By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
I’ve been thinking about Christmas since March, brainstorming what I’m going to make for family and friends. Last year I gifted baskets of homemade jams and chutneys. A handful of folks received mint syrup for their ice cream and drinks …the result of a failed mint jelly attempt.
Among other things, this year’s package may be beverage themed. It will probably include herbal cordials. And, now I’m thinking mint tea blends. For those blends, I’ve been cutting mint every few days as it’s so prolific in its sunny corner by the barn. If only the catnip and lemon balm would catch up. I haven’t yet identified my blends, but I’m collecting other herb materials like fragrant rose petals, pineapple sage, lemon verbena and more.
Chamomile maybe be prolific and boast sleepy-time properties, but I avoid it because it gives me hay fever. Then, my sleep is inspired by the Benadryl that I take to counteract it.
While loose tea is lovely in a metal tin, I’ll source paper tea bags to make brewing easier for my friends. I know they’re more likely to use bags. And, that gives a new presentation opportunity.
I will design tags for the string end, something happy and fun. After all, packaging is a key part of experience. And, I’m watching garage sales and thrift stores for tins and canisters to hold those tea bags. (I may use half-pint canning jars or whatever I find in the dollar section at Target.)
As for blends, it’s hard for me to follow recipes. Those are mere guidelines for mortals. LOL. I have to tweak things my way. And, tea blends depend on the resources. If I have more mint, I use more mint. More lemon herbs, I spike my teas with them.
I insist that my teas must be homegrown and organic. The rest will be spontaneous magic.
What do you mix to make herbal tea?