Fresh herbs herbal tea is a refreshing drink that has no caffeine, no sugar, all the goodness of herbs, plus antioxidants to boot. My sister Banu makes a delicious herbal tea from freshly picked herbs from her garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and keeps a bottle of it ready to drink in the refrigerator all summer long.
Banu came upon this fresh herbal tea when they were vacationing in Portugal a few years back. They had rented a home in the countryside and this is how Banu describes how she discovered and got hooked on fresh herbal tea: “When we checked into the Inn, they served this big carafe of hot herbal tea along with a tea cake. You know what Dolly, after a long drive to get there, that herbal tea was so delicious and refreshing.” She went on to tell me that the cook at the Inn would make a new batch of herbal tea every morning with fresh herbs from the Inn’s kitchen garden.
The best thing about this fresh herbal tea is that it is what you make of it. Banu has been making her own version of fresh herbal tea for years. She uses a multitude of fresh herbs from her garden, but really, you can even get away with just one or two herbs if that’s what you have.
When Banu visited me a couple of years ago for my birthday celebration here in California, she made her signature fresh herbal tea with herbs from my garden. She used mint, lemon scented geraniums, and lemon verbena. I still remember how the kitchen looked as I watched mesmerized when Banu picked the leaves off the herbs that were strewn all over my kitchen counter, and placed them in a pitcher with hot water. The kitchen smelt like I had sprayed an aromatherapy air freshener, and the herbal tea was as delicious as I expected it to be.
Banu’s Fresh Herbal Tea
makes one carafe of tea
- Fresh herbs such as mint, lemon balm, holy basil, lemon verbena, and any scented geranium leaves. In this variation of tea Banu used lemongrass, mint, and lemon verbena. You can use as little or as much herbs as you want. As a benchmark use in this recipe Banu used about 4 tbsp of herbs for 8 cups of tea.
- Heat proof bottle or pitcher to make the tea.
- 8 cups Hot water
- Wash the herbs and pick the leaves off the stalks.
- Place herbs in a pitcher. Pour 8 cups of hot water and stir.
- Let the herbs steep for 10-15 minutes. You will see the color change from clear to a pale yellow colored tea.
- After 10-15 minutes fresh herbal tea is ready. Serve tea hot or place in the refrigerator for a chilled herbal drink to sip later.
Cook’s Notes: This herbal tea can be had with honey to lightly sweeten the tea. When the tea is over, pour more warm water in the pitcher for one more batch of fresh herbal tea.