Tea cup and spoons on black slateTea cup and spoons on black slate

How to Make Your Own Homemade Herbal Tea

Using herbs, fruits, and spices in our cooking is second nature, but these fragrant ingredients can also be used to make your own homemade herbal tea and tea blends. Drying your own herbal tea ingredients and creating your own tea blends at home can benefit you even further. Herbal tea blends are nutritious and soothing, but store-bought herbal teas are often either expensive or poor-quality and full of artificial flavors and additives. When you make your own tea at home you can save money, experiment with flavors, and ensure superior quality and affordability.

Drying Herbal Teas

Dehydrating fruit and herbs for tea is not only easy, but you might even have all of your ingredients already on hand or growing in your garden! Drying herbal teas is also a great way to prepare for winter by preserving your summer abundance of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

You can dehydrate many parts of the same plant such as the fruit and flowers as well as the roots and leaves—but keep in mind that each plant and plant part is different and some may be edible while others are toxic. For example, you can dry the fruit and leaves of berries and flowers of chamomile, but you’ll dry the buds of lavender. Research the best practices to harvest and prep the particular herbs you wish to use.

The tea you make at home will likely be herbal tea, which, despite its name, contains no actual tea leaves. Homemade herbal tea made without pesticides or herbicides results in the best teas. Dehydration time for each individual ingredient will differ. Refer to the following guides for dehydrated fruit, herbs, and spices for our recommended dehydrator time and temperature settings. And check out some of our favorite herbal tea blends and recommended preparation at the bottom of this page.

Drying Tea Ingredients with a Dehydrator

Dehydrating herbs, spices, and fruit for homemade tea blends is fast, tastes significantly better than store-bought dried ingredients, reduces food waste at home, and uses less electricity than oven drying. The best way to dry herbs is by using a food dehydrator like the Sahara. Its simple-to-use dual time/temperature control ensures delicate foods like herbs are adequately dried without compromising flavor and texture. You may also want to consider using the Sahara with silicone mats for holding small ingredients, such as herbs and berries, that might otherwise fall through the dehydrator shelves. Explore our recommendations below for prep, time, and temperature for dehydrating a variety of different fruits, herbs, and spices. 

tea ingredients on silicone mat

Fruit
Fruit is naturally sweet, full of flavor, and caffeine-free. Citrus, apples, berries, and the leaves of fruit make for delicious dehydrated additions to homemade tea blends. Dehydrated fruit and fruit leaves are often combined with store-bought white tea leaves, which have a mild flavor, to create a delicate yet slightly sweet blend. Ginger (dehydrated or fresh) also pairs well.
Learn more about dehydrating fruit

A bowl of apples and apple tea in a glass mug and atea pot

Herbs and Spices
You may think of lavender, chamomile, cinnamon, and peppermint as classic tea ingredients, but the options for using dehydrated herbs in your homemade tea blends are endless. Many herbs have calming properties, while spices add the final flavor accent that will bring together your homemade tea blend. As for spices, which are more potent and fragrant, a little bit goes a long way.
Learn more about dehydrating herbs
Learn more about dehydrating spices

Blending and Brewing Homemade Tea

Water temperature, water quality, and the time steeping are important considerations for a great cup of tea. The amount of time a tea is steeped as well as the quantity of tea ingredients become a matter of personal preference. To get started, pour boiling water over a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the dried herb/tea blend and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. From there you can adjust the amount of herbs and steep time to your liking.

Keep in mind that different types of tea steep best at different water temperatures and for different amounts of time. Water that is too hot can make your tea taste bitter or even burn sensitive tea leaves, while cooler water temps make your tea taste weak or bland. After learning to dehydrate your own ingredients, you can customize temperature, steeping time, and tea weight to your own preferences for the best cup of tea at home, every time.

You can enjoy your home-dried tea “leaves” as single ingredients or create your own blend suited to your taste. Homemade loose leaf tea also makes for a great gift! We’ve included some blend suggestions below to get you started, but always encourage experimenting to find which ratio of ingredients you love best. When blending ingredients, combine dried (not powdered) herbs/fruit/leaves/spices together in a bowl. Store your dehydrated tea ingredients and herbal tea blends in cool, dry, and tightly sealed containers, away from light and moisture, for 6 months to a year. 

