How To Dry Herbs to Make Tea

Drying herbs for Teas

Enjoy your own blends of herbal tea. We will describe how to select, harvest, and dry herbs for tea.
 

making herbal tea on a woodstove

 

Below is a list of safe herbs for making tea:

  • Chamomile
  • Catnip
  • Horehound
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Rose Hips
  • Sassafras

Step 1: Harvesting

It is important that herbs used for tea be harvested at the right time during the plant's growth cycle. To make it easy for you, we have created a chart that shows this information. To see it please click on How to Harvest Herbs

With a very sharp knife or garden scissors carefully cut the stems. Do not pick or pull them as that will cause bruising on the stem and dangerous decomposition could start there. Cut the plants lon enough to have an extra inch or two at the bottom of your herbs for bundling.

Be sure to harvest your herbs after late morning when all the dew has dried. This helps to avoid mildew. Visually inspect your herbs and remove any bugs or damaged leaves or flowers with your sharp knife before drying. Clean and mildew free is important for tea.

Step 2: Bundling (two methods)

Open Method

Gather 5 to 7 stalks together and attach them together using a rubber band near the cut end of the herbs. Be sure the bundled end is secure as the stalks will shrink during the drying process. Caution: you do want the bundled end loose enough to allow a little air flow to prevent mildew.

Paper Bag Method

You can use paper lunch sacks that you have prepared by cutting many holes in the sides of the bag - but not the bottom or within 1 inch of the bottom. (see picture) Place your herbs in the sack and leave 1 to 2 inches of the stalks outside the opening of the bag. Using a rubber band or a piece of string secure the open end of the bag around the stalks.

Note: Do not bundle different herbs together as their flavors and fragrances will transfer to each other during the drying process.

 

Clothes Drying Rack

 

Note: Do not bundle different herbs together as their flavors and fragrances will transfer to each other during the drying process.


Step 3: Drying

Hang your herbs on a drying rack by the rubber band or string. Drying times can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks, but you will know they are dry when the herbs crumble easily.

Locate your drying rack in a dark warm space, like a bedroom, garage or walk-in closet. If your herbs are bundled in paper bags, you can dry them on a covered porch or patio. be sure to keep the herbs out of direct sunlight, yet in a place with good air circulation.

Your herbs are dry when the leave easily crumble. Seeds will be released during the drying process and you may want to place newspaper under your drying rack to keep them off the floor or to gather them for next year's garden. Do not put the seeds in your tea.

Step 4: Storing

Store your herbs in small glass jars with tight fitting lids. Keep the jars out of the light and away from heat. Do not put them in the refrigerator.

Step 5: Brewing

Use a metal tea-ball to hold a healthy pinch of your dried herbs. Immerse the tea-ball in a mug of boiling water and let it steep to the color and strength you prefer.

Also see our other How-To Guides on How to Dry Flowers and also How to Dry Herbs

 



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Page last modified on 2017-09-10

 

 

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