Us Brits, and to be honest most of the world, do love a good cuppa. There is something soothing about a nice warm cup of tea.
Stressed? Have a cup of tea.
Upset? have a cup of tea.
In Pain? Have a cup of tea?
Get the gist – no matter what the situation, tea is always relevant. I used to wonder why tea was always suggested in every possible scenario. It has only been over the last few years that I became to understand. All different teas have a whole number of healing/calming properties and so I have discovered that there really is a tea for every type of situation.
Being a hippy I just love nature and love the fact that things that we can grow our selves or find in the wild can have medicinal properties and have a huge benefit to our lives and so that’s why, this hippy is going to tell you how to make your very own hippy tea. There is nothing more satisfying that drinking a nice brew that you have made yourself and perhaps grown in your own garden. I will tell you how to do it and then you can experiment with flavours and blends etc.
You can use pretty much any edible flower or herb that you can find for your own teas but I hope you read that carefully, the key word is edible. You must not use anything that you cannot eat!
Making your own tea infusions can be such great fun. Homemade tea blends are easy to make and can make such fantastic gifts for friends and family.
So, what do you need to do to make tea? Let’s start with any equipment that you may need; To be honest you don’t need much and apart from the herbs you will no doubt have it all at home.
- Kitchen Roll
- Pestle & Mortar
- Jars to store your dried and fresh herbs etc
- Unbleached natural tea bags (empty) or, a tea ball
- Kettle or saucepan for heating water
- Tea Pot (depending on how many cups you wish to make)
- A nice mug to drink your tea from
- Herb/Flower/Seed Collection, Drying & Storage
So, obviously you are also going to need the ingredients to make your tea. There are several ways in which you can get what you need.
1) You can grown the herbs, flowers and fruits yourself
2) You can buy the necessary from the shops or,
3) You can forage and pick them from the wild
I urge you, if you are going to pick them yourself, unless you know what each and every plant is, please take someone with you who does know so that you do not pick the wrong thing and make yourself very sick.
If you are anything like me, you will probably want to grown your own or pick them. Either way, I like to harvest, where I can, large quantities of leaves, berries, roots, seeds and blossoms all at once and then dry the lot for future use. After a picking I do keep some fresh ones to the side so that I can make a few fresh herb teas. Once you have your goodies picked, here’s what you need to do;
1) If there is any dust or any debris on what you have picked then I would suggest washing them in cold water and then shake off and towel blot any excess moisture.
2) Put your pickings in a dry, warm place, away from direct sunlight. If you are not sure where to store them, try the loft or perhaps a drying box on a windowsill. Now, when you are preparing the herbs etc for drying you will need to lay them out one plant deep on a paper towel and then to protect them further, lay another paper towel on top.. It is important that you only layer them one deep so that they do not mould
3) Leave the plants to dry for at least 10 days. They will need longer if they still feel moist. Once they are fully dry, you can crumble them using either your hands or a pestle & mortar and store them in airtight jars. Don’t forget to label your jars..
Now you have your herbs, what do you do with them? You make yummy tea of course.
When it comes to making your teas, as a general rule, for each cup of tea, I would suggest using roughly 1tsp of dried herbs – amended to your tastes of course. If you are using fresh herbs I would double your ingredients. A little tip for you, to get more flavour, don’t forget to crush your leaves, blossoms and berries.
If you are going to make tea gifts for friends and family I would buy some unbleached teabags and use them as it looks lovely.
When it comes to mixing flavours, you can of course do it as and when you are making the tea however, to ensure that you get the best blend, I would recommend placing the ingredients together in a jar and leaving it for 8-10 days. In leaving them in a jar it allows the proper mixing of the bouquets and flavours.
Having lots of separately dried ingredients will allow you lots of experimentation so that you can tailor the flavours to you and your tastes. Dried fruit such as oranges and apples can add a nice twist to your teas. We have written another article detailing the health benefits of teas and herbals teas so please click here to take a look.
Well there you have it – all you need to know to be able to make your own teas. You will be sitting and relaxing with your own home made and home brewed hippy tea in no time. Enjoy!