Homemade tea blends can be either simple or more complex. It is such a versatile beverage, you can have it hot or cold, sweet or tart, strong or weak. There are so many different combinations which are why this herbal brew is so popular throughout the world. There are several reasons why, if you have not already, you may wish to switch to tea. This could be a simple enjoyment of the taste, or like me, you may want to cut down on coffee for your New Year's resolution. Tea is a great alternative to coffee for those of us looking to shed a few extra pounds or minimise our caffeine intake shortly. For the best homemade brews see below for our top picks!
There are many health benefits associated with ginger root. As we have found from many available nausea remedies it can help with travel sickness and digestive issues. Ginger is also a natural mild diuretic and promotes joint health. To make your ginger tea, which can be served either hot or cold, simply find a firm, smooth piece of ginger. Give it a good scrub to ensure it is clean before slicing thinly. You will need about one inch of ginger for a cup of tea. Pour boiling water over the slices and let it sit for around ten minutes before adding a green or black tea bag to the mix. For some sweetness, you can also add a desired amount of honey and it is ready to start sipping!
Homemade Herbal Tea Blend- Lemon Vanilla
For this delicious homemade tea blend, all you will need is 2 tablespoons of chopped lemongrass, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of chopped vanilla bean. The lemongrass can either be fresh or dried for this recipe. The solid ingredients, lemongrass, lemon zest and vanilla bean, can be placed inside a tea infuser or strainer and lemon juice can be poured directly into the boiling water. This is another recipe that allows for the mix to be served hot or cold, depending on the weather outside. It can make a nice warm brew in winter or a cool, refreshing beverage in summer!
Mint in the herb garden can often grow out of control, but when it does you can dry it and keep it in airtight jars to create mint tea of your own! Without fancy dehydrators or freezing, you can use this old fashioned drying method to get the most out of your unruly mint. First, wash your mint the night before. You can allow it to dry overnight so you do not start with wet herbs. Make sure your mint is picked in the morning before the sun has had a chance to drive the natural oils from the leave back into the ground. Pick the leaves from the bottom inch of the stem and discard them. You can now take a few bunches of mint and tie them together with a rubber band and hang them upside down. You will be able to tell when they are dried by taking a leaf and crumbling it between your fingers. This can take a few days to a week to fully dry. Once it is dried you can steep your mint leaves in your tea to give it a minty, herbal flavour.
Another plant that is rampant but also very useful in natural, homemade products is lavender. Using these fast-growing plants in tea is also not out of the question! Lavender has many amazing properties that we are well aware of. It can help to promote sleep and the fragrance has a soothing effect on you and your loved ones around the home. That is equally true when used in homemade tea recipes. You can use the drying instructions as per the mint tea example and steep your dried lavender in your black tea for a calming blend. Lavender in this dried form can be used for many different things, from potpourri to garnishes on your favourite dishes. Having a jar of dried lavender in the cupboard to use when needed is a great addition to any kitchen and can certainly make use of the flower when in bloom. Lavender is a very common plant so if you do not have any in your garden you should not have to venture far to find it!
Many different herbs can be used in homemade herbal tea blends and this can be down to individual taste and preference. You may wish to adopt a small garden devoted to various tea herbs. These can be dried out with a few different methods and each herb may require a different time frame to dry completely. You could also experiment with dehydrators if you have easy access to this piece of equipment. Other methods include the freezing of herbs to use in tea at a later date. You may wish to invest in some ice cube trays so that you can store them in individual serves rather than having to chip away at a huge frozen block every time you want a cup!
Herbal teas have been used for centuries, dating back to ancient Chinese medicine and there is a reason why it is so popular even in modern times. The antioxidants in tea make it an enriching beverage with many benefits for our health and well-being. It can contain caffeine without the additives of coffee, so it makes a very effective replacement if you are looking to cut down on the brews. It is also very versatile and can cater to almost any taste. If you are looking for new and intriguing recipes or are simply searching for the perfect cuppa the above herbal concoctions could be what you have been craving!