Herb Teas

There can be a bit of confusion about herb teas. Basically, they are like any other tea, only made with a herb of your choice. Sometimes they are known as Tisanes. They are also referred to as infusions. The latter more often implies that the tea is being regarded not just as a refreshing drink but is used for medicinal purposes or as an aid to beauty .

Drink herb tea as you would Indian or China tea, with or without milk, with or without lemon, with or without sweetening. Starting the day with herb tea or having one as a relaxing night-cap can be very soothing.

Always use a china or glass container when making a herb tea. Keep it covered while the tea is ‘brewing’. Trial and error will show which herbs you prefer and how much herb in the pot suits your taste. To begin with use three teasp freshly-chopped (or 1 teasp dried herb) for each pt of boiling water. Infuse 5—10 min. Or 1 level tablesp seeds, crushed or pounded, for each pt boiling water.

These recipes are for some of the best known teas, with suggested quantities to adapt to your taste.

CHAMOMILE TEA

10—12 chamomile flowers, less if dried

1 pt boiling water

Demerara sugar to taste

Cover flowers with boiling water, infuse 5 min, sweeten. Strain.

1—2 helpings

MINT TEA

(Suitable for common or pineapple mint)

3 teasp freshly-chopped mint, or 1 teasp dried mint

54 pt boiling water

Sugar to taste

Pour boiling water over the chopped mint, leave to infuse for 3—5 min. Strain and sweeten.

1 helping

SAGE TEA

Make as mint tea.

EAU-DE-COLOGNE TEA

2 teasp freshly-chopped eau-de-cologne mint

1 teasp freshly-chopped lemon verbena, quarter quantities if

dried ½ pt boiling water Sugar to sweeten

Pour boiling water over the mixed chopped herbs. Infuse 4—5 min, strain, sweeten.

ICED MINT TEA Tea — China tea best Crushed mint leaves Ice cubes Thinly-cut lemon slices

Make tea in your usual way, sweeten to taste, leave to get cold. Put 3 or 4 crushed mint leaves in the bottom of a glass, top with ice cubes, strain tea over, garnish with lemon slices.

BERGAMOT TEA

3 teasp China or Indian tea

3 leaves bergamot, slightly crushed

1 ½ pt boiling water

Make tea in the usual way, adding bergamot leaves, infuse 5—10 min.

OSWEGO TEA

4 teasp freshly-chopped bergamot

1 pt boiling water

Sugar or honey to taste

Pour water over chopped leaves, infuse for 5—10 min, strain, sweeten and serve.

NETTLE TEA

4 teasp freshly-chopped young nettle leaves 1 teacup boiling water Sugar to sweeten

Pour boiling water over the nettles, infuse 5 min, strain, sweeten.

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