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Herb Tea Blends

I like to make my own herb tea blends, starting from discovering that I liked a blend of 1 bag of Celestial seasonings chamomile with 1 bag berry zinger.   Then I started reading the ingredients lists, and made a few trips to the co-op with a nice dried her section, and some ethnic markets, and started experimenting.  These are a couple of those that I have liked well enough to remember and write down here.


about 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers
about 1 teaspoon peppermint leaf

per 8 oz boiling water

Chamomile-Hibiscus Zinger

about 2 tablespoons chamomile flowers
1 dried hibiscus flower
1-3 pieces of dried orange peel
pinch of dried licorice root 

per 8 oz boiling water


about 2 teaspoon chamomile flowers
pinch of chipped cinnamon, or 1/4 inch of a cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried rose hips
2-4 threads of saffron (optional)
1-2 dried hydrangea leaves

per 8 oz boiling water


about 2 teaspoons chamomile
1-2 dried hibiscus flowers
pinch of lemon grass
1 tulsi tea bag (about 1 teaspoon of plain tulsi aka holy basil leaf)
2 hydrangea leaves

Ingredients glossary

Chamomile--my favorite grassy base for mixed teas, a teaspoon or two of the dried flowers per 8 ounces of water gives a nice cup

Hibiscus flower--adds a strong fruity tartness to the mix

Peppermint leaf--I prefer it to spearmint, but both are nice mints to perk up teas

Dried orange peel--adds fruity flavor without sweetness, and used in moderation, without bitterness

Licoric root--adds sweetness, and a very little goes a long way.  Caveat:  true licorice can raise your blood pressure, so avoid this if you're hypertensive.

Hydrangea leaf (H. serrata)--I discovered this in a korean tea shop:  it makes a stunningly sweet (and a little spicy) tea, a nice change from the licorice root as a sweetener.

Lemon grass--just a pinch of the dried chopped stem/leaf adds a subtle lemon note to your tisane; a big scoop gets ovewhelming quickly.

Tulsi (aka Holy Basil)--I was quite surprised by how well this basil holds up in the dried form, having been properly discouraged by the sadness of dried culinary basil, which is so flat and lifeless.  Tulsi retains a wonderful spicy pepperiness that is a delightful addition to tisanes.

I've picked up some other interesting things here and there but not yet really figured out how to use them:  linden leaf, raspberry leaf, chicory, and my next time at the right asian grocery I'm going to pick up a sack of toasted barley.

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