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Reinventing Tea – How to Brew Like a Pro

Updated on October 2, 2014

Anybody who knows me knows that I love tea. I drink about 3 cups of hot green tea per day, sometimes more, even in the summertime. I also recently got a tattoo of a steaming cup of tea on my left arm, which symbolizes my mother (from whom I learned this wonderful habit). So naturally, I was very interested when I reached the tea brewing segment of Herbal Academy of New England’s Introductory Herbal Course. I recently signed up for the course and have finally had some time to really dive in, and what do you know, I learned something already!

Did you know that you don’t have to have boiling water to make tea? Sure, we’ve all heard of sun tea, but that isn’t what I mean. You can actually make tea using cold water and some herbs – using no heat at all – and let it brew inside your dark refrigerator. It seems obvious now, especially when you think of how people make infused water out of cucumbers and fruits and whatnot…but I never thought to make an herbal tea this way.

So I took this newfound knowledge and made myself a refreshing summer herbal tea using one of my favorite decaffeinated herbs – hibiscus.

Hibiscus Lemon Iced Tea Recipe (Cold Brewed)

Just place your herb into the jar, toss in your slice of lemon, and fill the jar with water. Replace the lid and leave it in your refrigerator for several hours (or overnight). Remove the lemon and strain your tea through a coffee filter or finely woven cloth (I like to buy tea towels from Walmart for infusions that use oil, but water can get through a coffee filter much more easily than oil). That’s it! Enjoy your tea!

That is a Gary Hootman mug, by the way.
That is a Gary Hootman mug, by the way.

Bonus Tea Brewing Tip

How to brew loose leaf tea without escapee herbs floating in your teacup

We’ve all seen those little teabags that you can scoop your herbs into and seal shut with an iron, but geez, who has the time for that?? And I don’t know about you, but I hate hate hate having floaties in my tea. It’s gross and I never buy tea from coffee shops that haven’t figured out how to prevent this. Tea balls just don’t work…if you’re not a tea drinker and want to serve tea to people, don’t even think about using these stupid little worthless contraptions. Here is my easy (and frugal) method:

  1. Get a coffee filter and a clothespin.
  2. Scoop a tablespoon of herbs into the center of your coffee filter and fold all the ends in.
  3. Use the clothespin to secure the filter against the side of your coffee cup.
  4. Pour hot water over the teabag and steep for 15 minutes.

Easy, right? Now go make some tea!

© 2014 FindWholeness

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