Sometimes we have tea parties, don’t you?
Herbs are the gateway drug to gardening. I grow herbs for cooking as well as herbs that can be used for tea, “tea herbs.” The list of what’s growing in my garden changes with the seasons, however here is what we currently have:
Mint, of course! Spearmint and Peppermint look similar but have very different flavors. Spearmint is light and sweet compared to Peppermint which contains menthol and has a much more intense flavor. Other varieties of mint that I grow for tea are Lavender, Lemon Balm and Stevia.
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Lavender provides a sweet and floral flavor. The flowers are beautiful and it grows well in Central Texas. Both the leaves and flowers can be used to make tea.
Lemon Balm is my favorite herb to grow for tea. It’s also called Balm Mint and Lemon Mint but don’t confuse it with Bee Balm, that’s a totally different plant. It has a lovely lemon scent and flavor as a result of citronella. There’s nothing minty about this herb.
Fennel adds a smooth licorice flavor to tea. The leaves are also a nice addition to salads and the bulbs are great when roasted with carrots. Fennel is a host plant for caterpillars (pictured above), the nice ones that turn into butterflies!
Cinnamon Basil contains cinnamate which is a compound found in Cinnamon. It’s easy to grow from seed and a great addition to your herb garden.
I enjoy experimenting with various flavor combinations. The above photo shows Lavender, Spearmint and Fennel.
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