avoid any stimulating herbs such as ginseng.

Wake up and get started with

Rose and cardamom. These black breakfast teas are delicious and uplifting. Have it instead of your coffee and add some milk and sugar to them if you’d like! A couple of cups of this tea will keep you awake and energized. 

Increase immunity with 

Add-on ingredients such as fresh ginger, echinacea, ginseng or turmeric to the herbal teas you are brewing. Each of these has its own uses and benefits, so be sure to make sure it fits with what mood you are aiming for before you mix them into the herbal tea blend of your choice.

And there you have it, a guide to herbal teas and loose-leaf tea preparation!

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].