I started gardening to deal with my COVID anxiety. The first things I planted were herbs to brew 'tea' with- Lemon Balm, Bee Balm, Mint, Lemon Verbena, Echinacea and Stevia to name a few. As my garden flourished, so did my desire to brew. However, every cup I drank, the more disappointed I got. I was not getting my ratio of herbs to water to my liking. So I did what any person in this situation would do, I consulted my tea expert friend. Doesn't everyone have one? lol. Here is her advice:
"For a single use tea bag, use 0.75-1.5 grams per 8 oz water, (depending on surface area and wether it’s a root, leaf or flower)."
In other words, if you think you have enough herbs, add a little more. And to be frank, this really worked. I also found these other techniques to get the flavor I was looking for.
- Harvest herbs in the late morning- they are way more flavorful!!
- Experiment with brewing and steeping times. Longer steeping usually lead to stronger flavor, but some herbs can taste bitter if steeped too long.
- Flowers, roots and stem add their own distinct flavor
- Lightly rinse fresh herbs before using them in tea to be sure there are no insects, dirt or other contaminants on the plants that will taint the tea.
- Tear or crush herbs just before brewing to avoid wasting the essential oils and flavors that will escape as the foliage or other plant parts are bruised.
Have fun experimenting. Let me know what other techniques work for you!