November 28, 2020

Do you want some tea? 20 herbs to make homemade infusions


When you discover that you can prepare the best tea or the best herbal infusion while you become independent from the grocery bags, you breathe with relief. Beyond the taste, there is another difference: spending about two euros on 20 tiny bags of a more or less decent brand (about 65 euros per kilo, and there are much more expensive); or get them almost free, and in huge quantities.

How long do I leave the tea bag in the water to get the perfect infusion?

How long do I leave the tea bag in the water to get the perfect infusion?

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In fact, most of the herbs we drink are amazingly easy to plant. in a pot on the terrace or on a sunny window in winter. Or you can collect them directly from the field. While others, we already have them at home.

Not all plants belong in a cup of tea. Most of the culinary herbs, such as parsley or oregano, they are not especially valuable as ingredients in an infusion. But others, like basil, are. The same is true for peppermint, spearmint, sage, and lemon balm, even rose petals (untreated).

Advice for finding your ideal mix? Be guided by your nose and your mouth: pinch a piece of one of the aromatic herbs (safe) and check that both its smell and its taste are pleasant to you. [Hace unas semanas te contamos cómo multiplicar tu planta de albahaca del súper, y hacer que te dure casi para siempre].

Four herbs for lemon-flavored infusions

Flavor citrus refreshes. A scent that you can find in many herbs grown in pots or collected directly from the field. Surely one of the easiest to obtain is the balm (Melissa officinalis), a perennial plant that grows in sunny spaces and multiplies itself each year through its own seeds; and whose leaves are very valuable in infusion.

The shrubby lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora), of which its leaves also take advantage, is somewhat more delicate, and prefers the protection of a sunny wall, as well as soils that drain well. Also the lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) grows well in a pot or in the kitchen in winter; as well as the very aromatic lemongrass (Pelargonium citronellum), a kind of geranium from which we can take advantage of its leaves for infusion; as well as enjoying its pretty pink flowers.

Three herbs for a mint tea

It is very hard to go wrong with mints. This genus is not only easy to find naturally during field trips (especially on wet edges), it is also very easy to grow in a pot. And the leaves of practically all its species are a winning ingredient for a tisane or to add to a green tea.

This genus includes such well-known plants as peppermint (Mentha piperita), the peppermint (Mentha spicata) or the call moroccan mint, a variety of the Mentha spicata, known as crispa Moroccan, and with a peculiar and intense sweet flavor.

How to prepare the best herbal infusion?

To multiply the flavor of the infusion, you must first crush or chop the herbs. A trick: place them on a kitchen paper and crush them with a mortar to release the flavors before adding them to the kettle. The rest is even simpler: just place the herbs in a kettle and cover them with boiling water. The general recipe says that you have to add a teaspoon of dried herbs for every half liter of water. Or three teaspoons, if you use them fresh. Even so, experiment and find the proportions that you like best.

To get started, let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes in infusion, so that the aromas and interesting molecules pass into the water; although with 15 minutes you usually get better results. Do not expect a drastic change: in neither case will you get a very intense color. To get it right, follow your tongue.

13 other herbs for infusions (and the parts you take advantage of)

This is the list of wild or pot-grown herbs suitable for home infusions completed by the British Herb Society:

  • Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis): leaf and flower
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis): flower
  • Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus): flower
  • Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia): leaf and flower
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): leaf and seed
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): leaf
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): leaf
  • Hop (Humulus officinalis): leaf and flower
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis): leaf and flower
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): flower
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis): leaf
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): leaf and flower
  • Wild rose (Rosa canina): flower

None of these herbs are picky, most of them are delighted to grow in a decent pot with just compost; since an excess of fertilizer will dilute its flavor. You can mix them with dried orange or lemon peels, in addition to with ginger, with cinnamon or with tea, black, green or white. Refreshing, simple and soothing. Herbal infusions are a pleasure; And what better way to treat yourself than to grow them or to collect them from the field for free.

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