Herbs Best Suited for Tea
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Terry Starks
Posted on: April 10, 2008

I will soon be placing an order (when it rains, as the sun shines -- I am a busy spring time farmer). I wish to inquire about plants best suited for tea. I consume much tea daily, and being stubbornly self sufficient and cheap to boot, would like to grow herbs for personal use of tea. What would you suggest? And I am very interested in the health benefits of the teas I consume.

We indicate which herbs have beverage uses with a teacup icon in our printed catalogue and with the word "beverage" in our online version. This designation is given to any herb that has been used to make hot or cold beverages, though the vast majority are used for hot teas. In this group we do not include herbs that are taken as teas only for medicinal use as these are often bitter and undesirable for everyday use as a refreshment. Tops among the tea herbs that are easily grown in North American gardens are the many different mints, lemon balm, bergamot (also known as bee balm), anise-hyssop, red clover, and lemon verbena. To these you can add herbs for flavour such as basil, fennel seed, rose hips, sage, stevia (as a sweetener), thyme and many others. There is much room to experiment. Half the fun is creating your own blend!

For dedicated herbal tea drinkers there is a great book on making your own herbal tea blends:

http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=XB4852

I am a market gardener of mostly heirloom veggies and cooking herbs (central Illinois) -- can’t freak these people out with too much over the top herbs but am working on it with farm tours and cooking tours here on farm. Also, the teas I consume and how they affect me can then be passed on to my customers perhaps in additional herbs I might offer them for their own tea. Thanks so much for your consideration, I’m sure you’re busy beyond belief. I should say a favorite tea of mine is simply lemon balm. Quite excited to see your mojito mint.

Lemon balm is our favourite also, and we even have a passage in our catalogue urging everyone to try it. My mother was the first advocate of lemon balm tea for everyday use in our family. Now my young kids ask for it regularly, especially when they are not feeling quite right. For your business nothing beats using your products yourself and knowing them well enough to talk about them passionately.

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