How to make herbal teas and tisanes.

1) To prepare your herbs for making the tea, gentle crush the herb to help
release the oils. Do not grind the herb too fine or it will not be easy to
strain out of the liquid.
2) Allow time for brewing your herbal tea. If not, you will end up with barely
flavored hot water instead of herbal tea. You need to use of your sense of
taste, herbal teas remain light amber or green, they do not get darker as
they get stronger like black tea does.
3) Brew the herbs in some kind of teapot or jar, or even an enamel pan.
The best teapots are made of china, glass, silver, stainless steel, and
ceramics. Do not use aluminum
4) Gently simmer the herbs in water (use good water, not tap).
5) You can use a teacup for a single cup, using a tea ball for the herbs.
6) For larger amounts, use an infuser or large tea ball to put the herbs in
the water, or you can just put them in loose and strain them out after it is
finished brewing.

Depending on the type of herbal tea you are making, use one of two methods,
infusion or decoction. Here is the difference.

Infusion Method:

Most teas prepared by infusion are the leaves, petals, and flowers of the plant.
The oils in these parts of the herbs are delicate and need to be released into the
water gently. Boiling the herbs would cause the oils to evaporate into the air, so
use low heat.
1) If you’re using fresh picked herbs, bruise the leaves gently by crushing
them. This will help to release aromatic oils
2) Use one teaspoon of dried herbs, or 3 teaspoons of freshly picked herbs
to one cup boiling water; increase the amount depending on your teapot.
3) Place the herb in the pot, either loose or in an infuser, and pour
gently boiling water over the herbs.
4) Allow the mixture to steep for three to five minutes, or until the flavors
are released.
5) Strain and serve.
You can add or subtract herbs according to your personal preference. You can
combine herbs to create teas. Single-herb teas are wonderful, and you can
combine more than one herb to have a blended herb tisane. It is very satisfying
to make your own tea or tisane blends. When you use plants you have grown
and processed yourself, you have the peace of mind knowing there are no
pesticides or chemicals used on them. If you cannot grow your own, be sure to
purchase your herbs from a reputable herb distributor.

Decoction Method:

For seed and root tisanes, use the decoction method, their oils are
more difficult to release. Herbal teas prepared by decoction generally stay fresh
longer than teas prepared by other methods. You can store in a refrigerator.

Decoction of seeds:

1) Crush the seeds to bring out their oils. You can use a mortar and pestle
to crush them or use a wooden mallet or rolling pin. You can also use an
electric coffee bean grinder if you have one.
2) Use one tablespoon of seeds to two cups of boiling water.
3) Bring water to a boil in an enameled pan placed over a high heat.
4) Add the seeds and reduce the temperature
5) Allow the mixture to simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
6) Strain the tisane
7) Serve the tisane

Decoction of roots:

These are usually medicinal.
1) Use approximately one-half ounce of dried roots to two cups of boiling
2) Add the powdered, ground, or crushed dried root to boiling,
3) Reduce the heat and simmer for as long as it takes to brew the tea to
your taste, approximately 20 minutes for whole root, less if powdered.
4) Strain the herbs out and put in a clean quart or pint jar or other
5) Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days