Herbal tea, also commonly known as herbal infusions or tisanes, is produced by steeping herbs, spices, flowers, seeds, stems, fruit, bark, and roots of edible plants in hot water. Unlike tea produced from steeping the caffeinated leaves of the Camellia sinensis in hot water, herbal teas are generally caffeine-free.
Lavender tea is one of many different varieties of herbal teas available today. Best known for its beautiful appearance, aroma, and taste, it is often consumed by those who seek a more natural home remedy approach. On its own, the lavender plant has an interesting history. Although an exact date can’t be pinpointed for when it was used to brew a tisane, the flowering plant itself has been utilized for a long time.
Lavandula Plant Origins
Lavender buds and flowers grow on a plant called Lavandula. There are 47 different species of this plant, which belongs to the mint family. Thought to be native to the Mediterranean, it is now grown in various parts of the world today including parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The most common type of lavender associated with food and drink consumption is English lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia.
Utilized by ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and even the English, the lavender plant has been a tool throughout history for everything from home remedies to ingredients for specialty jams and spiced wines. It was suspected that Cleopatra took advantage of this plant’s striking aroma. Introduced to the English in the 1600s, it eventually made its way into French cuisine during the 20th century.
A Beautiful Herbal Infusion
Although it is unclear when the first Lavendar tea was brewed, what is known is how popular the herbal brew is today. Made by steeping dried or fresh purple-colored lavender buds in hot water, the resulting beverage is ever so slightly tinged purple.
Available in both tea bags or loose, this herbal infusion is simple to make and requires only a few steps. To make a tasty cup of tisane, you will need a pot or kettle to boil some water, a teapot to steep the flower buds, a cup to drink out of, and a strainer to catch the used flower buds. For this recipe, it is suggested to use 8 oz of water for every tea bag or ½ teaspoon of loose buds.
- Bring some water, preferably spring water, to a boil. Make sure to measure out the water to make sure you have enough for the number of servings you are making. (Also, add a little extra water. This will be used to preheat the teapot and cups once the water comes to a boil.)
- When the water starts to boil, pour a small amount of the water into the teapot and cup. Swirl the water around and then discard.
- Place the measured amount of flower buds (or the correct number of tea bags) into the teapot and pour the remaining water on top of them. Place the lid on the teapot and allow the buds to steep for 5 minutes. (If the tea is left to steep for too long, the flavor will be bitter and overwhelmingly strong.)
- When time is up, use a strainer to catch the buds and pour the tea into the cups.
For the best-tasting herbal infusion, it is suggested to use loose buds instead of sachets. The buds in the sachet aren’t given enough space to fully expand while steeping, locking some of the flavors away. Steeping loose buds, however, gives the plant pieces enough room to expand allowing the maximum amount of flavor to be released.
It is also recommended not to use too many loose buds. Lavender naturally has a strong flavor. So, using too many buds will make the herbal infusion extremely strong and less appealing. For the best results, be sure to follow the packaging guidelines when brewing this tisane.
Aroma & Flavor
A fresh cup of lavender tea is highly aromatic, distinctly smelling of lavender flowers. The taste of this tisane is also a flavor that might be expected. It offers a floral flavor with subtle notes of mint and rosemary. Unlike some types of herbal teas, this one does have a slightly bitter aftertaste. Many people who enjoy lavender tea often add honey or lemon to enhance the flavor.
Nutrition & Caffeine
This beverage is considered to be low in nutritional value. Without any additives, one serving contains zero calories, carbs, proteins, and fats. This drink is also naturally caffeine-free. This makes it a perfect option for people with caffeine sensitivities.
Although these claims have not been tested, many who drink lavender tea for the potential benefits believe it can help one maintain an overall healthy life. Some of the benefits it is believed to provide include:
- Mood boosts
- Sleep regulation
- Easing menstrual cramps
- Healthy skin
- Body detox
- Healthy digestion
The use of the lavender plant dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and ancient Egypt. The oils, stems, and leaves were all used in some way to provide simple remedies, special aromas, and eventually flavors for food. Although it is unknown when it was first used to brew tisane, lavender tea has become very popular today.
Made by steeping buds in hot water, lavender tea is highly aromatic with a strong floral flavor. Since the Lavandula angustifolia plant is part of the mint family, lavender tea also has subtle minty notes. To help boost the flavor and help cut the bitter aftertaste of this tisane, many people add lemon or honey.
Since lavender is a strong and potent flower, a little goes a long when brewing this tisane. To ensure that you don’t make an herbal tea that is overpowering or too strong, the recommended portions from the company should be followed. Whether you want to experience lavender tea for its flavor and aroma or for its potential benefits, this herbal tea is definitely intriguing and deserving of exploration.