Monday, May 8, 2017

TEA FROM YOUR OWN GARDEN? YES, PLEASE!

By Mary Kennedy                              
                                                             
 
When a good friend moved, she gave me a wonderful assortment of herb teas and "gourmet" teas. I was familiar with many of them (chamomile, lemongrass, ginger, rosehip, jasmine and mint.) but I found some new favorites!                     
                                                        
 
Since lavender, chamomile and mint are probably the most popular tea herbs, let's take a look at all three.
 
 Lavender is a lovely plant and you can even grow the plant in a pot.
                                                       
 
Although if you have the room (and sunlight), this hardy English lavender makes a lovely border.  
                                                       
 
Chamomile grows very well outdoors and will be an attractive addition to your garden.
                                                             
 
Mint (as you probably know) is a very aggressive plant. Plant a little and you get a lot. Way more than you need and it comes back year after year.
 
 
Mint is delicious in iced tea...
                                                       
 
or in a mint julep...
                                                           
 
Or you can brew your own mint tea.
Here are a few tips on brewing tea grown from garden herbs.
 
 *Use three times as much fresh herbs as dry.
* Most herbal teas require boiling water, or just below the boiling point, for the best flavor.
* Don't be afraid to experiment, combining various. Lemon verbena and mint makes a great tea
* Don't go too far afield from the common herbs, because some herbs can affect medications. Always ask your doctor or nutritionist for advice.
*You can make tea from fresh-cut herbs or air dried herbs.
*Parsley makes a tasty tea and is best used fresh.
                                                   
          Hope this gives you a good starting point brewing tea from your garden. Bon appetit and let me know how you do!
 
Mary Kennedy