Herbal Tea Gardens
An herbal tea garden is a specialized herb garden that grows herbs for making tea. Having this kind of an herb garden is really wonderful as many of these herbs have soothing and sweet fragrances as an herb plant and as a tea. An herbal tea garden makes any kind of tea you fancy. You can make plain teas or teas that use just one herb, or you can experiment with blending herbs and creating different flavors for your enjoyment. When blending herbal tea, make sure to make one flavor dominant, and just have a hint of the other flavor. You don't want an overpowering tea, especially during your first few tries.
You can make tea from your herbal tea garden any time of the day or any time of the year. You can do this by using fresh leaves and flowers while the plant is alive and in bloom or drying some leaves and flowers and placing these in air tight containers or vacuum sealed packages and storing them for the winter or when your plant is not in season.
When using dried leaves and flowers, don't use too much as it can pack a strong punch once it's in hot water. Fresh leaves and flowers should be rinsed with cold water before steeping in the hot water. Remember to pick your fresh flowers and leaves before the sun gets too hot, but after you see that morning dew has disappeared. Between 7 to 9 in the morning is a good time to check, depending on which part of the world you find your garden in. This is the same when harvesting leaves and flowers for drying and storage.
If you're using fresh ingredients, rub the fresh leaves or flowers together or crumple them with your hand before putting them in hot water, this releases the flavor and fragrances you're looking for in an herbal tea. Experiment as to how much fresh or dry leaves makes a tea you're happy with.
Some popular herb flowers for an herbal tea garden are chamomile, jasmine, and lavender. You can crush three or four of these flowers in a tea cup and add the hot water directly to the cup. Good steeping time for any tea, whether steeped in a pot or cup, is about 7 minutes. You can add honey during or after steeping. It really depends on your taste.
For mint and peppermint, use the leaves, stems and flowers when making your tea. If you're using stems, you'll probably have to steep this tea in a pot, but break off a few short stems to use for when you stir the tea in your cup. It does not really add a lot of extra flavor, but it's pretty fun to do, and a unique idea for a more bohemian tea party.
If you have young children and they don't appreciate hot tea, or if it's a summer day, add some ice to your hot tea and turn it into a refreshing drink. It's definitely cheaper, and you won't have to worry about you or your children ingesting artificial sweeteners from ready to drink or powdered juices. Throw in some fresh edible flowers for a fun twist to this popular drink!