May 20 2024


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm



520BS-T: The Magic of Herbal Tea-Making with Brenda Smith

Class Fee $40
(includes refreshments)

Level: All

The Magic of Herbal Tea-Making Liability Waiver Form 


This workshop will be an introduction to how to make herbal teas using both wild-foraged, homegrown, and a few purchased ingredients.  You will learn how to combine herbs to make several types of herbal teas: medicinal, magical, and marvelously tasty concoctions.  You will learn some basics about how herbs are healthful for the medicinal teas, what the “magical” properties of some more common herbs are, and how to make teas that simply taste good.  Participants will learn the difference between an infusion and a decoction, how to infuse fruit tastes into teas, how to gather and dry herbs, how to brew herbal teas for the best healthful drinks, how to make teas taste their best, and how to appreciate and evaluate the final product.  We will also cover some very basic skills for gathering and preparing your plants for tea so that you can confidently complete the whole process from growing and harvesting, to properly drying the plants, to brewing and consumption.  Depending upon the season, we may forage some plants, and the class will culminate in a magical tea party, using herbs as part of our tea party refreshments.  (If the class is interested, we could also cover how to make herbal oils and vinegars.)

What is the benefit of homemade herbal teas versus store-bought tea?  The most obvious advantage is that you know the source of your ingredients.  You know where you grew or found the herbs, and if you have to buy ingredients, you will be provided resources for where to buy the best quality herbs.  Many teas that are purchased in individual tea bags in stores contain tea “dust,” and it is often hard to truly know where the ingredients came from.  Some herbs that don’t grow locally or even on this continent, are often included in commercially available teas.  They may have been grown in conditions that are hard to verify and may have been subjected to repeated heating and cooling during a long transport (sometimes years!) to the store.  Another advantage of making your own tea is that you control which ingredients go into your tea.  Your tea will not contain any “fillers”, just the plants that you want in your cup.  And, don’t forget the “magic” that you infuse into your tea as you craft your tea with your own hands.

STUDENT MATERIALS LIST:  A notebook for taking notes, a place to keep handouts that you’ll be receiving, an insulated cup or mug to keep the teas we’ll be drinking either hot or cold, and a phone or camera to take pictures of plants that you may want to be able to identify later.

Students are required to bring a copy of the above waiver form to class



I am a retired English teacher who has been foraging for wild foods for forty years and studying herbalism for the past seven hears.  There is always more to learn!  I have led foraging workshops with interested adults, high school classes, middle school classes, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and homeschoolers.  And, I have not lost a participant yet! For the past three years I have been selling herbal teas that I make at the Ashe County Farmers Market and leading foraging workshops and classes in the area, including classes through Florence Thomas Art School.