I'm working on a new cozy mystery series around a tea room. The series is tentatively titled Tea and Tarot, the first mystery tentatively titled Steeped in Murder. And that means... research on drying herbs for making teas. (Yes, I'm planning on including tea recipes in the back of the book.)
Anyway, drying herbs is super easy. You bundle them up, tie them at the bottom, and let them hang dry for a few weeks. When they're dry, peel off the leaves, being careful not to crush them, because the oils and flavors are better preserved if the leaves are kept whole. Store them in a sealed jar or metal tin (I think a metal tin is better, because it keeps out the sunlight), and store them somewhere room temperature.
Generally, the best time to harvest herbs is in the summer. But the very very best time is just before they're about to flower, because that's when they have the highest oil content.
Another thing I've learned -- don't dry your herbs in the kitchen! There's too much moisture in the average kitchen, and that can mold the herbs. So -- sorry Witches of Doyle series. I have the witches hanging herbs in the kitchen. Whoops. The good news is, Bound, the first book in the series is now only 99 cents on the Kindle, so try it out and laugh at my mistake. (But if you leave a review, and I hope you will, please don't mention that).
And in that vein, I found a very witchy (and thorough) YouTube video about drying herbs and flowers from a more magical perspective. Enjoy!
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending cozy mystery, urban fantasy, and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Click the image below to check out her FREE 5-Day Kitchen Witch course!
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