I love herbal tea.
I have an embarrassment of fresh herbs in my garden.
It is summertime.
Why have I been using dried up, store-bought tea bags year-round?
I think maybe I tried fresh herbs as tea a few times and it turned out sort of watery and bland and I crossed it off the list of things to do, or maybe I’m just remiss, but until this spring and summer, I’ve been missing out on a really good thing.
I have a particularly stellar cast of great “tea” herbs this year, so that may be one reason fresh tea has come into my life now. Here’s what I do every morning (and sometimes again in the afternoon).
Pick fresh herbs. In the pics I have my current favorites:
tulsi (aka sacred basil, amazingly rich, floral and caramel flavors and medicinally calming and wonderful)
lemon balm (fresh lemon fragrance and flavor, also calming and wonderful)
lemon verbena (intensely lemon and therefore wonderful)
lime basil (who knew basil tea would be so good? Not me, for shame)
I pick way more than I think I need, then stuff it into the teapot. I don’t chop them up or remove the leaves from the stems, just put them in like I pick them.
I think this is key to getting away from that watery tea I had in the past. Really cram it in.
One day maybe I’ll have an electric teakettle and will feel very European about it. For now it’s a pot on the stove. Seems to have the same effect on water as the teakettle.
I didn’t used to like yellow. I didn’t like yellow countertops in particular. They’ve grown on me and now I’m strangely attached to them.
Let it steep for at least 15 minutes to get the full flavor. I don’t remove the leaves, it just keeps getting better and better, unlike black tea which gets bitter. It’s good hot, cold, with or without cream or milk. I never sweeten mine, but a little honey wouldn’t be bad.
I’m drying some for the lean days of winter, but boy I will miss this after the frost. Another reason to love summer. That list keeps getting longer and longer.