Drying Camomile For Tea Time!
This is the first time I have ever grown camomile in my garden. When I was picking out my garden plants at the beginning of the season, I saw them amongst the other herb plants at the nursery and couldn’t resist their adorable little, daisy like, flowers and soft green leaves. I had to get a couple of them to put in my herb garden, more as a “trying out” reason than a “intentional” reason because I’ve never had them before. I’m so glad I did. Not only are they so beautiful to look at but, the more I research the uses of these little flowers, the more I realize how useful and versatile and amazing they are. For now, I’m sharing how to use them for herbal tea, because I quickly found out you need an abundance of the tiny flowers to really use them for everything I would like too. A whole lot of fresh shrinks down to a whole lot of nothing! To really expand on their uses I’m going to need to plant several flowers in the garden and sadly that will need to wait until next year. That just means more posts to come! As for now, I’m focusing on stockpiling dried camomile for tea winter. I love curling up with a blanket having a hot cup of steeped camomile tea to get myself all comfy and sleepy at night time, but I want to drink my very ow homemade tea. I know its fresh and organic and the flavor is so incredible. Let’s be honest, everything from the garden taste incredible, even dried herbs for tea.
The one rule to remember when harvesting chamomile is picking the flowers when they are ready. How do you know when they are ready? The white petals of the flower will change from pointing forwards to backwards, that’s when they are perfect. You will need to go out ever few days to search and pick the blooms that have changed their petals as the plants is continually growing and blooming through the season. You don’t want any of them to go to waste because like I said earlier, it takes a lot of flowers to use them for anything so staying on top of the picking will maximize the harvest.
You only want to use the flowers of the plant so that will be the only part you pick and the rest stays on the plant.
To dry them for tea, place the picked flowers on a plate and place them in a cupboard and forget about them for a couple weeks. They will dry naturally on their own without any fuss.
When dried, store them in an air tight container. I prefer a small mason jar because it is my personal preference to store things in glass rather than plastic.
At my favorite tea store, David’s tea, they have these perfect little disposable tea bags for loose tea. I used to use a strainer, but these are so much more convenient when steeping loose tea and perfect to use when making your own tea blends at home from herbs like garden camomile. And I highly recommend getting their perfect portion scoop too. Not just because it’s pretty, but the tea company knows what they are doing and how much loose tea it takes for a perfect cup of tea. One scoop, in the bag, in the mug and you’re set! If you don’t have a tea scoop or don’t plan on getting one, then the portion to remember for tea is a teaspoon of dried tea for one mug.
I’m going to keep on harvesting throughout the summer and try and get as much tea dries and stored as I can. I know it won’t last long but I will thoroughly enjoy every single cup I make! Mmmmmmmm.