My morning routine kicks off with a steamy cup of herbal tea. Much of the healing and soothing benefits come from the practice of slowing down and intentionally preparing and sipping on a cup of tea.
People are often surprised to learn that making a cup of tea can be its own art form. Preparing the perfect cup of herbal tea doesn't take much practice, but it does ask that we check in with our intention for this cup of tea. What alchemy do we want to create when we soak these plants in water? What do we want this cup of tea to do for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing?
I'm always excited by how many questions people have about preparing tea during workshops or coaching sessions. Most of us grow up tossing a tea bag in hot water and calling it good. But when it comes to extracting the most medicine out of your tea what method is best? Here are three different ways for preparing a healing herbal tea.
Best for tea blends consisting of soft plant parts, such as flowers and leaves (i.e. chamomile & peppermint).
- Heat 1 cup of water to just before a boil.
- Pour hot water over 1 tbsp herb mixture and cover.
- Let steep for a minimum of ten minutes and up to one hour.
- Strain and enjoy.
Best for tough plant parts like roots, bark, berries, seeds and mushrooms (i.e. cinnamon & reishi). Since this method takes more time to prepare it's a good idea to make a few cups at a time.
- Add 4 tbsp of herb mixture and 4 cups of water to a pot.
- Slowly bring to water to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Let mixture gently simmer for thirty minutes minimum. Most decoctions can benefit from simmering for one or two hours.
- Strain and reserve liquid to enjoy.
- Extra tea can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Overnight Infusion Method
Best for leafy greens and flowers. Great when a strong medicinal tea is desired (i.e. nettle & raspberry).
- Add 4-6 tbsp. of herb mixture to a quart jar.
- Cover with boiling water.
- Cap and let sit out overnight.
- Strain the next morning.
- Store remaining tea in the fridge. Good for 3-4 days.
When in doubt, remember these three tips:
- Prepare your tea based on what types of plant parts your using. Softer plant parts will break down by steeping. Tougher plants parts need to be simmered to break down and release their medicine.
- Steep time is an important element for changing the taste, smell and medicinal strength of the tea. The longer it steeps the stronger the medicine.
- Steam is where much of the volatile oils and aromatic molecules (think scent) are released. Be sure to cover your tea while it steeps.
Looking for some tea inspiration or want to load up on your favorite therapeutic blends? Check out the potion shop and browse our organic small batch herbal tea blends. All teas include specific brewing instructions to make sure you get the most out of your blend.