A Guide to Basic Herb Flavours
Basil tastes like cloves and pepper.
Bergamot is clean and sharp.
Caraway is spicy.
Chives taste like onion and garlic.
Coriander has a scent and flavour all on its own. It can be an acquired taste.
Dill tastes like aniseed.
Lovage is yeasty and a bit like celery.
Marjoram has a sweet tangy taste.
Mint can taste of peppermint, apple, pineapple, orange and cologne.
Nasturtium leaves and flowers are peppery.
Oregano is strong and tangy.
Parsley has its own pleasant flavour.
Pennyroyal has a strong mint taste.
Rosemary has a strong dry taste.
Sage is pleasant and pungent.
Sorrel tastes sharp, lemony and rather bitter.
Tarragon tastes like sweet aniseed.
Thyme is tangy or lemony.
The general rule for making herbal tea is 1 teaspoon dried herb or 3 teaspoons fresh, crushed herb to 1 cup of boiling water.
To make herbal teas always try to use a warmed teapot, preferably china, but never aluminium! Place herbs in pot and pour over boiling water – just like making a ‘normal’ pot of tea. Allow to infuse (steep) for 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemon or a slice of honey if you wish – but never add milk to herbal tea!
There is really no limit to the combinations you can use for herbal teas, but here are a few suggestions you can try:
- Lemon balm, bergamot and pineapple sage
- Lemon balm or verbena and mint
- Apple mint, basil and lemongrass
- Elderflowers and mint or peppermint
- Lemongrass and ginger
- Lemon verbena and 1 nasturtium flower
- Peppermint geranium with a slice of lemon
- Ginger and mint – delicious served hot or cold
- Dandelion root is a great coffee substitute
- Lemongrass, lemon myrtle and lemon balm (add mint if you wish)
- Chamomile tea is relaxing and is claimed to sooth the digestion.
NOTE: Because some herbs have medicinal properties it is not wise to drink too many cups of the same tea in a day unless you are trying to treat an ailment.