Many herbs, from mint to fennel, can be used to make a herb tea, but you can experiment with blends of different herbs and spices, too. Rosehips, hibiscus flowers, camomile, lemon verbena (a favourite of mine) and cinnamon can be used.
For a brightly flavoured but fragrant tea, crush two stalks of lemongrass until they splinter, or chop them finely if you prefer, then add them to a teapot with a couple of lime leaves, lightly crushed, three coins of fresh ginger root and a few sprigs of mint. Bring a kettle of water to the boil, then pour over the lemongrass. Leave for five minutes, stirring well, then serve, preferably in glasses to show the beautiful colour.
Use a spotlessly clean teapot. Even the smallest trace of other teas, especially strong, dark builders' tea, will taint a delicate tisane. Use filtered water rather than water straight from the tap. Wait until it has just gone off the boil. Don't let the tea brew too long. Drink while the flavours are bright and fresh.
Use the tisane as syrup for a dried-fruit salad. Soaking dried apricots in lemon verbena or rosehip tea is worth a try. Use the tea, sweetened with sugar, as a syrup for rum babas or baklava. Chill the tea and pour over ice in tall glasses.