For dried herbs, we recommend 1 - 2 teaspoon per 6 - 8 oz of water. If you're using fresh herbs, a full handful per cup of tea is recommended. Preparing this type of tea, using warm water is called an infusion. In order to make an infusion, just place a bit of herb/tea in a cup, pan or jar and pour hot water over it. Cover it; you do want to cover it because many of the herbs have essential oils in them that can easily evaporate & you want those wonderful medicinal oils to remain in your cup!. Strain and enjoy! See the chart below for proper water temperature and steeping times.
Cold infusing is exactly what is sounds like. Using the same measurements as above, fill a glass jar or other glass container with cold filtered water and add your tea or herbs. Cover and refrigerate until ready to consume. 4 - 8 hours is best but you can literally prepare your cold infusion in the morning and enjoy it with your lunch! This is a particularly excellent way to make iced tea on those hot summer days. Try branching out of the norm, a cold brewed mint tea is amazing!
A few other reasons why you might choose a cold infusion over hot:
1. To eliminate the possibility of scorching or over cooking your tea leaves; which can lead to a bitter taste, especially with green and white tea.
2. When using herbs containing mucilage compounds, cold steeping is the prefered prepation because the mucilage tends to extract more fully in cold water but either type of infusion will do.
3. In general, the cold steep method creates a milder, smoother tea. So if you are dealing with pungent herbs, this is a really good option to tone down the bitterness.
One of the most common ways to practice natural healing is to simply make a cup of herbal tea. This remedy involves using herbs and would not be appropriate for "true teas" (any tea produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant).
Herbal decocotions are what herbalists use to create powerful medicinal brews as potent healing remedies. It involves simmering the herbs in water, covered for 15 - 20 minutes; stain and drink. This type of preparation is especially good when using the tougher parts of the plant, the nuts, seeds, bark and when using any type of mushroom; all of which are a little more difficult to extract.
We all have fond memories of Mom filling a beautiful glass container with cold, pure water, delicate tea bags, and placing it in the warmth of the happy sunlight. Watching & waiting as the natural sunlight turns the water into a golden brew perfect for sipping all summer long. There is a good reason why we no longer see sun tea brewing on everyone’s’ porch. Tea experts now profess that drinking sun tea is a dangerous game.
The reason behind this is – science! Sun tea is made with water warmed by the sun, which replaces the heating element of water boiled in the kettle. But as strong as that force is, it only gets the water to around 102 to 130 degrees, not the 170 to 200 degrees normally used to steep tea. This low temperature is just enough to start forcing some of the solids out of dried leaves and blossoms, but not high enough to purify the water or kill any of the bacteria that form once the tea starts brewing. In other words, it becomes a petri dish of organic material, ripe with tiny microbes. So place that beautiful glass container in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy a nice cold brew while basking in that happy sunlight!