Herbal teas are made from either the leaves or flowers of a variety of herbs or flowering plants. While the flowers may sometimes be added to the tea freshly picked, more often they are dried and stored for later use. Chamomile is a popular herbal flower used in teas, but lesser-known tea flowers include readily available chrysanthemum and rose petals. Drying and storing the flowers properly ensures they retain the best of their flavor and fragrance, which they impart to the tea when you brew it.
Pick the flowers at the height of their bloom when they are fully open and not yet beginning to wilt --- usually within the first day of blooming. Cut off the entire flower head with clean shears, including at least ¼ inch of stem.
Separate large petals from the flower center for varieties like roses, mums and other large flowers. Leave small flower heads, such as chamomile, intact.
Spread the flowers or petals out on a drying screen so that none are overlapping or touching. Use a stainless-steel window screen if you don't have a drying screen.
Place the screen in a warm, dry room that is out of direct light. Leave them to dry for three days, then turn the petals or flowers over so they dry evenly. Allow them to continue drying for another three days.
Inspect the flowers for dryness. If they feel papery and brittle with no obvious moisture spots, place them in a tightly sealed bag or container. If they are still moist, dry them for an additional three to five days. Store the flowers in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use them.