Brewing tea is, like many things, a combination of art and science. While improperly brewed tea will not kill you (unless you brew tea out of a poisonous plant! ) if you would like to maximize the properties of the herbs you are using when making a healing tea, you can follow these instructions.
Bring water to boil in a kettle.
Put 1-2 teaspoons of loose tea (or a tea bag of tea, if that is what you are using) into a glass canning jar. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat and add pour a cup of water over the tea. Cover the top of the jar to retain every bit of goodness from the leaves. (To be honest, I am usually too lazy to do this!) Steep tea for 15 minutes. Longer is fine, too, but not more than a couple of hours.
The above is for most herbal teas. Black and green teas only need to steep for a couple of minutes. Teas made from roots and barks do require hotter water and may be lightly simmered for 15 minutes.
Strain tea through a mesh strainer. (Or remove tea bag! ) If you do not like small particles in your tea, or if you tea mix has mullein leaf in it, do use a coffee filter to strain the tea. (Mullein has irritating hairs that need to be strained out completely.)
If you are making black tea, do not sqeeze the tea bags, as this can make the tea bitter. Also, tea bags should not be left in the tea, this too can cause bitterness.
Sweeten if desired. I prefer honey, raw sugar or a drop of Stevia extract.
A few notes on tea:
I have used a variety of tea bags from health food stores and from the grocery stores. Many of them have been excellent and have suited my purposes very well. (Though, I do most commonly make tea from dried herbs that I keep on hand.) I have found that flavored teas leave an aftertaste that is unpleasant. I find I must stick to tea blends that list only real plant material as ingredients. If there is mention of natural or artificial flavorings, those teas are the ones that I find have an unpleasant aftertaste. I even found an organic blend of green tea with “natural flavors” that leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth and even gives me a stomach ache. So I avoid teas with natural or artificial flavors for this reason.
If I have leftover tea, I keep it in the refrigerator. It is good the next day. But I do not keep it longer than 24 hours. And I think brewing fresh daily is ideal.
Enjoy your tea time!
~Mama to Many~