Making your own Herbal Tea / Infusion

A question we get asked a lot is how to make your own herbal tea?

What is Tea?

Although tea as we know it is a product exclusively from the Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis) which is a small tree like shrub grown in tropical climates. The definition of Tea is a beverage of tea leaves infused in boiling water. So when we refer to herbal teas, it can contain real tea leaves for taste but mostly we refer to infusing boiling water with the herb in question and actually we should be referring to an herbal infusion.

So that’s easy enough, but should you drink it the same way as you would a normal cup of tea? This will depend on personal taste. However, a lot of herbs does not combine well with milk and therefore we never drink any milk with our herbal teas.

To make the infusion or “tea”:

Use ¼ cups of herbs (ideally finely chopped) and infuse this in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.  Strain and there you go.

You can flavor your tea by adding some honey and/or lemon juice as well as using some cordial . We frequently add other herbs to the tea like lemon grass or mint to mask some of the less tasty herbs.

You can also place this infusion in the fridge and enjoy as an “Ice Tea” (do not store longer than 3 days) and we regularly make a divine Ice Tea for those hot summer days.

Here is our recipe:

You will need:

  • 2 Liters of boiling water
  • 4x Rooibos Tea Bags
  • 2x Cups chopped Lemon Grass leaves
  • 1x Cup Black Peppermint Leaves (Chopped)
  • 2x Borage leaves (optional for some added electrolytes)

Tear open the Roooibos tea bags and add the leaves along with the lemon grass and peppermint and add it to the boiling water. Let it stand about 20 minutes and strain.

Add fruit juice, cordial or honey to taste and serve chilled.  Garnish with a mint leaf.

Making a tea or infusion from harder parts of a plant like bark or roots requires a different approach called a decoction and we will cover that in a later article.