Growing Herbs for Tea
by Cyndi Roberts
Do you love herb tea, but not the grocery store prices? Good news! Growing your own herbs is very easy and lots of fun!
Here are just a few of the herbs you might want to consider for a tea garden.
Chamomile: Remember the favorite tea of Peter Rabbit? Only the flowers of this fragrant herb are used when making tea. Chamomile tea can be enjoyed by itself or you might prefer adding mint or lemon verbena.
Lemon Balm: This herb is lemony with a touch of mint and makes a soothing cup of tea. It's easy to grow (almost too easy!) so remember to keep it clipped back.
Lemon Verbena: An excellent herb to grow in a sunny spot. It makes a delicious tea. You might try combining it with orange mint or spearmint.
Mints: There are many mints available. Generally, they are aromatic plants and they are aggressive. It may be a good idea to plant mint in a pot and then put the pot in the ground so it doesn't take over your herb garden. Spearmint, peppermint, orange mint all make wonderful teas, alone or along with chamomile or any of the lemon herbs.
Herb teas can be made with fresh or dried herbs and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
For one cup of hot tea, use one teaspoon of dry herbs or up to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs. Bruising the leaves of fresh herbs will help release the flavor. Pour boiling water over the herbs in a glass or china pot. Metal pots can sometimes leave a metallic taste. Let steep for 5 or so minutes. Strain and enjoy with a little honey to sweeten.
To make sun tea, simply fill a jar with water, throw in a handful of crushed fresh herbs, and set in the sun for 3 or 4 hours. Stir in a little honey to sweeten, pour over ice and enjoy.
Trying different combinations of herbs is fun. Remember that you can also add spices you have on hand, such as cinnamon, cloves, etc.
There are many benefits to growing and making your own herbal teas. Gardening itself is very relaxing and rewarding. With herbs from your garden, you can soothe away your troubles with a cup of chamomile tea or make yourself a refreshing cup of peppermint tea after a hard day at work.
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another," bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas.
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