Saturday, August 13, 2011

Experimenting with homemade herbal tea

Back in May, I planted a little Tea Garden.

(Click here to read that post in Lady Farmers Garden.)

The garden is lush and full, ready for harvesting.

I am using my nifty clothes drying rack, made by Gentleman Farmer,
to dry the abundance of Pineapple Sage and Anise Hyssop.

Close up of Anise Hyssop flower.

I gathered some herbs, boiled a pot of water, and began sampling the various flavors of some of the herbs. I am trying them individually, first, to taste the distinct flavor of each.

Chocolate Mint

Yumm! This was my favorite!

Lemon Verbena is a very close second.

Lemon Balm was good, too, but I prefer the Lemon Verbena.

Both are a wee bit lemony but still different from each other.

Anise Hyssop was also nice, if you like a tiny bit of licorice flavor.

I did not particularly care for the Pineapple Sage. It did not have a Pineapple flavor ~ more earthy than the others.

Bee Balm.

My book Beautiful Easy Herbs says,

"During the period of the Boston Tea Party, American colonists enjoyed tea made from bee balm leaves as an alternative to black tea."
Glad I wasn't a colonist back then. I did not enjoy tea made from bee balm!

Neither did I enjoy this Chocolate Mint Scented Geranium tea.

It was neither chocolate or minty in flavor!

I did try combining the teas. I added one favorite to another, progressively. They were okay, but I did prefer the single flavors over all.

I have more than enough fresh and dried herbs to last me through the winter.

I will continue to combine flavors in hopes to come up with just the right one to be called

Cove Cottage Blend!

Do you have a favorite herbal tea?


Joining Amy for Preparedness Challenge #21



""He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth"

Psalm 104:14


Nadine said...

What fun!
I have been collecting and drying chamomile, spearmint, and peppermint for tea. I have some lemon verbena in a that I have read your great review of it, I think that I will go out there and collect some of it to dry too! :)


PS - I have some orange mint, I bet that would be good in tea too!

Annesphamily said...

You are such a busy lady! Our garden did not do well, we have one tomato plant. everything else whithered away in this horrid heat! My mom use to grow chammoille flowers and dry them and use them in tea. Loved it! Still do but I buy it from Celestial Seasonings! Have a great weekend! Hugs Anne

Cheryl said...

I have some apple mint growing. This will be my first attempt at herb tea.

Jennifer said...

Oh my, you are ambitious...busy! So impressive - and convicting:) Such a productive - and yummy! - way to spend a day! I do love tea but certainly have never done my own~

lori said...

Ah, a tea garden how lovely! I dried some plantain a few weeks ago, it grows great guns around here.

Linda said...

This was an interesting post. I'll have to try this too. I have some herbs, but they didn't do very well this year. Next year I will start over again with some new ones. Some of these have medicinal properties. Lemon balm is used for a lot of things. I made some blends a few years ago from a book I had on using tea for medicinal purposes. Linda

Maiden Princess said...

A tea garden, what a great idea! I'm growing some lemon balm in the garden this year and I'm thinking of steeping it with my iced tea and seeing what happens. I'm not much of a hot tea drinker but I love it cold. Mint tea is one of my favorites. I think I may have to experiement with a "tea garden" myself next year! ;) Thanks for the great idea! Here's to many enjoyable cups of tea...

In God's Grace,
Maiden Princess

Thistle Cove Farm said...

These look amazingly refreshing; I bet the lemon herbs would be a nice addition to lemonade as well.

Heather said...

Your blog is looking so cute Lady Farmer. Love your tea experiment!! My favorite tea is Roobios tea from Africa it is a red tea that tastes like a black tea but no caffeine. Often they pair it with vanilla or rose or lemon or blueberry. Maybe you could try adding dried blueberries or some dried orange zest or lemon zest that might add some nice flavors to a singular tea. Goodluck with your Tea I can't wait to see what will be the cottage cove tea ~Love Heather

Linda said...

Yes, I am Clarice's mom. I met you at her signing. Yes, this is really the second bad year for the garden. Last year it finally warmed up near the end of the season, so I guess there is some hope. Linda

Gina said...

Those teas look so tempting! I would love to plant a tea garden next year. :)


Shaye @ The Elliott Homestead said...

Oh yum - nothing is better than fresh herbal tea. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

My favorite has been the mint that I have been growing for over 4yrs, but Chamomile is a close second :)

I hope to plant lemon verbena next year, and I plan to try it also.

I truly like your site Lady Farmer,


Ivory Spring said...


It's wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words on my log cabin apple quilt.

Your tea post is most intriguing! :) I enjoyed it.

Camille said...

I've been out of the loop for sooo long Raeann! How fun that you are drying all those herbs and trying out your own it! I had no idea there was a chocolate mint herb....sounds wonderful! :) I just drank a cup of one of my favourites...licorice mint...yummy!! :)

Love to you!

Carol J. Alexander said...

How lovely! We love tea. Although I do not drink many herbals. But we do enjoy a lot of green, yerba mate, and rooibos.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, it looks like you had a fun time trying all those different teas! I have never had tea directly from the herb leaves themselves. I'm sure they probably taste better than the teas that you buy in the store.

I'm sure to return so I can find out what herbs you used for the Cove Cottage Blend! :)

~Madame Wildflower

Marqueta (Mar-keet-a) said...

Dear Lady Farmer,

MMMMM, lemon verbena! I think that's my favorite tea ever, too. :) I don't like bee balm as much in tea, as an oregano substitute for pasta, etc. The only mint I've ever tried that actually tastes different is lemon mint, which I'm growing this year, and really like. I guess I'm just a lemon lover!

I can't wait to see what you decide on your own mix!



Storybook Woods said...

I love that you are trying each herb and then combining. I love herb tea in the winter; it makes me think of summer. My fav. combo is in Wren ;-) xoxo Clarice