Herbal teas, once a mainstay in the lives of our ancestors, are making a comeback. You can see their popularity every time you go into the grocery store. What used to be a few brands of tea has expanded into an entire aisle of black, green and herbal teas.
Why the increased interest? Aside from it being a delicious and refreshing drink that you can enjoy hot or cold, tea offers medicinal benefits that are becoming more accepted among mainstream consumers. Herbal blends can relieve the symptoms of insomnia (chamomile, basil, linden), inflammation (goldenrod, horsetail reed, fennel), colds and flu (mint, elderflower, yarrow). This is just a very small sampling of the conditions herbal teas can have an effect on.
Unfortunately, the tea you buy at the store is more packaging than herbs. By using your own herbs and making your own tea bags, you can enjoy your tea knowing you saved money and created a blend based on the specific needs of you and your family.
What Youâ€™ll Need:
- coffee filters
- string (optional)
- 1-by-2-inch paper, folded in half (optional)
Lay out your coffee filter and flatten out the creases as much as possible.
Put 2 teaspoons (more if you are using fresh instead of dried herbs) of your tea blend in the center of the filter. Divide in half, leaving a space in the middle of your two piles of tea.
Fold the right side of the filter to completely cover the tea. Note the fold lines in the step-by-step picture above. Youâ€™ll want to incorporate the right side of your filter into your next fold in order to keep the tea contained.
Fold the left side of the filter so that you have a rectangle.
Fold in half, bringing the bottom of the filter up to the top.
Using both layers, fold the top of the filter into a triangle, as if youâ€™re making a paper airplane. Take the triangle and fold horizontally, making the tea bag shape.
To seal the package and attach the string, lay the string on top and staple.
If you want a cute tab on your tea bag, fold your small piece of paper in half. Put the end of your string inside the tab and staple. There you have itâ€”an easy and inexpensive way to enjoy a delicious and healthy cup of tea. Spend an hour making enough teabags to get you through winter, or make them as needed. Extra tea bags can be stored in the freezer to maintain freshness.
Recipe: Cold and Flu Tea Blend
Wrap this tea blend into a supply of your homemade tea bags so you have them on hand in case the winter sniffles hit.
- 3 parts dried mint
- 1 part dried lemon balm
- 1 part dried basil
- zest of lemon, dried
Combine all ingredients. Store loose or make tea bags. Steep five to seven minutes in hot, not quite boiling, water. Sweeten with honey.