How to Brew and Harvest Chamomile
Todays post is all about How to Brew and Harvest Fresh Chamomile for Hot Tea or Cold Brew along with tips for growing.
The sun is shining, the veggies are coming in and the chamomile is ready for harvesting. Those happy buds are a joy to have in the garden. The scent of the flowers hits you when entering the back portion of our garden.
They are such simple blooms to grow straight from seed and are ready to harvest in no time. I have decided to add a few more beds next time around. But for now, a small patch will do. It is enough to fill a medium-sized mason jar with tea that will last quite a while. Not too bad for one small patch.
Harvesting them makes me sad, but the abundance of blooms should quickly fill back in and in the meantime, we get to enjoy the delicious tea their flower heads produce. I have grown mine straight from directly sown seed in our garden’s small, sunny patch. It is always a proud moment to harvest anything when grown this way for me. There is something significant about the success and process of having grown something from seed to harvest. It makes it all worthwhile.
I like to make both hot and cold brew tea. During warmer months the hot tea is soothing in the evening and during the hot summer days, nothing is more refreshing them a cold glass of it. Below are two ways to enjoy your blooms once harvested and dried properly.
Harvesting Your Chamomile
Chamomile is ready to harvest when the blooms are fully grown and open. There are combs you can purchase to harvest if you find hand-picking them too painstaking. If you don’t have a comb or you have just a small amount of chamomile to harvest.
You can pluck them individually by hand. Make sure to harvest only the fully open and matured blooms to ensure the full flavor of your tea.
To dry your harvest place them in a dehydrator for 12 hours on low or you can let them dry at room temperature for 3 days or so. Chamomile buds will shrink once dried and are ready for brewing when the bud is about half the size. I like to also hang them upside down from an herb drying rack. It creates a lovely display and a great way to dry your chamomile harvest.
How To Store
Before storing your dried chamomile, you want to pick out any stems that are leftover from harvesting. You will also want to ensure that the flowers are completely dried out before placing them in the storing container. I like storing mine in a mason jar but any glass container with a lid will do fine. Store your chamomile tea in a dry place at room temperature.
Tips for Growing Chamomile
- Plant in a sunny spot, chamomile likes full sun exposure.
- Easy to grow from seed and the seeds are easy to save from the plant as well. Be sure to keep a few of the flower heads to dry out for seeds when harvesting.
- Store seeds in a cool dry place.
- Seeds can be directly sown and sprout within 10-14 days.
- Should be planted in well drained soil.
- Flowering takes anywhere from 6 – 10 weeks.
To Brew Hot Chamomile Tea
- Boil Water. If possible use filtered water to make the tea taste better than tap water.
- Put chamomile tea into the tea pot or glass bowl with the hot water.
- Cover tea pot or bowl and allow it to steep until desired strength. I do mine for about 5 minutes but if you like it stronger then you can steep longer.
- Strain chamomile solids with a fine mesh strainer and pour the hot tea into a teacup. Sweeten if you like. Brewing a cup in the evening is a great way to relax before bedtime. Chamomile is often used to promote sedative effects. The plant contains an antioxidant known as apigenin which can help muscle relaxation.
For Cold Brew Chamomile Tea
- Place 4 teaspoons of Chamomile in side a pitcher or jar.
- Pour in 4 cups of filtered water
- Cover the pitcher and place in the refrigerator. Steeping an herbal tea like chamomile in a cold brew takes about 12-24 hours for full flavor.
- Check your tea periodically to taste test it. Once it is to your liking, pour it through a mesh strainer to remove the loose tea. Or you can use an infuser and just remove that. If the tea is too strong you can simply add more cold water to dilute it down.
- To sweeten your cold brew chamomile tea, make a simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar into the water. Once ready simply pour in the desired amount when the tea is at the preferred strength.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post all about How to Brew and Harvest Chamomile. For more garden tips visit the Garden Tips tab.
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