As most of will start of using herbal remedies in the form of herbal tea I thought I would write directions for what I consider the perfect pot of tea.
Warm your teapot or cup – this maintains the temperature once you add the water. It makes a lot of difference for very little effort.
I like using glass or pottery. Of course you can dig out the good china too. I just wouldn’t use metal except for stainless steel pots when making decoctions.
Do not over boil the water – it drains the water of oxygen.
Water temperature: Use water just below boiling point – as low as 70C is perfect for fine aerial parts of the plant. If you are using a kettle, the water is ideal when it starts to make a “rumbling” sound.
Brewing time – adjust your brewing time depending on what herb you are using. Some teas can become quite bitter if left to infuse too long. Others can withstand a number of brews. As a rule of thumb Herbology uses a standard of 10 – 15 minutes to infuse your herbs. You need enough time to release the active ingredients but not so much to make it too strong and unpleasant.
Sweetening herbal tea – if you like a sweeter tea you can certainly use some honey to improve the flavour. I personally even use a bit of sugar as honey adds another flavour dimension which may not always be what you want. Even my mate Culpeper said that it’s ok to sweeten your infusion or decoction. But I would not recommend adding milk. Oh….and Culpeper wasn’t really my mate.