Each time I begin heating the water for a cup of tea, a dialog starts in my head of what exactly do I want to make. Am I in the mood for an Earl Grey (meaning is it wet and rainy out)? Is there a nice fruity blend calling my name (apricot or blueberry, maybe)? Or do I need something more for my day? Feeling down, stressed, sick, or lacking all motivation? There is almost always something in the cabinet for just that!
Honestly, though, some days I’ll just make my favorite black tea (British blend Tetley tea) just to avoid having to make a choice. Or I’ll pull out my current go to black or green tea blend, like the Harney and Sons tea apricot blend I found that really is quite good. There is nothing that says you always have to make your own tea blend to enjoy a cuppa.
Yet I have found more satisfaction when I make or amend my own blends. I posted earlier on the Feverfew, Mugwort, & Yarrow blend that I’ll brew up if I need it. Adding herbs to my cup of green or chamomile tea can make all the difference in the taste and how it affects my day. Lavender has been the most difficult herb to add for me. I tend to overdo it and the tea comes out almost soapy tasting, so I have been avoiding that particular flower. Instead I’ll add hyssop or elderberries if I’m feeling a little under the weather, or peppermint if I feel a little nauseous or have a stuffy nose. Peppermint tea always brings up my mood and during Yule I always sweeten my tea with candy canes while I can get them.
Fresh ginger can also be a tough herb to add to a tea, and I do so sparingly so as to not overpower the other tea flavors. I don’t mind the heat of fresh ginger but not so much in my tea. Adding dried blueberries and lemon balm when you have them on hand makes for a delicious blend, and lemon balm can be a great sleep aid. Cinnamon and orange peel with a clove is definitely a favorite of mine. I never tire of cinnamon, and usually sprinkle it in my coffee each morning. Each of these herbs are helpful in one way or another, yet they also simply make your herbal tea taste divine. Cinnamon can aid with blood sugar levels, cloves are anti-inflammatory and can aid in improving liver function, and both are ingredients in delicious chai teas. Add in some ginger, cardamom, and black peppercorns, and you’re well on your way to a spicy tea heaven.
What are your favorite herbs to add to your regular tea blends? What herbs are the worst in your opinion? Let’s have some fun exploring new blends!