Brewing herbal tea is more than just about achieving a great taste tasting cup. It is also about maximising the therapeutic benefits of the plants and not harming our own health or the health of the planet in the process. This means choosing organic loose leaf tea and ditching tea bags.
Opting to drink organic loose leaf tea instead of using tea bags allows more flavour and better quality ingredients. It also means less plastics interfering with our hormones and less plastics contributing into landfill.
Herbal teas can be infusions that are made pure or blended with herbs, spices, flowers and fruits. They contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, flavors, and aromas from the leaves. So for us, it makes sense to know how to brew the perfect cup of tea for maximum health benefits and flavour.
At Northcote Natural Therapies we stock One Leaf at Time organic tea, created by Naturopath Candace Borg. One Leaf at a Time blend in small batches to ensure maximum freshness. They focus heavily on the quality of ingredients by assessing how a herb is grown, harvested and dried as well considering the travel miles of each ingredient.
Glass? Why glass?
When we brew our tea in store for customers, we always do so in a glass pot. We do this as glass has a much smoother finish and can preserve the delicate nature of the tea. When tea is poured into a ceramic mug or pot, the molecules are susceptible to being agitated and can disrupt the wonderful flavours in the tea. The tannins in the tea can also lodge themselves into the surface of ceramic, hello stains! For this reason we also like to drink ours from a glass.
If you are brewing just a single cup, we recommend using a stainless steel ball or cup strainer or you could also use reusable tea bags or make pouches yourself with organic cotton.
Not all tea is treated the same….
Most herbal teas can be brewed with boiling water or nearly boiling water, (much like most black teas) which makes brewing very easy. Green and black teas require less time as the tannins in the tea can become bitter if steeped for to long. It is best to keep the brewing times for these at around 2-3 minutes. Almost all herbal teas taste better if brewed a little longer, but this will vary depending on individual preference.
Here is how to brew the perfect cup:
- We recommend using 1-2 heaped teaspoons of leaves per cup
- Boil clean filtered water and let it rest for 2-3 minutes
- Pour water over the tea and infuse for 6-8 minutes ( 2-3 minutes for green or black teas)
- You can sweeten your tea with your sweetener of choice or add a splash of milk if needed. We think it tastes best on it’s own!
** Some ingredients such as lavender, rose or fruit peels can become bitter if brewed in water that has not rested or is steeped for too long.
What about iced tea?
As the warmer weather creeps in, we love to brew larger pitchers of tea so we have some nicely chilled tea in the fridge ready to go. To make your iced tea, all you need to do is brew your tea as above, allow it to cool and then add ice cubes. We love to add some sliced fruit or fresh herbs to create new flavours and bring out the taste of the tea. You can also add a splash of sparkling water as a great summer non alcoholic beverage.
Some great herbal teas for cold brewing are lavender, lemongrass, chamomile, hibiscus, mint and rooibos.
Zesty Fresh spritz iced tea
- 4 cups of brewed and cooled One Leaf at a Time Zesty Fresh tea (a blend of Green Tea, Citrus peel, Lemon Verbena and Lemongrass.
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger sliced
- Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
- 1/2 a lemon sliced
- 1tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup of sparkling water
Combine all ingredients into a larger pitcher and serve over extra ice if desired. Enjoy!
Shop our range of One Leaf at a Time organic teas here!