Our Cistus fans often ask us how to brew Cistus incanus tea, so we filmed the process!
The labor-intensive three-brew method makes it difficult for some people to brew their daily tea. The good news? Cistus brewing doesn’t have to be time consuming.Watch the Video
Cistus incanus 101
Cistus incanus may have an inhibitory effect on the multiplication of viruses, which can be used to battle colds and influenza. For many, it may ameliorate cold and flu symptoms in about two days after drinking the first cup.
Cistus incanus is among the most well-studied herbs for immune system health because it shows potent and broad antiviral activity against viruses. Many people like to brew Cistus incanus tea daily because it’s a promising source of agents that target virus particles.
In addition to its antiviral qualities, the tea has powerful antibacterial and biofilm-breaking qualities. Studies suggest that the tea targets outer surface proteins, preventing the primary attachment method in biofilms. This action can also reduce the virulence and reproductive ability of pathogens.
Finally, Cistus incanus tea makes a wonderful mosquito and tick repellant.
For all these reasons, we brew Cistus incanus tea almost every day. (You can learn more about the health benefits of Cistus tea here.)
Tea Creaming 101
A groundbreaking study in Food Research International Journal considered the effects of temperature, time to brew Cistus incanus tea, and water mineral level on its total phenolic content. The study investigated the effects of the mineral content of the water used. Higher mineral content in the water caused up to a 62% decrease in the flavonal glycosides, and some compounds like gallic acid were completely left behind in the tea cream.
Now, the amount of tea cream is usually a function of (1) temperature, (2) the ratio of water to tea leaves, and (3) the pH of the water. For Cistus incanus, the mineral content of the water is more critical than the pH.
How to Brew Cistus incanus Tea
Once you know how to brew Cistus incanus tea, you will be able to capture its full health benefits. It’s best to drink the tea within 24-36 hours of brewing, so consider making one day’s worth at a time.
The three-brew method is time consuming and complicated, especially when you’re doing it every day. Luckily, there’s an easier way.
Put 13 grams of Cistus (about 1/3 cup) in a large 1 liter or 1 quart French press. Boil 1 liter of water (filtered water with no mineral content if possible). Take the water off boil, then wait about 90 seconds. (Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds degrade rapidly at temperatures approaching boiling.)
Pour the water into the French press. The Cistus will float. Press the plunger a bit to submerge the Cistus. Let the tea steep for about 25 minutes. When all of the plant material has sunk to the bottom, press the plunger all the way down. The method used here to brew Cistus incanus tea makes about 4 cups of tea. This uncaffeinated tea has a mild, floral flavor.
We like to drink it throughout the day. That’s some good tea!
10 thoughts on “How to Brew Cistus incanus Tea”
Hello. After the tea has steeped in the French press, the plunger is down and ready to drink, can the tea remain in the french press or should it be removed to another container and not be exposed to the leaves afterwards? Maybe the plunger keeps the tea separate from the brew? Thanks for all you folks do!
Hi Michael, Thanks for reaching out.
Your question is can the tea be left in the French press? Yes the tea can be left in the french press. We do suggest that you finish the tea within 36 hours, and that it should be refrigerated if you intend to keep it overnight. Left in contact with the plant material the flavor of the tea may become a bit more bitter over time. If the flavor profile changes enough to stop you from drinking it, then by all means decant before that occurs. But if you are good with the taste there is no detriment to keeping things simple.
How would this differ with the extract vs the loose leaf? I know the loose leaf is cheaper for the same amount.
Hi Kelli, thanks for asking. The extract is “ready to go” there is no decoction process needed. just put it in hot water or the beverage of your choice and enjoy.
We have a Berkey filter, which I believe leaves the minerals in, so we should use the three-brew method? Can one purchase a certain type of water from the store to speed up the process w/the French press? Both brews give the same result though if using the right type of water, correct? Thanks!
In our opinion the three brew method is only necessary if you have hard water. A mineral content of greater than 80mg/l.
What are your thoughts on using bottled store-bought water like Fiji, for the French press method?
Hi Mary, thanks for asking.
It is not possible to speak to every water brand. We generally recommend not using high mineral content water to brew Cistus tea.
Fiji is moderately hard in its mineral content. It has about 90mg/liter of silica, 15 milligrams of magnesium, 18 milligrams of calcium, 5 milligrams of potassium, and 18 milligrams of sodium. However, silica will not interact with Cistus in a manner that causes tea-creaming. Using Fiji water should not present a problem. It will be more expensive than using a filtered water.
What brand of food thermometer do you recommend? Which on are you using in the video? Thanks!
Hi Terri, thanks for asking about the thermoneter. The thermometer we used was a Taylor digital kitchen thermometer. But truly any food safe kitchen or baking one would do. Your water is not going to reach the temperature of most cooking tasks. One of our goals in making the video was to show the viewer how to gauge the temperature of water without a thermometer. In the spirit of keeing things simple – a low simmer (well off a boil) will be perfect for your tea.