After all these years of having fresh herbs in the garden, I finally decided to dry fresh lemon balm and mint.  I can not believe with a garden full of these lovely herbs I have not done this sooner!
Lemon Balm is said to have many healing qualities - you can read about lemon balm here.
I cut some stalks of lemon balm, and stalks of mint - mine is not true mint - it tastes like peppermint and spearmint - but either would work well here.
This not a good picture because of the lighting, but what I did do was to attach an elastic band around the bottom edges of the stalks of herbs.  Then I hung them by string upside down on a curtain rod in the kitchen.  My kitchen always has a window or two open so there is always a breeze.  It is important to have good air flow when drying these herbs.

I did loose track of time.  This is a guess here but I think they hung for at least 2 weeks.  I did two other batches, and between warm weather, some wind through the windows, they were dry in one weeks time.
Then I picked off each leaf, making sure not to include the tough stems.  Then chop until you have a small consistency - wow does it ever smell luscious :
2 cups dried lemon balm, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups dried mint - spearmint or peppermint
boiling water
fresh lemon
Cut your dried herbs - you want them fairly small - similar to tea  leaves.  Add to a bowl and combine the two herbs.
Mix up until well combined and transfer to a mason jar, to store in a dark cupboard.
To make the tea, add 3 Tblsp. of dried tea mixture to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water.  Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes.  Squeeze in the juice of a fresh lemon wedge and a tad bit of honey, stirring to combine.  Refreshing homemade tea at it's best!

Ina Gawne

14 comments on “DRYING HERBS FOR TEA”

  1. Fabulous! This is what I will do with my herbs. I have tried drying them and leaving them hanging around upside down for ages, and then they disintegrate. I never thought to chop the dried leaves and put them in glass jars (I never did want to store them in plastic). Thanks so much for posting this! It will be so nice to have herb tea in the middle of winter from our own garden!

  2. I've got lemon balm (even though the drought has been hard on it), but no mint this year. Great idea though, Ina. That cup of tea looks so good! I've only dried my lemon balm for a natural potpourri before. The other thing I want to try with it is lemon balm pesto. Have you tried that?

    1. Thanks Shirley! Lemon balm pesto - now that sounds interesting! With fresh parsley I think it would be delicious - what a great idea! 🙂

  3. Summer in a glass, that is always great in winter, isn't it!
    I have 2 plants of lemon verbena and I can tell you the taste is divine, fresh or dried. The dried one I buy at the North-African shop.

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August 23, 2012