Making your own tisane blends

Tisane, or as commonly referred to as herbal tea, is one of my favourite things to drink at night and with a little knowledge of herbs and plants it is not difficult to make your own blends. If you’d rather follow a recipe for tisanes, there are some great resources available online, such as Annie’s Remedy as well as a number of books on the subject.

I often use peppermint as a base, because it is fairly inexpensive and easy to grow where I live. When I mix peppermint with other herbs, leaves and flowers, I start by pouring a heap of peppermint in a small mason jar, then using a small spoon I add the other stuff. I tend to shy away from adding too many other flavours, as peppermint alone can be quite strong. For me, one or two other herbs/flowers is enough.

Currently my late night go-to is peppermint with a little bit of lavender. When I say a little bit, I mean it! I once bought a tea shop made lavender black tea blend and the ratio of lavender to black tea was  close to 30/70, which gave the tea an odd floral bitterness. A ratio of 10/90 or maybe even 20/80 would have made for a more subtle and elegant flavour.

The lavender to use is Lavendula angustifolia, also sold under the names Lavendula officianalis, Lavendula vera or True English Lavender.

Lavender has calming effects, whereas peppermint is a bit of an invigorator. When available, I sometimes add a small amount of chamomile to this mix, another flower known for calming. I tend to keep my blends on the calming side because I often drink them at night when I am winding down from a busy day.

If I’m wanting something that is caffeine free, but has a bit of a pick-me up, I enjoy making cup of lemongrass and ginger tisane, which is good served with a little bit of honey. I drink this when I have a sore throat, although I will add quite a bit more ginger.

I use a metal strainer for my tea and tisanes, but tea balls and compostable tea bags are good options too. I always let my boiling water cool down before pouring over my tisanes and tea. Boiling water can damage the flavour of the tisanes.

How do you brew your tisane?