Beyond the Bag ~ The Art of Making Tea, Demystified




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Beyond the Bag ~ The Art of Making Tea, Demystified.  Tea making is thousands of years old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it!  Here are some ways you can easily adapt those ancient principles with delicious and comforting results! 

Pouring tea from Local Milk

making a restorative tea from Local Milk

Making tea…it’s a little bit exotic, a little bit shrouded in mystery, most of us only know it from the little white bags with the string and paper tags ~ we’ve probably never even bothered to open one up to see what’s inside.  So it might come as a surprise to some that you don’t need a tea bag at all to make a great cup of tea.


tea is simply a hot water infusion of leaves, flowers, roots, berries, or other parts of plants…


i.e. it’s hot water poured over all sorts of things to extract their flavor and create a warm soothing drink.  It started in China with the Camellia Sinensis tea plant, which is the source of traditional tea to this day.  But you can make infusions (or tisanes) out of all kinds of edible ingredients, both dried and fresh, so rather than being intimidated by the process, I say let’s get creative and make it our own.

tea spoons with various tea ingredients

 


tea can be a huge help in sticking to a healthier diet ~ tea can replace other less healthy comfort ‘crutches’ like coffee, alcohol, and sugary juices and sodas.


Note: don’t over do it with herbal teas, limit your intake to 3 cups a day, and talk to your doctor first if you’re pregnant.  Some herbal teas can interfere with certain medications.

London Fog Tea

London Fog Tea from anna elizabeth


you can make a great cup of tea using several different methods: the general rule of thumb is 1 heaped teaspoon of tea to one cup of water and you’ll steep for anywhere from 1 to 7 minutes.


making your own tea bags

homemade tea bags from Mommy Outside the Box

 

  • You can infuse your tea in a tea infuser, either with a cute modern version, or a vintage style.  This is perfect for a single cup, just fill the bowl of the infuser, close it up, and pour away.

making lavender tea

making lavender tea with my vintage thrift store infuser

 

  • You can put the loose tea in a tea pot or French Press coffee pot if you’re serving more than one.  This sturdy borosilicate teapot can go right on the stove top and has a built in strainer in the pour spout.  I love the modern shape and the glass design allows you to enjoy the beauty of the tea.

glass teapot

Borosilicate Glass Teapot from Amazon

 

  • You can pour boiling water directly over your tea ingredients using a seive.  This will give you a subtle, light tea, and is a good choice for strongly flavored ingredients.

infusing fresh mint

Infusing mint from The Bojon Gourmet

 

  • Don’t have a tea pot or an infuser?  No worries, you can use a mason jar!

Making tea in a mason jar

Making cinnamon rose tea in a mason jar from The Kitchen McCabe

 


The makings for tea can be as varied as your imagination, just make sure your ingredients are edible and food grade.


 

sage tea

Sage Tea from Delicious Shots

~ common kitchen ingredients make a soothing sage and mint tea with a hint of spice from cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

 


 

Healing Conifer Tea ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Healing Conifer Tea

~ pine, fir, spruce, and cedar needles are a surprising source of antioxidants and Vitamin C.  The aroma is like a walk in the forest.

 


 

Sparkling Branch Tea

Sparkling Branch Tea from @misswondersmith

~  a gorgeous, sparkling sugared pine branch can be used to make a perfectly sweet, aromatic winter tea.  Isn’t this wonderful?

 


 

Turmeric Ginger Tea from Foolproof Living

~ this tea makes use of fresh ginger and turmeric root, it’s a great use for those extra nubs of ginger that always seem to be leftover after cooking your favorite stir fry.  And fresh turmeric is becoming more readily available in supermarkets, keep an eye out for it.

 


 

Soothing Therapeutic Herbal Tea from Culinary Ginger

~ the base of this tried and true soothing tea is chamomile.  Chamomile is a very mild sedative and tummy soother.  It’s been used this way for thousands of years.

 


 

Korean Yuzu Tea from Oh, How Civilized!

~ this caffeine-free herbal infusion uses yuzu, a citrus-y Asian fruit that’s in high season right now (Melissa’s Produce will send you some.)  This tea is a traditional Korean cold remedy loaded with Vitamin C.

 


 

 

Hibiscus Latte

Making an hibiscus latte from Adventures in Cooking

~ dried hibiscus petals are mixed with whole peppercorns for an interesting kick in this hibiscus latte.

 

Don’t know where to start?  I love this cute Herbal Tea Kit from Etsy ~

herbal tea kit

 

Thanks for pinning!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Renate Kasper
    February 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

    It’s probably somewhat gimmicky, but I love the dried flower buds that ‘bloom’ in hot water. It pays to have a clear glass teapot, to watch it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2019 at 10:34 am

      I love those too!

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    February 3, 2019 at 9:46 am

    What a nice and inspirational post, Sue. I like your recent thymes – very much.
    At summer, I do the infusion with small amounts of water, and after the infusion gets cold, I add sparkling water and I enjoy it like a soft drink.
    I also do infusion with thyme , which is such a great remedy.

  • Reply
    Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
    February 3, 2019 at 9:05 am

    We drink tea everyday but I usually stick with the same old bags. This is tea inspiration for sure! Thanks for all the great tips and recipes.

  • Reply
    Erin
    February 3, 2019 at 8:19 am

    I love all of your recipes. One comment: I believe most of these are tisanes not teas which come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. I drink tea but these tisanes look delicious…

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