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.
- Drink immediately or move to cold storage.