My Tea Collection

I’m a tea drinker.  My go-to is Yorkshire tea, no sugar, a splash of milk and the finished beverage should be the colour of He-Man’s face or it’s just not good enough.  I’ve never been a huge fan of fruit teas but more and more these days, herbal and floral teas are tickling my fancy!

I love to grow, forage and dry my own tea.  Something about seeing all of the posibilities lined up in jars is really pleasing.  Like an apothecary of deliciousness.  Apothecary is right because a lot of herbal teas have medicinal properties and I’ve been something of an amateur herbalist for decades.

All of these teas taste great as they are but combining them is so much fun.  You can mix the ingredients based on flavours, colours and medicinal properties to make something really unique.  It’s magic really.

*this post contains affiliate links to help you locate the teas I’ve mentioned.  They won’t cost you any more but if you do buy a product through one of my links, I’ll be paid a small commission which will help pay for the cost of running this website.

Jasmine – Not only does jasmine smell incredible (just smelling it as you drink the tea can reduce stress and aid restful sleep) but it’s a powerful anti-oxidant.  Tasty jasmine tea is credited with stimulating weight loss and contributing to good heart health.  I buy ours from a little supermarket in Manchester’s China town and strongly recommend that you support a local business and look for somewhere similar near you.  If you can’t find it, here’s a similar product.

Rosebuds – I bought these from a little tea shop I found in the back of beyond somewhere, but I usually buy online here, because I don’t think I could dry rosebuds well enough at home. These tightly packed little rosebuds are so pretty.  They make a delicious tea but look incredible sprinkled on top of moon milk or even baking.

Pineapple weed – This is one that you cant really buy – but you probably have some in your garden!  Pineapple weed tends to pop up between cracks in patios and pathways.  There’s tonnes in our local park and in the streets surrounding our home but as its such a low lying plant, it’s easy to miss.  Find some in an area that’s unlikely to have been peed on by dogs, pick it and give it a sniff.  If it smells like pineapple then you’ve found the right stuff.

Bring it home and rinse it just in case!  Dry it well and enjoy a tropical tasting tea that’s credited with treating insomnia and reducing pain.

Yarrow – This is a plant thats popping up in meadows all over at this time of year and it’s growing in abundance in our wildflower garden.  You can collect when the flowers are freshly opened and dry at home like I do or buy online here, but I think the home dried flowers are 10x nicer with yarrow.  Yarrow comes in white and shades of lilac and aswell as tasting almost herbal, it can provide many benefits to digestive health.  Be mindful though as it can make you sleepy.

Blooming Chrysanthemum – I have to be honest, I only bought this because it’s so beautiful.  It’s another China Town purchase but you can find similar here.  Since drinking it though I’ve discovered that it can be used to help lower blood pressure which is great for me as my blood pressure has been worryingly high since I had Covid and aid respiratory health – see previous point!  It’s quite a powerful little plant which does mean that you should drink it in moderation – no more than twice a week.

To me it tastes like late summer and making it is such a performance that it’s worth the high price.  Serve it at an afternoon tea party and impress EVERYONE!

Rose Petals – You can buy these online but rose petals are one thing that you really could try to make at home.  Choose scented roses that haven’t been sprayed and pick early in the morning.  Separate the petals and dry until brittle – simple.  Rose petal tea smells and tastes like roses and it works well with so many other flavours.   It’s medicinal benefits aren’t widely supported, so just drink it because it’s pretty and delicious.

Honeysuckle – For many years I thought honeysuckle was poisonous, but it turns out that it’s really the berries that are a problem.  Still I wouldn’t drink tonnes of honeysuckle – just to be on the safe side.  It’s credited with aiding upper respiratory health so it’s a great tea to have on hand when winter colds and chest infections abound.  I made my own by drying the flowers from our garden honeysuckle but you can buy similar here.

Chocolate Mint – We grow this in our garden – no not in a pot.  Even as I planted this mint I could hear my own voice praying caution.  “Oh it’ll take over” “Keep it in a pot to be on the safe side”  But true to form I didn’t take advice, even from myself and its grown like mad!!  Luckily we really love it and Chocolate mint tea tastes amazing on its own or with cacao husk tea or in moon milk.   I’ve not found dried chocolate mint online but mint tea is very readily available.

Feverfew – This is another ‘weed’ or wild flower that has many health benefits.  It looks similar to diasies and chamomile so be sure you have the correct plant if you’re drying your own like we do, or you can buy dried feverfew here.  As the name suggests, feverfew can help break a fever, but it’s also believed to ease muscle spasms and famously it’s a centuries old migraine cure.  I’ve not actually used this tea yet.  I’ve been struggling with migraines and taking daily medication for them but I’m keen to try something more natural.  So with my Doctors blessing I’m slowly reducing my medication – then we’ll see what this little flower can do!

Mugwort – This is a magical plant.  You will have seen mugwort growing here and there in parks and public green spaces but you probably haven’t given it a second look!  Well that might change when I explain what it can do.  Mugwort can give you lucid dreams!  Taken in small amounts it’s wonderfully relaxing and aids peaceful sleep, taken too readily and you’ll be seeing fairies at the end of the bed!  So please do be cautious if you’re going to try mugwort.  Mugwort can also encourage regular menstrual cycles and help with other period-related problems.  I drink mugwort tea when I have PMT and tie bundles of the leaves together for smoke cleansing.  Mugwort dries super quickly but if you’re not confident enough to pick your own, you can buy it here.

