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I get a ton of lemon balm in my yard and I'd love to make a tea from it - especially an iced tea. I'm a total tea newbie, so I have a few questions:

  1. Should I dry it first (in my food dehydrator) or should I use it fresh as-is?

  2. What ratio of lemon balm to water should I use?

  3. Lemon balm seems relatively subtle - should I use it in tandem with other herbs/teas or can it stand alone?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. The flavors will be different; try both and see which you prefer. Personally, I love teas made from fresh herbs.

  2. I'd start with, say, 6 fresh leaves in a mug of tea. Roll them and unroll them first to bruise the leaves and release essential oils. Depending on how you like that, adjust up or down next time.

  3. It is in the mint family, it should make a tea somewhat similar in character to mint tea. You should just try it alone first and see. If you decide it needs something else, any of the herbs that go with mint will make sense here too.

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I find that undried Lemon balm has too much of a chlorophyll flavor for my taste. You may like it that way. Drying, by hanging up bunches in a dark, airy, dry space gives me a tasty product I can use all year. Crunch it up, remove stems, and use a teaspoon per cup like regualr tea. Orange mint is also easy to grow and very good when prepped as I described.

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