My Afternoon Tea is Always exciting with Herbs I Grow Myself

mint tea

My Afternoon Tea is Always exciting with Herbs I Grow Myself.

hanging fresh herbs

Many years ago, I started experimenting with  a few homegrown herbs in my garden into the teapot. It started  with a sprig or two of mint or lemon basil, but over the years my tea herb obsession has expanded, and now I grow dozens of herb plants solely for their remarkable health properties. Sometimes I make a purely herbal hot tisane (a fancy French word for a beverage made from herbs instead of actual black tea leaves without caffeine). Sometimes I spruce up  my afternoon tea with lemongrass and tulsi or anise hyssop, lavender, and rose geranium. The flavors live in such harmony that no matter the recipe, I’ve never made an undrinkable tea. Incase your tea is bitter or unpalatable you just need to balance the flavor with a dash of honey or lemon.

Favorite Herbs for Tea

Anise Hyssop – Hints of licorice and root beer.

Lavender – English of French types have the finest flavors.

Lemongrass – The pale base of the blades packs the strongest flavor.

Lemon Balm – Bright lemon tang when fresh.

Lemon Basil – Citrus with the spiciness of basil. Doesn’t dry well.

Lemon Thyme – Surprisingly strong citrus notes with a spicy thyme taste.

Lemon Verbena – The most refined lemon flavor in the herb clan.

Mint – Many tasty types, including spearmint, peppermint, ‘Mojito,’ ‘Kentucky Colonel,’ and pineapple.

Pineapple Sage – A subtle pineapple scent in a tall salvia.

Scented Geranium – Fragrant rose hybrids are favorites.

Tulsi also known as holy basil. Revered in India as a medicinal and ceremonial plant.

Tender perennials such as lemongrass, lemon verbena, and scented geraniums will grow year-round in warm climates. Elsewhere, overwinter them indoors as houseplants or grow as one-season annuals. Do not fertilize  herbs because it can result in too much soft growth and a decrease of oils in the leaves which is where the flavor lies.

Growing Tips for Tea Herbs

Start annuals like lemon basil and tulsi from seeds or seedlings purchased from a garden center and provide lots of sun and water. Perennials such as thyme, pineapple sage, and anise hyssop will return each year in Zones where they are hardy if given sun and soil with good drainage. (Mint can be invasive, so position it carefully or grow it in a pot.)

You can dry herbs on drying racks or by hanging them in bundles such as the photo below. But I use an even simpler method: I lay the branches out in a single layer on dish towels covering a table for about a week. Once completely dry, hand-strip each variety’s leaves into a glass jar. Break up the stems, too, because they also hold flavor and scent. Stored in a dry, dark place, dried herbs can last for a year or more but be careful as they do lose flavor over time.

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  1. Pingback: Enjoy Beautiful Garden Herbs for Tea ~ Orbit World International ~

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