infusion vs decoction

Cold Brew Herbal Tea Methods

Summer is on Its way. What better way to cool down than drinking a refreshing glass of cold tea on a hot day. Cold teas can be prepared in so many different ways. In this post you will read about some of the most popular, and easiest ways to prepare a refreshing cold tea, packed full of so many medicinal and health benefits.  


A cold infusion is a preparation made from pouring cold water over dried or fresh herbs, covered to prevent the volatile oils from evaporating, and left overnight, or for 8-12 hours to infuse. Herbal infusions are different from herbal teas, the general difference being the steep time. Herbal infusions have a longer steeping time, which results in a darker color, and fuller taste. This allows more of the plants’ vitamins, minerals, and medicinal properties to be released. Drinking infusions provide better absorption of medicinal properties. You can prepare an infusion using the flowers, seeds, leaves, and sometimes roots of medicinals. Infusions can be prepared in a mason jar, teapot, or any other tight-lidded container. 

To prepare an infusion: Place your herbs of choice into your vessel, fill with boiling water, and cover. Let steep for as long as desired. This can be anywhere from 5-45min, 8-12 hours, or overnight. When ready to drink, strain the infusion, and enjoy cold, iced, at room temperature or hot. 

Use 1 teaspoon (5mL) of dried herbs/1 cup (250 mL) water. 

Depending on how strong you would like your infusion, use 4-6 teaspoons (60 to 90 mL) per 4 cups (1 L) of water or 6 cups (1.5 L) water in a teapot. 


Decoctions are made from tougher parts of plants, including the roots and bark, which tend to be harder to extract constituents from. 

To prepare a decoction: place herbs in a small stainless steel pot and cover with cold water. Heat slowly and simmer for 5-30 min. The longer you simmer, the stronger your decoction will be. You can even boil the water first, add the herbs and let simmer for a few minutes, turn off the heat and let it steep for hours, or overnight. 

Use 1 tsp (5mL) dried herb to 1 cup (250mL) of water. Use 4-6 teaspoons (20-30mL) per liter of water. 

Iced Tea

Iced tea can be made from a cooled infusion or decoction. It is a great way to get all the health benefits from herbs, and is extremely refreshing in the hotter months. Plants that make great iced tea include Rose hip, hibiscus, clover, mint, marshmallow, cranberry, red clover, and nettle, plus many more. Homemade syrups or honey can be added to iced tea for added flavor and medicinal properties. 

To prepare iced tea: pour cooled, strained tea in your vessel of choice. Stir in a squeeze of lemon or lime, and a sweetener such as maple syrup, honey or agave if desired. Add a handful of ice, and serve with a sprig of mint, slice of citrus, or choice of fruit/berry.

Written by; Violet Johnson for New Moon Tea Co.

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