What are infusions? An infusion is the method used to make an herbal beverage with loose leaf, flower, and stems from any chosen herbs. An infusion is the best way to extract the medicine from these plant parts without damaging the constituents. Because leaves, flowers, and stems are more fragile than roots & barks, they do not need as much exposure to heat.
In an infusion you generally pour hot to boiling water over the herbs and then allow them to steep for however long you choose, but at least 15-20 minutes for most herbs and sometimes I allow them to steep overnight. I personally do not use tea balls and I usually recommend NOT using them because I don't think they leave the herbs enough room to expand and break through the cell walls to extract the medicine.
I have two favorite ways of going about this process - the first is using a french press and the second is using the deep steep method.
French Press Infusion:
A french press is my favorite way to brew my herbs when I want a hot cup in a short amount of time. The french press also helps me to drink a pot at a time AND makes clean up extra easy! I'll put anywhere from 2-3 tablespoons of herbs in my french press (note that this is ridiculously strong and some may want just 1 tablespoon - experiment and find your sweet spot). I allow the herbs to steep for 20 minutes BEFORE pushing the press down! When I'm done, I empty the herbs into my compost, rinse out the french press, and store it away until I am ready to use it again!
Deep Steep Infusion:
Pictured below are 2 quart jars and a strainer - this is how I like to work with the deep steep method. The deep steep method is great for overnight steeping, making for a very strong medicine! (You can also do this method I am about to write for a cold brew, using cold water and putting in the fridge overnight)
Take 2 heaping tablespoons of whatever herbs/blend you want to use and put them into an empty quart jar - then fill the quart jar with hot water and carefully put the lid on. Allow this jar to sit somewhere safe on the counter overnight. The next morning, strain the quart with the beverage into an empty quart jar, compost you herbs, and drink your beverage throughout the day! On hot days I like to add ice and you can also re-heat the liquid if you'd like to enjoy it hot.