Have You Considered… Creating Herbal Teas With Your Good & Fugly Produce?

Have You Considered… Creating Herbal Teas With Your Good & Fugly Produce?

Apr 15, 2024Jonathan Englert

Everyone loves a good cup of tea, and long gone are the days when “tea” meant a black tea bag in a cup of boiling water. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either, but more and more people are getting experimental with their teas, trying all kinds of combinations and discovering delightful new flavours. 

Now, you could wander into your local T2 shop and be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of teas on offer. And you may well not find the tea you really want then anyway! Or you could get creative and start making your own herbal teas with Good & Fugly’s fresh, seasonal produce. After all, you’ve got those boxes full of ingredients and flavours. Why not give tea-making a go?

It’s easier than you might think, too. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

Selecting Your Ingredients

Good & Fugly offers a variety of fruit and veggie boxes that can be the base for your herbal teas. Choose from that range of imperfect but delicious produce to find the best options for your tea. In addition to the fruits and veggies, you’ll also want to stock up on a bunch of herbs. Popular choices for teas include mint, lemongrass, and chamomile.

Creating Your Herbal Tea Blend

Now it’s time to get creative! First, make sure you wash all produce thoroughly to remove any dirt or residues. It comes direct from the farm when you buy from Good & Fugly, remember! It’s how you can be sure it’s fresh, but it also means you need to wash it thoroughly before you can use it for tea making.

Then, dry the ingredients completely before using them to prevent diluting the tea’s flavour.

You’ll want to chop or tear larger leaves and herbs to release their essential oils – don’t leave them whole, because that locks the flavours in!

Next, mix your chosen ingredients in a bowl. For a balanced flavour, use a ratio of three parts primary herb to one part complementary herb or fruit.

The Process of Creating Tea

See? Creating a tea blend is so much easier than you might have imagined, and now you have the exact flavours for the perfect cup. Now it’s time to create the tea itself. There are several ways you can do this:

Firstly, there’s the infusion method, which is ideal for leaves, flowers, and delicate ingredients:

  • Boil water and let it cool for a minute to avoid burning the herbs.
  • Place the herbal blend in a teapot or a cup.
  • Pour the hot water over the herbs.
  • Steep for about 5-10 minutes. Delicate herbs like chamomile may require less time, while heartier ingredients like ginger may need more.

Alternatively, there’s the decoction method, which is most effective for roots, barks, and berries:

  • Combine the herbs with cold water in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Serving Your Herbal Tea

After just a little bit of work, you are now ready to dig in and enjoy that tea. 

All you need to do is strain the tea into cups, using a fine mesh strainer to remove the herbs.

If you like your drinks a little sweeter, you can use sugar… or better yet, honey, for a more natural sweetener. 

You can also enjoy your tea hot, or let it cool and serve over ice for a refreshing drink.

That’s it! You’re now a tea brewer!

Tips for the Best Herbal Tea Experience

Once you’ve mastered the basic process and 3:1 ratio, the next step is to start learning the magic. Experiment with different blends to find your favourite flavours. You might even want to start a little notebook so that you can jot down what works and what doesn’t along the way. 

And then you can try drying leaves, peels, fruits and more to make the kind of tea that you’ll find in tea bags. That is a process that takes some time, but the results will be worth it - especially since your homemade teas will be one of the best gifts you could give a person.

Just be brave! Sometimes you’ll make a tea that you don’t like so much. That’s okay. That’s how we all learn. Do you think cocktail bartenders were able to nail the martini on their first go? Take failures as an opportunity to learn, dust yourself off, and give it another go.

If you do make a tea that you love, a handy trick is to make extra, and store the leftover tea in the refrigerator. It will only store for a couple of days, but you’ll find the flavours even deeper and more enjoyable a day or two later.

Finally, don’t waste! Rather than bin the used herbs and produce scraps, find a way to compost them to continue the cycle of sustainability – perhaps start a little herb garden and use the compost to help those tea ingredients grow rich in flavour.

By following this guide, every box of Good & Fugly becomes an alchemy kit, and you’ll have a new trick to delight family, friends, and anyone else that loves tea as much as you do.

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