by Alecia Rolling
While living in Germany, I was exposed to high-quality teas that could be bought in bulk. After returning to the U.S., I yearned for those same teas. I have now been making my own herbal and fruit teas for several years, and my dear friend requested that I write blog posts explaining how it’s done.
Step 1 originally posted at www.therollingacresfarm.com: The more and more I have looked at the ingredients in herbal teas, the more often I have had the thought: “Hmmm, that is growing in my yard…” Finally, I had the thought: “Why don’t I just dry those herbs and make my own tea?” This is exactly what we are doing now! #1, who is becoming quite the herbalist, was sent out to collect red clover flowers to dry. We have lemon balm and mint drying as we speak, and there is calendula and Echinacea still to be harvested. I am a fan of fruit teas, so we will dehydrate blueberries and apples to add in as we desire. How do you dry herbs for tea? We simply hang dry them like culinary herbs. Once they are completely dry, we separate the leaves from the stalks and crush the leaves slightly. The tea leaves are stored in an air-tight container (zip-lock bag or glass jar). When it is tea time (every day at 3:00!), I take the leaves from the jars and add them to the tea pot. Pour boiling water over the leaves and let steep like any other tea from a box. You might like to invest in a tea strainer, however, so you do not have leaves in your tea.