HOW TO MAKE NETTLE TEA
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Where to find and how to choose, harvest and dry nettles to make delicious nettle tea.
In my previous post Nettle Benefits I have written about all the amazing attributes of nettles to assist your welfare. Now it's time to share with you how to find, prepare and make the tea.
When and where to harvest nettles
The ideal time to harvest nettles is in the spring, on a dry sunny day, when new shoots have just come out.
Young and fresh nettle shoots are the best. They have the biggest content of nutrients and taste fresh and rich when eaten raw.
Make sure you choose areas away from pollution to gather your nettles, such as roadsides and industrial areas. Its usual habitat is in sunny places where there is rich, moist soil. You'll find them growing along rivers, streams, lakes, ditches and hedgerows,
The first couple of pairs of leaves from the top of the plant are the freshest and most nutritious, these are the best to cut and harvest.
Of course wear gloves and handle with care to protect yourself from getting stung.
The nettle is most ideal when the plant is around 15 cm tall. Still young but before flowering.
Choose healthy, green, good looking plants, without any holes, stains or insects.
To cut the tops I use scissors, but a sharp knife will do as well..
How to dry the nettles
When I bring my harvest home I spread them on a piece of carton and put them on the balcony, any insects will leave the harvest to return to the protection of the hedgerow.
Its important to let the plants dry in the shade. Full sunlight will burn the leaves and will reduce them of some of their nutrients.
A cooling, dry breeze in the shade is the best for them.
I do not wash the leaves as it will take too much time for them to dry completely and adds a greater risk of getting fungus and ruining it all (without a dryer).
That is why its important to choose nettles away from any pollution, ones that have been 'washed' by the rain.
Move and aerate the crops regularly so they dry evenly.
After a few days everything should be thoroughly dry and ready to be stored.
I keep my dry nettles in a sealed container to reduce the risk of them getting moist.
How to make a Nettle Tea
When your nettle is dry and nicely stored you can finally make yourself a cuppa.
The amount of nettle to use depends on several factors such as your health and age, the size of your mug and other conditions. Check my previous post about Nettle Benefits and Side Effects.
This is how I make a cup of nettle tea:
What you'll need:
A mug or cafeteria if you don’t like anything swimming in your mug.
Nettle leaves (two tops or 8 individual leaves per mug)
How its done:
Boil the water and let sit for a few seconds to allow the water temperature to drop to around 95-90 degree Celsius.
Pour in to a mug or cafeteria containing the nettle leaves, and cover. The more leaves you add to your mug the stronger the tea will be. Let brew for around 5 min and then its ready to drink.
I like to add a little Dandeloin honey and lemon to my cuppa.
You should not reuse the leaves, all their nutrients dissolves into the tea the first use.