Vegetarian Food Recipe

All about healthy food - vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cooking Herbal Tea

Most of us have drunk tea for as long as we can remember. We drink tea for the same reasons we drink coffee, to wake up, to warm up and to relax. However, tea is much more than coffee will ever be! Made the right way tea can also heal us...something coffee never thought of doing.
In order for tea to wake us up, warm us up, relax us and heal us, it is very important that we brew our tea in the right way. To make a the very best tea you've ever tasted and to get all the health benefits of tea it take a few extra steps and a little extra effort.

Herbal tea is very special and deserves its own very special brewing utensils. You will need an enamel pan to boil the water. Metal pans could be the cause of your tea tasting bitter. Do not over boil your water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately pour the water into a preheated china tea pot or if you're making one cup, as most of us usually do, splurge and buy yourself a china tea cup.

You will need an infuser to hold your loose tea. Infusers come in different sizes and shapes, but they all do the same thing, hold the herbs and keep them from floating in your tea. If you choose, you can add the herbs to your pot or cup, pour in the water and strain. The choice is yours, but if you get an infuser you more than likely won't have to strain your tea. Place the recommended amount of herbs, roots, seeds, flowers, or leaves in your infuser (usually 1 teaspoon of dried or 3 teaspoons of fresh per cup of boiling water). Place the infuser in your teapot or cup.

Next, it is very important to place a lid on your teapot or cover your teacup. The purpose of this is to keep all the flavors and medicinal qualities in your tea. Uncovered, they will evaporate and you will be left with weak tasting tea with little nutritional value.

This part takes a little patience. You must allow your tea to steep long enough, but not too long. The idea is to get the flavor and the medicinal qualities of the herbs, roots, seeds, flowers, or leaves out and into your water. This takes a little time, usually about 5 - 10 minutes. It is hard to set a specific time frame for brewing tea. There is a fine time line. If you brew your tea too long your tea will be bitter. If the tea doesn't taste quite like you would like it to or if it doesn't have the "look" you like; in other words if you like stronger tea...add more herbs, seeds, flowers, or leaves not more steeping time. With a little trial and error you can figure out how you like your particular tea to taste.

You may wish to add sugar, honey, cinnamon, fruit, dry lemon or orange rind to your tea. This is fine, but I recommend tasting your tea before you add anything. You might find your cup of herbal tea is really something very special and doesn't need any of these extra flavors.

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