How to Brew and Harvest Fresh Chamomile for Hot Tea or Cold Brew
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The sun is shinning, the veggies are coming in and the Chamomile is ready for harvesting. Those happy buds are a joy to have in the garden. Their scent hits you when entering the back portion of our garden and they are such simple blooms to grow straight from seed. I have decided to add a few more beds next time around. But for now a small patch will do.
Harvesting them makes me a little sad but the abundance of blooms should quickly fill back in and in the mean time we get to enjoy the delicious tea their flower heads produce. I like to make both hot and cold brew tea. Even 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 both ways to enjoy your blooms. Happy Harvesting!
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 panstaking. 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 blooms that are fully open and matured to ensure full flavor of your tea. To dry your harvest place them in a dehyrdrator 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.
To Brew Hot Chamomile Tea:
Boil Water. If possible use filtered water to make the tea taste better then 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 steep longer.
Strain chamomile solids with a fine mesh strainer and pour the hot tea into a tea cup.
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 inthe refridgerator. 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 simple add more cold water to dilute it down.
To sweeten your cold brew Chamomile Tea, make a simple syrup by heating up by mixing equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat to dissolve sugar into the water. Once ready simply pour in desired amount when the tea is at the preferred strength.