When you think of hops, what do you think of? Probably those beer commercials, right? Where breweries brag about inclusion of the best hops on the planet into their malt drinks? We bet you’ve probably never thought about hops tea.
Hops tea isn’t the most popular drink on the planet, but it’s got some useful properties. Let’s explore hops tea, where you can find it and whether or not it’s a healthy tea.
What is Hops Tea?
The first thing you’ll need to know about hops tea is that it’s not alcoholic. When brewers make beer, it’s not the hops which add the alcohol. Instead, it’s the fermentation process.
Hops tea isn’t fermented. It’s made from the flowers of a plant called Humulus lupulus, which is, interestingly enough, loosely related to the marijuana plant. They’re a part of the hemp family.
They’ve got a bitter taste, which is why they’re used so frequently in beer. But hops tea has oodles of medicinal value; it’s one of the most healthy teas you can find.
Most frequently, hops tea is used to relax. There are stress-relieving properties to the tea which will aid with anxiety, calm the mind and even aid sleep.
Hops tea is also a digestive aid, as it is a diuretic. The tea can help relieve constipation and to flush toxins out of the body. Studies indicate that hops have external applications as well. It’s thought that these flowers can reduce inflammation and fight infection.
How to Make Hops Tea
If you’re thinking of giving hops tea a try, there are easy ways to do it. You can simply order a few bags of hops tea from a retailer on the internet, or from your local health foods store.
But if you want to make your own, you’ll need hops flowers. But the flowers are very bitter, so you might want to consider adding something to your hops tea. For a relaxing tea, try chamomile flower. Fighting a cold? Add a little Echinacea.
Then, simply add your ingredients to a French press or a tea ball. Use water which isn’t boiling – around 80 Celsius (175 degrees Fahrenheit). For added flavor, you can add some honey or a bit of raw sugar.
Where to Get Hops Tea
As you’d imagine, you can buy hops tea online. You’ll find them at independent retailers as well as the larger retailers like Amazon and eBay. Search the ingredients, as hops tea may be marketed as a night time tea or a relaxation tea.
Locally, you may be able to find hops tea at your health food store or at chains like Holland and Barrett. The tea may be bagged or loose. If you can, find fresh hops as these are more effective than the dried kind.
Homebrewers will tell you – it’s also possible to grow your own hops. If you try hops tea and love it, consider starting a small garden. Find a sunny spot and plant the rhizomes. By late summer they’ll be ready to harvest.