One of my favorite things to do with the herbs I grow is to make tea—or more accurately, tisanes. Not only is the flavor more rich and vibrant than what comes in a store-bought herbal tea bag (because of the freshness, of course), but it also lets me control what I put in my blends, meaning I can create concoctions tailor-made for my family’s wellness goals. However, the one downside to a home brew over a tea bag is the convenience factor.
My go-to way of making a home-brewed tea is in a French press, where the loose-leaf herbs can freely mingle with the hot water before being pressed down and poured into my cup. This requires some time and intention—usually 10 to 20 minutes before the pour in order to combine my herbs and let them steep. If I want a quick fill of the travel mug before heading out the door about my days activities, I often skip the home brew and opt for a tea bag instead. Well, that’s a compromise I no longer have to make thanks to these DIY herbal tea drops.
Herbal tea drops are simply powdered herbs packed together with honey; the drops are dissolved in hot water before drinking. This means you can pop them straight into your mug when on the go, with the added bonus of no packaging, meaning they’re a sustainable option, as well. Making the tea drops is fairly simple, and with a little forethought, you can make a month’s supply or more to have at the ready in your pantry. (Insider tip: They make great gifts, too.)
- herb or herbal blend of choice
- spice grinder
- silicone candy mold (small enough for a one-cup serving of tea, about the size of a large grape)
Choose your herb or herb blend. It’s OK to go with a single herb if that’s your style, or you can choose a favorite herb blend. If you’re working with herbs from your garden instead of bulk herbs you’ve purchased, make sure they have been completely dried before starting. Fresh herbs will not work for this project, as they have the potential to spoil. In these pictures, I used bulk chaga mushrooms I purchased.
Grind your herb or herb blend and into a very fine powder using a spice grinder. Filter the ground herbs through a fine-mesh sieve, and reprocess any larger pieces. You’re aiming for the consistency of matcha powder—fine enough to dissolve into hot water. While you’ll probably still have some residue in your cup of tea, you don’t want to end up chewing your beverage.
Transfer the powdered herb into a bowl and add honey, a little at a time. You can mix with a spoon, but I find kneading it like dough to be more effective. You want to add just enough honey that the powdered herb sticks together but isn’t overly moist. The amount varies based on the herb you use and the humidity of your location, so start with a little honey and add to the mixture until you reach the desired consistency.
Tightly pack the herb/honey mixture into a silicone candy mold. Really press it into the mold, as a tighter pack is more likely to stay together in storage.
Refrigerate the molds overnight or freeze for a couple of hours. This helps the honey crystalize so your final product won’t be super sticky.
Remove the herbal tea drops from the candy molds. Drop one into a cup of hot water, and store the rest in an airtight container in your pantry.