herbal iced tea

How to Make Herbal Iced Tea

posted in: do it yourself | 0

Nova Scotia experiences about 8-12 weeks of summer weather, with a heat wave or two in July and August. In my coastal community, the ocean breeze and periods of fog provide some relief from the heat, but most people flock to our many gorgeous local beaches. We still have gardening to do and work inside and out. When we can’t be at the beach, homemade herbal iced tea keeps us all cool.

Harvesting herbs for homemade iced tea

chamomile herbal iced tea

We dry herbs to make our own tea year round, but in the summer we often use fresh picked herbs in our herbal iced tea blends.

Chamomile, mint, and lavender are favourites, but we also like to add rose, calendula, bergamot, hyssop, and sometimes seasonal fruit like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

We also like to combine herbs and fruit when we make our own kombucha.

The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning. The flavour comes from the essential oils in the plant, so it is best to harvest them before the sun evaporates the oils and before they flower. Wait until the dew or overnight rain has dried, but before the sun is too strong.

We usually prepare our tea in the morning so that we can enjoy it in the heat of the afternoon.

We make iced tea two ways – sun brewed and steeped – depending on the weather and how soon we want to enjoy it.

Chamomile Lavender Mint Iced Tea

lavender iced tea

Sun Brewed Method (4-6 hours)

You will need

  • a large handful of fresh herbs (or 8 herbal tea bags per gallon)
  • a large glass jar with a tight fitting lid
  • water
  • sun!
  1. Wash the fresh herbs to make sure they is bug and dirt free. Put them in the jar and fill with water. Seal the lid.
  2. Place jar upside down in the direct sunlight where it won’t be disturbed for 4-6 hours.
  3. Add sweetener, such as honey, when tea is still warm.
  4. Strain the herbs and chill with ice cubes or in the fridge. Enjoy!

mint iced tea

Steeped Method (1-2 hours)

You will need:

  • a large handful of fresh herbs (or 8 herbal tea bags per gallon)
  • a large teapot, bodum, or glass jar
  • boiling water
  1. Wash the fresh herbs to make sure they is bug and dirt free. Put them in the teapot/bodum/jar and fill with boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Add sweetener, such as honey, when tea is still hot.
  3. Press or strain the herbs and allow tea to cool for one hour.
  4. Chill with ice cubes or in the fridge. Enjoy!

herbal iced tea

Do you make homemade iced tea? What flavours do you love?