Dehydrated apple slices and apple tea in a glass mug

Apple fruit

  • Use 1 T per 8 oz water
  • Dash of cinnamon or cinnamon stick
  • Steep to taste
Fresh blueberries and dehydrated blueberry leaves

Blueberry fruit and blueberry leaves

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend
  • ¼ C / 20 g blueberry fruit and ¾ C / 20 g blueberry leaves
  • Use 1 T per 8 oz water
  • Steep to taste
Chamomile Tea and dehydrated Chamomile flowers

Chamomile flower

  • Use 1 tsp per 8 oz water
  • Pour water over flowers and steep for 5 minutes
  • Also good blended with mint
Dehydrated ginger root

Ginger root

  • Use 1 tsp per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 10 minutes
Hibiscus flowers

Hibiscus flower, apple and blueberry fruits

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ½ C / 25 g hibiscus flower, ¼ C / 7 g apple fruit, and ¼ C / 20 g blueberry fruit
  • Use 1 T of blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 10 minutes
Lavender flower, dehydrated and fresh

Lavender flower 

  • Use ½ to 1 T per 8 oz water
  • Steep to taste
Calendula flowerbuds

Lemon balm and lemon verbena leaves, calendula and hibiscus flowers

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ¼ C / 7 g lemon balm leaves, ¼ C / 7 g lemon verbena leaves, ¼ C / 10 g calendula flowers, and ¼ C / 12.5 g hibiscus flowers
  • Use ½ to 1 T blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 10 minutes
Fresh ginger roots and sliced lemon

Lemon fruit and ginger root

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ⅞ C / 23 g lemon fruit and ⅛  C / 9 g ginger root
  • Use 1 T blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep to taste
Dehydrated citrus and ginger slices, tea, and teapot

Lemon, orange, and apple fruit with ginger root

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ⅛ C / 3.5 g lemon fruit, ¼ C / 5.5 g orange fruit, ½ C / 14 g apple fruit, and ⅛ C / 9 g ginger root
  • Use 2 T blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep 10 minutes
Mint and raspberry tea in glass mugs and dehydrated leaves

Mint and raspberry leaves

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ½ C / 13 g mint leaf and ½ C / 13 g raspberry leaf
  • Steep 1 tsp to taste
Dehydrated orange slices and tea in a glass mug

Orange fruit and ginger root

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ⅞ C / 23 g orange fruit and ⅛ C / 9 g ginger root
  • Steep 1 T to taste
Fresh papaya leaf and fruit

Papaya leaf

  • Use 1 T per 8 oz water
  • Steep for about 10 minutes 
Dehydrated rosebuds and tea in a mug

Papaya leaf and rosebuds

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ½ C / 6.5 g papaya leaf, and ½ C / 36 g rosebuds
  • Use 1 T of blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 5–10 minutes
Fresh rosebuds on a silicon mat and dehydrated rosebuds in a bowl

Rosebuds

  • Use 3–4 whole buds, or 1 tsp bud petals and hips per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 5 minutes
  • Also good with honey
Fresh and dehydrated strawberry, mint, hibiscus and watermelon

Strawberry and mint leaves, hibiscus flower, and watermelon fruit

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ¼ C / 6.5 g strawberry leaves, ¼ C / 6.5 g mint leaves, ¼ C / 13.5 g hibiscus flower, and ¼ C / 36 g watermelon fruit
  • Use 1 T of blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 10 minutes
Turmeric tea in a tea pot

Turmeric and ginger roots

  • Makes approximately 1 C tea blend: ¼ C / 23 g turmeric root, and ¾ C / 54 g ginger root
  • Use ½ to 1 tsp of blend per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 5-10 minutes
  • Also good with honey and/or lemon juice
Fresh turmeric root and dehydrated turmeric in a bowl

Turmeric root

  • Use 1 tsp per 8 oz water
  • Steep for 10 minutes
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