Frugal Herbal Hospitality

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

I love regularly heating up a pot of tea to serve guests. Many relationships have been built and hearts ministered to over a steaming, fragrant cup of tea in our home.

However, with the rise in grocery prices, the cost of purchasing boxes of tea bags at the grocery store can really add up; especially if you’re making big pots of tea to serve a crowd!

It has been much simpler and cost-effective to make my own tea blends from dried bulk herbs (such as from Mountain Rose Herbs) or from our own homegrown herbs. You can make your own tea bags, use a mesh tea ball infuser, or a French Press to keep all the leaves contained.

Mint is one easy-to-grow plant (in fact, it can quickly take over a flower bed, so you may want to plant it in a separate pot), and will abundantly supply many cups of tea!  Last spring, I planted mint right outside our front door, and it was a beautiful addition, as well as supplying a pleasant aroma to our entrance. (Plus, it was easy to reach outside to quickly pick a few springs, without even having to leave the front porch!)

A pitcher of iced tea, such as my sweet Rose-Mint Delight Tea, will be welcomed on a hot summer day, and a relaxing pot of hot tea is soothing on a chilly, rainy evening. One of my new favorites is a calming blend of Lemon Verbena and Peppermint (use organic herbs, if possible). Since there actually isn’t any “tea” in this blend, it’s really an “herbal tisane.”

Spring Meadow Tisane

(recipe courtesy of Hampton Creek Inn)

Per Cup, add:

1 1/2 tsp. dried Lemon Verbena
1/2 tsp. dried Peppermint

Steep in a cup of hot water for a few minutes, and sweeten if desired. Savor and enjoy!

What is your favorite beverage to serve up when guests arrive?

About Michele

Michele and her husband Calvin live a simple & sustainable life in rural Washington with their two- going on three- (busy!) little ones at Hampton Creek Inn. She takes joy in the daily ministry of delving into creativity, traditional homemaking & hospitality, homeschooling in everyday moments, and smooching her husband in the woods. Michele loves encouraging women and equipping them for frugal, natural living through her blog, Frugal Granola.

11 Responses to Frugal Herbal Hospitality

  1. Christopher February 25, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    What more can one want than a remedy which poses little health risks. This is what i see in natural herbal remedies.

  2. Joke April 18, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Thank you for this post!
    I read it a week ago and got so excited, since I have peppermint, lemon verbena and lavender. I love combining them! Thank you for making me want to experiment :)

  3. Shalene April 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Sounds fabulous! Does the mint have to be dried or can you use fresh for this recipe? If you can use fresh, how much?

    • Michele @ Frugal Granola May 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      You can certainly use fresh herbs; use about 3 times the amount as the dried.

  4. Stacy @ Delighting in the Days April 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh, that tea sounds lovely! And it’s so simple. I’m going to make this as soon as possible!

  5. Julie April 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Home grown herbal teas are the best! In rural Mexico where we serve, the people never know what to do with teabags since they’ve never seen them before. They’re most common teas for pleasure are cinnamon tea (boil cinnamon sticks and add a lot of sugar) and lemon grass tea (same recipe). Camomile and mint teas are great for soothing upset stomachs and for colic in babies. Oregano tea works for menstrual cramps and for an upset stomach if you’ve eaten something bad.

    One note about mint tea, though, it’s also used to suppress milk supply in nursing moms, so if that’s you, go easy on the fresh mint tea.

    • Michele @ Frugal Granola April 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      Ooh- the lemongrass sounds amazing! :)

      Yes, it’s always good to be aware of the possibility of reduced milk supply for mamas when using mint. I haven’t found this tea to cause any issues with me, however. :) I always mention that when I have nursing mamas over, and offer them an alternative.


  6. Sara M. April 5, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    If you have any other ideas for herb tea blends, I would love to see them.

    I may plant an mint plant in a pot and then put it (the potted plant) in the ground for the summer. Then I can easily pull it up for the winter months.

  7. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf April 5, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    I usually make a big pitcher of iced tea when a larger crowd comes over, but as the evening wanes, my husband will brew a pot of coffee and I will heat up some water for tea. We don’t really need to deal with expensive tea right now since I have a huge stash to go through (I don’t drink hot tea all that often, so I’ve had my teas for a while!). But I am growing mint in my backyard, and I look forward to brewing my own mint “tisane” (my favorite!) and some lavender-mint lemonade (I’m also growing lavender)!

    • Michele @ Frugal Granola April 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

      Lavender would be fabulous! :) That’s one of my favorites. Lavender + Chamomile is a good “sleepy bedtime blend,” too, which is easy to grow.


  8. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom April 5, 2011 at 4:55 am #


    I am so thankful for this post – it is so timely for me!

    I have been making my own version of “frugal tea” for awhile now by putting one tea bag in a large pot of tea and then drinking it throughout the day. But I have been wanting to expand my repertoire.

    And—-I was planning an order w/ Mountain Rose Herbs today, so I am now going to add Lemon Verbena to my order, on your suggestion.

    I also love your suggestion about the French Press! I recently stopped drinking coffee and have been making a homemade coffee substitute every morning. I love my press so much that I even posted about it on my blog. I haven’t made tea in it yet, but I knew that I could, and now I have the incentive to do it! :-) Wish I could share some with you!