Have you ever wished there was a tea for exactly what you’re dealing with? Maybe you’ve got an upset stomach but all you can find is ginger tea for digestion. Wouldn’t it be nice to make your own blends for what you need?
Enter: DIY herbal teas. You don’t have to be an herbalist to make your own tea — in fact, with our guide, it’ll be as easy as pie!
Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Members receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscription service.
What Is Herbal Tea?
Herbal tea is a hot drink that involves steeping herbs, fruits, or flowers in hot water to extract their rich flavors and plentiful benefits.
Interestingly, herbal tea is not technically considered tea, as it does not derive from the Camellia sinensis plant (the plant used to create black, oolong, green, and white teas). Tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which grows natively in China, Tibet, and northern India. Whether you’re enjoying a black tea, green tea, or any other type of tea type, all tea comes from this plant — except herbal teas.
Typically, factors like oxidation, harvest season, processing, and climate determine a tea’s caffeine content, flavor, and tea strength. These teas are also full of antioxidants like catechins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, which can positively affect cholesterol and blood pressure levels and help maintain your immune system.
On the other hand, herbal tea is made using other herbs and plants. If you’ve ever had a nice cup of mint tea before bed or tried fresh ginger root tea to help soothe an upset stomach, then you’ve already experienced the wonders of herbal tea.
Herbal teas have their own unique health benefits, depending on the herb used to make the tea. Certain herbal teas can calm acid reflux, increase your sleep quality, and even promote a healthy brain.
Herbal teas are often caffeine-free (but not always!) and come in a wide variety of flavors. You can have fruity flavors like hibiscus and lemon tea, earthy flavors like peppermint and cardamom, and floral flavors like lavender and chamomile.
You can see the full variety of herbal tea flavors by checking out our herbal tea collection. We guarantee we’ll have something for everyone’s unique taste buds!
What Are Some DIY Herbal Tea Blends?
You can purchase many thoughtfully designed herbal blends from sellers such as ourselves, but sometimes a lovely way to get exactly what you need is to make the tea yourself. Here are some DIY herbal recipes that can help get you started, and we encourage you to tweak them until you find a brew that addresses your specific needs.
Coffee Replacement Tea
For one reason or another, sometimes we choose to go without coffee. If you’re craving that bitter wake-up call without the high caffeine content, then this recipe is for you. Simply combine:
Green tea (optional)
Licorice root (optional)
Lemon balm (optional)
Dandelion root has a heartwarmingly bitter taste that is very similar to coffee, as does chicory root. Both plants also help support your liver and aid digestion, so this blend is a great way to improve your metabolism for the day. We recommend adding lemon balm for a delicious citrus kick.
If you’re craving some caffeine, add in some green tea. Green tea will soften the bitterness and add a floral taste, and it will also give you a little bit of caffeine to support your morning routine. You can also add licorice root for some sweetness if you’re not a fan of earthy flavors.
Have you ever hit a mid-afternoon slump? In those moments, sometimes you just need a little jump start to your brainpower — and this tea should help do the trick. (Plus, your body absorbs the caffeine in tea differently than the caffeine in coffee for a more sustained energy boost without the jitters or crash.)
Just throw together:
Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) can help lighten your mood, improve sleep, and boost brainpower, which might help you overcome that afternoon brain fog. Its sweet taste pairs wonderfully with the earthy spice of turmeric.
Gotu Kola helps enhance memory and cognitive function, while you can add rosemary for an additional brain boost. You can also add lemongrass for a subtle citrus flavor. Not only can this tea promote brain wellness, but it also tastes delicious!
If you need a good night’s sleep, simply pour yourself a cup of this sleepytime blend and watch the magic happen. All you need are these simple ingredients:
Skullcap leaves and stems (optional)
Passionflowers, leaves, and stems (optional)
Chamomile is a folk remedy for restlessness, and its use dates all the way back to 500 BCE. This daisy-like flower is the base of this blend because of its natural sedative effects.
Meanwhile, lavender can help to calm you down and ease your mind, while valerian teams up with the chamomile to help you fall asleep. You may also want to add skullcap and passionflower, which can have a history of use helping to soothe nerves and release stress.
How Can I Make Homemade Herbal Tea?
If you’re raring to go, then grab all your supplies, and let’s get started!
The first step is finding your herbs. You can go foraging or order from an online store, or you can grow your own tea garden just for this purpose.
If you’re using fresh herbs, you’ll need to dry them out first. Fresh herbs contain too much moisture, and they might cause your blend to go bad before you have a chance to enjoy it.
You can dry out your herbs by hanging them up to dry for a few days. Once they’re dry, cut them into small pieces that will fit in a tea infuser or disposable tea bag. You can also purchase pre-dried herbs from an online store.
Pour your desired amount of each ingredient into a bowl and mix with a spoon or a whisk. The ingredient amount doesn’t matter much, so feel free to get creative!
Create something that reflects what you need and what you’ll enjoy. If you feel like a witch preparing a potion, then you’re doing it right.
Once your tea is good and mixed, pour your blend into an airtight container. It’s important to keep your tea sealed to preserve its freshness and save those healthy benefits. Even better, find an airtight glass jar.
Pick out some pretty labels and write out the names of your tea. We’d hate for you to mix up your coffee replacement tea with your sleepytime blend.
Once you’re all done, gather up your teas and find somewhere to store them. We love storing our teas out in the open for those cottagecore vibes, but you can keep your teas wherever you’d like.
How Can I Enjoy a Cup of Herbal Tea?
When you’re craving a cuppa, pull out your tea blend and measure a spoonful into your infuser or disposable tea bag. Pour some boiling water over your tea, and let it steep until you’re happy with it. The total time to make your tea shouldn’t be more than a few minutes.
Since every blend is unique, you might need to make a few brews before you find the steeping time that works well for you. Plus, you’ll get to drink more tea.
You can enjoy your custom blends either hot or over ice. We recommend drinking the sleepytime blend hot, since a cold drink may keep you awake.
On the other hand, we recommend drinking the brain power-up tea as iced tea. This way, you get all of those brain-boosting benefits and a mid-afternoon refresher.
Add a sweetener of your choice (or don’t if sugar isn’t your thing), and enjoy your homemade cup of tea!
Summing It All Up
We love herbal blends, but sometimes, you need a tea that’s made specifically for you. Luckily, the world around us is filled with yummy ingredients we can use to make tea.
Whether you need a bitter wake-up or a soothing bedtime tea, you’ve got the ingredients you need to craft your ultimate custom blend. If you want something a little easier, check out our personalized monthly Sips by box. All you have to do is take a quiz, and we’ll deliver our monthly tea recommendations to your door.
Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscriptions.
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.