White Dead Nettles – This is another tea that comes out when I’m menstruating, especially if I’m struggling with a heavy period or bloating.  I love white dead nettles so much.  One hot, dry day last year I picked one from loose soil and part of the root came with it.  I felt guilty as you really shouldn’t uproot plants in the wild, but I decoded to try and grow it on.  After a few days in a vase of water it had rooted.  I planted it in the Fairy garden and we now have an established patch that I can pick from every year.  You can dry your own or buy some here.

Dead nettles don’t sting, they have pretty flowers from May to November and they’re very nectar rich for bees and other buzzy creatures.  So if some find their way into your garden – don’t be mad and don’t mistake them for stinging nettles!

Green Tea – This one you’ve probably heard of!  I think we all know that green tea is a wonder substance but here are some benefits anyway.  Green tea has been shown to help with weight loss, improve brain function. protect against cancer and lower the risk of heart disease.  It also reduces bad breath so there’s that too!  You can buy green tea from just about every supermarket.

Hawthorn – This plant is surrounded by so much folklore.  Bringing in a full branch of the stuff is said to bring on the death of a family member – so let’s not do that!  Instead pick a few blossoms in late Spring and dry for tea.   I’m told you can make tea from the leaves too, but I’m not really a fan of the flavour,   This is a flower that I really wish I’d collected more of since it’s credited with regulating blood pressure and protecting the heart but when I run out, I’ll buy some here.  

Borage – Borage grows as a wildflower – weed but you can get seeds and small plants at garden centres.  We did this and now we have our own supply.  The flowers are great in salads but dried the flowers and leaves make a powerful tea.  Credited with treating both coughs and depression, borage also makes you wee, so it’s good for water retention too.  If you can dry your own, borage tea is available here.

Hibiscus – I was so pleased to see this for sale in Crownings, a local Caribbean food shop.  Hibiscus makes a deep pink and truly delicious tea that you can drink hot and cold.  Hibiscus tea is very popular in Africa where it’s used to bring down cholesterol, blood pressure and body temperature.  We use this tea alot, particularly when Dorothy wants to play tea parties – it’s her favourite because it’s pink!  You can buy Hibiscus tea online here of you can’t get to Crownings in Wigan, but if you can, say hi to Bola for us ❤

Cacao Husk – Cacao tea is packed with antioxidants and magnesium.  It’s also a source of iron and zinc so even if it didn’t taste great it would be worth drinking – but it tastes like chocolate!  I actually like to use cacao husk to make a delicately chocolately moon milk but try it as a tea with some ginger or cinnamon and you will not be disappointed.  Unlike most herbal teas, I’d recommend a splash of milk with this one.  I buy mine here.

Butterfly Pea Flower – Not one I’m able to harvest myself so I picked up some here, this magical tea is blue!  The flowers are also used as a dye but when made into a tea they are credited with aiding digestion, improving skin texture and lifting the mood.  Personally I drink this tea because it tastes nice!  It’s similar to green tea and is delicious mixed with other flowers.

Chamomile – Chamomile was one of the first herbal teas I ever tasted.  It has a list of benefits as long as my arm but I drink it when I’m stressed.  Just the smell is enough to take things down a few notches but drinking it really helps.  if you’re lucky enough to have a supply of chamomile then you can dry your own.  Our plants are too small yet so I buy mine online here.  One day though, I’ll have my own supply!

Cornflower – Last year we had so much cornflower in the Fairy Garden but this year we’ve had one bloom.  I’m gutted.  Thankfully I found some online here.  Cornflower tastes a little bit like cloves – very warm and spicy and is apparently great for digestion and rheumatic conditions.  It also looks absolutely beautiful!

Lilac – I love lilac flower, but their season is so short-lived, so I’ve been trying to preserve them.  I dried these flowers myself and I’ve struggled to find any online.  Lilac flower tea is another pretty floral drink that tastes like Spring and aids digestion.

Lavender – I know some people think lavender smells of soap but i love it and combined with cacao or chamomile or dead nettles, it makes a beautiful tea thats so relaxing.  Lavender is probably one of the easiest things to identify and dry too because the smell is unmistakeable and the flowers will happily dry in a vase or tied up in a bunch.  If you need some right now you can buy big bags of the stuff online.

Rosehips

It’s not quite time to harvest rosehips but it will be very soon.  I’ll dry the rosy red jewels to use as a vitamin boost later in the year when every other person has a cold!  Aswell as being packed full of vitamin C , rosehips are credited with aiding weight loss, reducing inflamation and having anti-aging properties.  They taste sort of fruity.  You can buy some here if you don’t fancy collecting your own.

Herbal teas while delicious, are medicines and as such should be taken with caution.  Always do your own research and take professional advice, particularly if you’re pregnant, have a health condition or take regular medication.  If you’ve decided to grow or forage and dry some of your own herbs and flowers, be sure that you’ve correctly identified the plants and that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.

Next month I’ll be sharing some of my favourite tea mixes so do check back.  In the meantime, I’m off to put the kettle on.

Love Rachel ❤

 

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