Herbal tea and herbal infusion - what is the difference?

Making your favorite herbal tea can be confusing. When making tea, do you usually take into account how long the instructions say you should let it steep? Many people don't often think that following the recommended time can significantly improve tea quality and health benefits.




Making herbal tea

Herbal tea can be prepared in several different ways: on the stove in a saucepan, in a special teapot or using a tea strainer.

The water is first heated in the pot, the pot is removed from the heat, and after the water is heated, the herbs are added during the infusion. 

However, the teapot is the one into which the water is poured after heating. Often, the teapot has an internal sieve, in which you can easily place tea crumbs so that it does not float around freely in the water and does not fall into your cup when you pour the tea.

The third option is closed tea sieve, into which plant debris is placed and which is then placed directly into a cup of hot water. Although they are usually made of stainless steel, strainers can also be made of other materials such as silicone, plastic, glass or bamboo. Such sieves can be purchased with different hole sizes, which should be chosen considering the size of your own plant debris.

Always make sure that you cover the container with a lid when leaving the tea to infuse, so that the beneficial essential oils do not evaporate with the water vapor.




The ratio of water to herb

A general rule of thumb for making tea is to use one teaspoon of dried tea grounds for every cup you intend to make. If you buy herbal tea from a store, it is always wise to read the recommended amount of water on the package.

It is important to know that the time the tea is steeped can significantly affect its taste. If the tea has not been steeped long enough, it may have a weak flavor or no flavor at all. If the tea is steeped excessively, it can taste very bitter. This bitterness is often related to chemical compounds in tea called tannins. Depending on the plant and the amount of tannins it contains, some teas can be steeped longer and the taste does not become very bitter, on the other hand, with some other plants, you simply don't enjoy the bitterness anymore.

Tannins, or tanning agents, are found naturally in everything from tea, chocolate and wine to spices, berries and tree bark, and are believed to have a range of beneficial properties. They are a type of polyphenols that contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory, cholesterol- and blood-pressure-lowering effects, and immune-stimulating abilities, but the tannins lead to a bitter taste and a dark color. When consumed in large quantities, tannic acid can cause side effects such as stomach upset or nausea.



How long can herbal tea stand in a pitcher?

Always drink the tea when it is ready. Fresh tea trumps everything else in terms of usefulness and taste. However, it is worth knowing that to get the best taste, the tea should be consumed at room temperature within 8-10 hours. As time goes on, the bacteria start to live there more rapidly, and you don't want to put that in your body anymore.


Continuously pouring e.g. add hot water to the same plants that are already in the pitcher, then each subsequent pitcher will be several times weaker than the previous one in terms of useful substances. Yesterday's tea is not worth drinking at all! Standing at room temperature for several hours, tea quickly loses vitamins and other nutrients.


In reality, there is no right way to drink tea, and "too long" steeping time can seem like a relative term, as everyone's taste preferences are different. The general recommendation for herbal tea is to let it brew for 3-5 minutes. Sometimes up to 10 minutes. However, there are people who want a duller taste and let it brew, e.g. 30 minutes. In this case, it is already a plant drawing. The longer it is left to infuse, the stronger and stronger it is and the more flavonoids, polyphenols and catechins you get from it. In addition, there are also plenty of tannins, which cause an unpleasant taste. Drinking draft is a normal phenomenon, our body knows what it needs, because if the draft is too strong, we don't enjoy drinking it and rather pour it out because of the bitterness. Inhalation is rather used to alleviate various symptoms of illness. 


Benefits of herbal tea

Herbal tea has many beneficial properties. Drinking a cup of herbal tea a day has a positive and restorative effect on your body.

Here are some good suggestions:

  • Sage: improves memory, brain and skin health.
  • Rosemary: improves mood, lowers blood sugar and promotes digestion. 
  • Mint: Helps relieve stomach aches and headaches and provides energy.
  • Horseradish: Helps fight bacteria, has anti-cancer properties and reduces inflammation. 
  • Thyme: Helps soothe sore throats and support digestion.


You can certainly mix plants together and discover new exciting taste experiences.

Would you like to understand more about the world of medicinal plants? Come meet us with the product range or join an e-course "Learn to heal yourself with herbs".

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