Living more intentionally often means being more aware about what we are consuming. Drinking tea is an amazing way to prevent illness and cure it. With that being said, not all teas are created equal. Have you ever wondered about the quality of the tea bags you buy in grocery stores? When I first started blending my own teas, I found that store bought teas in tea bags often contain lower quality tea leaves that have been finely cut into small pieces known as "fannings" or "dust". This "dust" can release more tannins, creating a stronger and more bitter tea. Even though we do want stronger and bitter teas sometimes (for digestion or to kill a virus, for example), there's also the fact that the tea bags often contain added ingredients like flavors or artificial coloring. Yuck.
Loose leaf teas are made from whole leaves, providing a higher quality taste and aromatic experience. When buying teas, make sure you are getting loose leaf teas, like these, or blend your own at home! Blending different herbs to create custom teas can be a great way to create a personalized and effective remedy for your health needs and those of your family.
Here are some basic steps for buying whole leaf teas or blending herbs for custom teas at home:
***The term "herb" can include a root, a seed, a flower, a leaf or a fruit.***
Research: Begin by researching the different herbs that you are interested in using. Look at their individual properties, benefits, and any potential contraindications to medications or side effects.
Determine your goal: Determine what you want to achieve with your custom tea blend. Are you looking to relieve stress, improve digestion, or boost your immune system? Once you know your goal, you can select herbs that will work together to achieve it.
Choose your herbs: Select the herbs that you would like to use in your blend. Make sure that you have a good balance of flavors, aromas and medicinal properties.
Experiment with proportions: Experiment with different proportions of herbs to find the right balance of flavors and effects. A general rule of thumb is to use 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs or 2-3 teaspoons of fresh herbs per cup of water.
Steep: Once you have your blend, steep it in hot water for the recommended time. Herbs will generally steep for 5-15 minutes, depending on the plant material. Make sure you research the herbs you are using for the proper way to heat them up. (see bottom of this page for examples)
Test and adjust: Taste your tea and adjust the proportions of herbs or steeping time as needed. You may also want to make notes of the proportions you used and the steeping time so that you can replicate it in the future.
Store: Once you find the blend you like, store it in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and make sure to use it within a year.
I personally like to drink my teas without any sweeteners however if you must, make sure you add the honey once the tea is luke warm. Heating Honey above its natural melting point can cause a chemical change in the honey, reducing its nutritional value ( natural enzymes, antioxidants etc).
Share this with a loved one and invite them over for a delicious cup of healing tea!