Growing your own herbs for tea is an easy and inexpensive windowsill project that rewards you with great taste and the meditative moments that come with prepping, brewing and sipping.
You can purchase small pots of herbs from a local nursery or your grocer's produce section that will be a nice fit for a windowsill. Unless the plants are root-bound (more roots than soil in the pot) they can stay in the pot they came in. Move root-bound herbs up to a larger container or pull the plant apart from the roots up and get two-for-one to replant back into small pots! Be sure to use a light weight, well-draining potting mix if repotting – herbs don't like wet feet!
A sunny south or east facing windowsill will give your herbs the light they need to thrive. When the soil is dry an inch down, water thoroughly, with a saucer beneath each pot to protect the windowsill. Watering every 7-10 days is typical. Any excess water remaining in the saucers after a few minutes should be poured off. An application of half strength fertilizer every few weeks will also help your herbs thrive.
HARVESTING & BREWING
When you're ready to harvest; simply snip sections of stem just above where a set of leaves is emerging. This will encourage a fuller plant and fresh growth. The herbs can be bruised a bit on a cutting board with the side of a chef's knife or the back of a large spoon -or minced if leaves are large - to help release their oils.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of herb, per cup of tea desired, in a tea ball to place into your cup or tea pot. (No tea ball? Just pour the steeped tea through a coffee filter or small strainer into a waiting cup once it is brewed.) Pour in boiling water over the herbs and steep for 5 to10 minutes. You may want to take some test sips starting at the 5 minute mark to be sure the taste doesn't become too strong for your liking. Remove the tea ball when the tea reaches the strength you desire. A spoonful of honey is the perfect finishing touch!