Blog:   The Home Snooper

How To Dry Herbs to Make Tea

Easy herb drying.

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

You will want to use a good knife or sharp garden scissors to carefully cut the stems. This is important because you do not want to cause bruising. Bruising can be a spot where dangerous decomposition could start. If you will be hang drying your herbs cut the plants long enough to have an extra inch or two at the bottom of your herbs for bundling.

Harvest herbs in late morning when all the evening percipitation has completely dried. This helps to avoid mildew. Carefully look your herbs over and remove any bugs or damaged leaves with your knife or sheers before drying. Clean and mildew free is important for tea.

Step 2: Bundling (two methods)

drying herbs on a clothes drying rack

Open Method

Gather a small bundle together and attach 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

Prepared paper lunch sacks by cutting many holes in the sides of the bag - but not the bottom or within 1 inch of the bottom. (see picture) Place a few plants into 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 put different herbs together in one sack or bundle as their flavors and fragrances will mingle together 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.

Place your drying rack in a dry, 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, since the bag will protect them from the light. 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.


Disclaimer: You are responsible for any suggestions you choose to follow, or not follow. This advice is offered for consideration with no guarantee of safety or effectiveness. Use this information at your own risk.