Infusions and herbal teas: recipes and preparation in the microwave | Candy

Preparation and tips for herbal teas and infusions

A good book or TV series, while you’re tucked up under a blanket, with a warm drink in your hand - if this is your favourite way to pass the time in the winter, you should learn about the art of tea and infusions, such as herbal teas and chamomile. They have more than just a pleasant flavour – they also have beneficial properties that help purify and hydrate your body. Here are some tips on how to prepare them and on which flavours to choose to meet your needs.

Preparing tea: the classic method and the microwave

For true tea lovers (and the British), brewing tea is an art. The traditional method consists of boiling water in a pan or kettle (electric or otherwise), then leaving the tea bag or infusion bag to brew for a few minutes (the time varies depending on the variety of tea). If your cups or teapot have a strainer or infuser, you can use loose tea or herbal tea leaves. Instead of sweetening with sugar, try honey, milk or good quality jam as healthier choices.

There is an alternative to a kettle: we are talking a microwave. Some of you may frown, but there is no difference between the results of tea or infusions prepared with this method or with the traditional method. According to some research conducted a few years ago, placing a mug with about 200 ml of hot water, with leaves brewing it, in a microwave for 30 seconds at full power allows the activation of 80% of the theine, caffeine and polyphenols it contains. This does not just provide a great flavour but also a much better result in terms of quality.

The best teas to brew at home

Tea is a thirst-quenching drink with many properties, which can vary from one type to another. Moroccan mint tea is anti-inflammatory and diuretic (because it is made with green tea) and a also disinfectant, because it contains mint. It also improves circulation and can act as an analgesic.

If you prefer to “travel” to the Far East, we recommend the now-famous Japanese matcha tea, which is very easy to prepare. However, to prepare it in the traditional manner, you will need the specific equipment used for this important ritual. Good matcha tea requires a specific mixing technique because a product’s unique taste is always the result of meticulous preparation. Matcha tea has endless properties. The presence of caffeine and L-theanine helps maintain concentration but relaxes at the same time, which is why it was used by Buddhist monks. Its antioxidant activity is greater than that of vitamins (such as vitamin C and E), it can aid weight loss and purifies the blood from heavy metals - in other words, it is quite amazing.

Infusions and herbal tips: some tips

Herbal teas can be excellent allies in the pursuit of wellbeing. One of the most appreciated for its diuretic and slimming qualities is ginger and lemon tea. When drunk hot on a winter morning, it helps fight seasonal illnesses. Enjoyed as a cold drink in the summer it is perfect for the protection against cellulite.

If what you need is a bit of relaxation and some help to sleep better, go for a herbal tea with lemon balm, passion flower, mallow or valerian. Each herb has its own specific properties, so each herbal tea provides relief from specific ailments. Nettle, for example, helps with diuresis, while chamomile you to relax, even when you have a headache. Mallow helps with stomach ache. Buy the mixture you prefer from a herbalist’s shop and brew in boiling water (which you can also heat in a microwave). Sweeten it with a spoonful of honey and you are ready to begin your relaxing evening at home.

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