Let’s begin with a brief discussion about terminology and more specifically with some thoughts on the term herbal tea. To be perfectly correct, the word tea should only be used to refer to products derived from the plant known as Camellia sinensis. Herbal beverages are more properly referred to as “infusions” or “tisanes,” a term derived from the French term for barley water. Herbal beverages are steeped and served hot or iced and are oftentimes lumped into the same broad category as “real” tea. If you’re looking to learn more about these beverages, here are a few good resources.
Healing Herbal Teas: A Complete Guide to Making Delicious, Healthful Beverages
by Brigitte Mars
Books about herbal tea often focus on the health-giving aspects of herbs. Healing Herbal Teas is no exception to this rule. Mars profiles 45 herbs, “along with advice on obtaining, storing, and brewing teas from them.” Also included, recipes and a chapter on tea parties.
20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature’s Healing Herbs
by Victoria Zak
Health is also the focus here, though Zak’s book might not actually contain 20,000 secrets. Included, a listing of common ailments and the herbal teas used to treat them, instructions on how to create your own blends and descriptions of 100 herbs.
Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitality
by Kathleen Brown and Jeanine Pollak
Includes “detailed descriptions of 70 tea herbs with health benefits and brewing instructions, plus profiles of 15 noted herbalists who share their favorite tea recipes.”
The Book of Herbal Teas: A Guide to Gathering, Brewing, and Drinking
by Sara Perry
Profiles 40 common herbs and plants used to make tea, with cultural and historical background on each plant. Also includes advice on growing herbs indoors and outdoors or buying them.
Herbal Tea Gardens: 22 Plans for Your Enjoyment & Well-Being
by Marietta Marshall Marcin
For the ambitious herbal tea fan who’s looking to move to the next level. Herbal Tea Gardens “contains full instructions for growing and brewing tea herbs, plus more than 100 recipes that make use of their healthful qualities.”
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