Making wild teas from foraged herbs is an easy and affordable way to get the herbal properties into your body and enjoy a warm cup of tasty herbal tisane at the same time.
While herbal tea is made by infusion or decoction of a herb other than the true tea plant ( Camellia sinensis), wild tea refers to herbal teas made of foraged herbs.
Wild tea, also called herbal tisane, is caffeine-free and many of them have medicinal benefits.
Made of foraged herbs wild tea is freely available but requires some foraging and botanical skills.
The making of wild teas is something that unfolds once you start the foraging path. It is a beautiful herbal journey that takes you to the forest, the mountains, or on long walks around lakes and rivers. You will enjoy the fresh air and with wide eyes, you will see all the trees, plants, shrubs, leaves, flowers or even roots.
Brewing your own wild tea is one of the easiest ways to get to know the herbs. Their taste, scent, and texture. You would be surprised how many wild teas you can make for free.
In this post, I will take you through the steps of making your own wild tisane
foraging for wild tea
Making flower herbal tea start with foraging for medicinal plants thus identifying the herbs.
Make sure you are hundred percent certain with the identification, Smell the herb, touch it, use books or other online applications. Don’t be discouraged if you are uncertain. It is a long learning process that is ongoing but rewarding thus patience is required.
Get familiar with the medicinal properties of the herb
Get to know the benefits of each herb. Many herbs have medicinal benefits and it is, therefore, advisable not to drink the tea for a long period of time like several months.
how to dry herbs without a dehydrator
You can use fresh herbal material right after you forage it.
Dried wild herbs have a long shelf life and allow you to enjoy the herbs all year long. However, lose some of its medicinal benefits as well as flavor and aroma.
Air drying is the easiest method that allows you to dry the herbs in 3-4 days depending on the weather. You can simply spread them on parchment paper or use this drying rack.
Tie them together with a string and hang them to dry with a stem. just make sure they don’t lose their color during the drying process as they might turn brown or black and this is not desirable. Better to keep them away from the direct sun
To speed up the process you can use a dehydrator
making tea from herbs
Chose the most suitable method of making a tea
Based on the part of herbs or tree you are using you can go for infusion or steeping. Roots or bark usually require longer steeping time to release their medicinal properties.
The most friendly method of preparing herbal tea from wild herbs is the cold infusion or cold steeping. This method keeps all nutrients and vitamins, color, and medicinal benefits but requires a longer time.
You simply place the herb in the glass container filled with water. The time of infusion varies depending on the herbs but can range from a few hours to a few days. I prefer to keep it refrigerated to avoid any mold development. Also, tisane prepared with cold infusion tends to be less bitter and more aromatic with higher content of oxidants.
This method also works well when combined with hot steeping. I like to keep the tea overnight to infuse and then just quickly steep it so I can have a warm cup of tea and get a stronger concentration than just steeping.
Steeping cold brew
Steeping is the quickest method to prepare a delicious cup of wild tea. It allows the extraction of the flavor as well as health-promoting compounds from the herbal material when it is done properly.
The most critical is time and temperature when you brew wild herbal tea.
How long to steep herbal teas?
Higher temperatures can destroy some of its valuable ingredients while too short steeping time won’t extract enough antioxidants and flavors.
Dried herbs such as elderflowers or linden blossoms require up to 10 minutes steeping time at 100 C (212 F)
Fresh herbs on the hand need only 5-7 minutes of steeping at 100 C (212 F).
Roots (dandelion root) or bark need a longer time to extract their medicinal properties and therefore 20-30 minutes of steeping time is necessary.
Add some fruity flavors to your tea (optional)
YOu can use wild berries such as raspberries, wild strawberries or pine needles to get a fruity touch.
loose leaf tea accessories
While there are special tools to help you steep tea, you can also keep it simple and still steep like an expert.
If you want to keep it simple your will only need the basics teacup and kettle. However, You can also get some special tools such as tea strainer, disposable tea filtres, tea infuser or tea bag squeezer.
Let’s make some