Herbal teas are a wonderful way to take in the medicinal properties of plants. Many people turn to herbs when they need healing or a just a general boost. Many herbs are usually caffeine-free for those who want to avoid caffeine stimulation.
In this lacto-fermented herbal tea drink you can brew up whatever herbs you prefer, add sweetener and culture, and then allow it to ferment to your liking.
A few herbal ideas include a nettle-red raspberry leaf combination, a dandelion-milk thistle combination, or an elderberry-ginger combination.
Prepare the herbal tea by bringing the water to a boil. Add the 1/4 cup herbs to a quart jar and pour boiling water over herbs. Cover and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes to extract the properties of the herbs.
Strain the tea from the herbs into another quart jar. Add sweetener while still hot in order to dissolve the sugars. Allow to cool to room temperature with a lid on to keep out dust and bugs.
When the tea and sweetener have cooled add the whey or other culture starter. Stir well with a wooden spoon, cover loosely with either a towel and rubber band or a canning lid that hasn’t been tightened all the way.
Place in a dark, warm place for a couple of days and check for fermentation. Is it slightly sour or slightly fizzy?
If you desire a more carbonated drink you can add a bit more sweetener and cap the jar tightly. After another day (three total, depending on temperature) you should have a bubbly brew.