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How to Make Thyme Tea with Fresh and Dried Thyme

This Thyme Tea is an aromatic homemade herbal tea perfect for those days when you need something soothing to sip on.

Learn how to make this easy-to-brew beverage with fresh or dried thyme leaves to enjoy hot or cold in just a few simple steps.

Top-view of a white teacup with a thyme tea in it standing on a white saucer.

Thyme is a member of the mint family, native to the Mediterranean region. But these days, it is a widespread culinary herb cultivated all over the globe.

I often use thyme in soups, chicken, turkey, fish, vegetable sides, and even savory oatmeal.

But did you know you can also use this popular herb to make herbal tea?

Steeping thyme in hot water doesn’t just make a cozy and comforting cup of hot tea but also one full of potential health benefits. For instance, in winter, thyme tea is a lifesaver in my house for alleviating cold and flu symptoms, especially cough and sore throat.

On top of that, I love making chilled thyme tea infused with other fresh herbs and various fresh fruits during the summer.

These fruit-herbal tea infusions are more exciting than plain water, making it much easier to stay hydrated during hot weather!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are four reasons why this thyme tea recipe is a keeper:

  • It’s quick and easy. With just boiling water, thyme, and about 5 minutes of your time, you’ll make a relaxing cup of homemade herbal thyme tea.
  • You can use fresh or dried thyme. This is a great way to use abundant fresh garden thyme or the dried thyme leaves in your spice cabinet.
  • It’s delicious hot or cold. If you want to keep it warm, simply pour it into a thermos, or make a big batch to refrigerate and enjoy cold or over ice.
  • Potential medicinal properties. Antioxidant-packed thyme contains several antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, thyme tea is widely accepted as a natural remedy for alleviating cough and chest congestion. Perfect to have on hand during flu season. Check out these studies.

Top-view of green fresh thyme sprigs on a white wooden background.

Ingredient Notes

Fresh thyme tea is a great way to enjoy a rejuvenating hot or cold herbal tea. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Thyme – Thyme tea is typically made with common garden thyme, also known as thymus vulgaris. You can use packaged thyme tea bags, but sprigs of fresh or dried culinary thyme also work. Just know that dried thyme has a more concentrated flavor. Likewise, you can use culinary-grade dried thyme leaves if you have a tea ball infuser.
  • Water – Filtered or spring water is the best choice for making tea, as it has the purest flavor. You can use tap water, but only if it’s clean and free of any flavor impurities that may affect the taste of your tea.

How to Make Thyme Tea

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this thyme tea recipe: 

  1. Heat the water: Start by filling your tea kettle or pot with 1½ cups of water and heating it to a boil.
  2. Prep: Place 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 sprigs of dried thyme in a large teacup or mug. OR, if you have a tea ball infuser, chop the thyme sprigs, place them in the tea ball, and put the tea ball in your cup.
  3. Steep: Pour the boiling water over the thyme sprigs (or over the tea ball), cover the cup, and let the herbs steep for about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain: Remove the thyme sprigs (or the tea ball), discard the herbs, and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect cup of thyme tea:

  • If using fresh thyme, use the freshest sprigs of thyme you can find to ensure maximum flavor and health benefits. If using dried thyme, it must be culinary-grade.
  • Be sure to use the right amount of thyme. As a rule of thumb, use 3 sprigs or about 1½ teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves per 12 ounces of water. If using dried thyme, use 2 sprigs or about ¾ teaspoon dried thyme leaves per 12 ounces of water. Remember, you can always use more or less according to your taste preferences.
  • Be sure to steep at the right temperature and for the correct time. For herbal teas, the water should be 212°F, and the herbs are best soaked for 5-7 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to cover the tea while steeping to retain the heat and as much flavor as possible.

A side-view of a white teacup with the thyme tea and a few thyme sprigs in it.


This flavorful tea recipe is delightful on its own, but you can just as easily make an herbal tea infusion.

Here are some delicious ideas:

  • Citrus fruits – You can steep sliced lemon, grapefruit, or orange directly in hot water and strain the pulp before serving, or squeeze the juice directly into your cup of tea.
  • Fruits and berries – You can steep fresh fruit like apples, peaches, or blueberries in hot water and then strain them before serving. OR, allow the hot tea to cool, add your fruit, and then place it in the fridge to infuse before serving cold.
  • Spices – Steep the thyme leaves in hot water with a slice of ginger, a cinnamon stick, star anise, or cardamom. Or try stirring in a pinch of warming spice blends like pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or chai spices before serving.
  • Steep with other tea and herbs – Try steeping the thyme sprigs with different tea blends, such as green tea, peppermint, rooibos, cranberry, apple, and hibiscus. You can add other fresh or dried herb sprigs, such as rosemary, sage, or mint.
  • Sweeteners – To sweeten your thyme tea, you can use natural sweeteners derived from real food ingredients, such as raw honey, pure maple syrup, date syrup, agave nectar, and coconut nectar.


Storing: If you have extra thyme tea, or you’d like to make a larger batch, after brewing, remove the thyme, let the tea cool, and refrigerate the tea in an airtight container to enjoy cold or reheated for the next 2-3 days.

Freezing: After removing the thyme, let the liquid cool to room temperature and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then, you can use the ice cubes to chill your future iced thyme teas and other iced drinks.

Fresh thyme in a jar standing on a tea towel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few related questions on how to make thyme tea:

How do you store fresh sprigs of thyme?

Wrap the sprigs loosely in a damp paper towel, place them in a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate the sealed bag in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. You can also store fresh thyme sprigs with water in a jar or vase.

Keep the jar or vase on your kitchen counter or windowsill, and change the water every 2-3 days.

How do you dry fresh sprigs of thyme?

The easiest way to dry fresh thyme is by spreading the sprigs on a clean, flat surface in a cool, dry room for a few days.

When completely dried out and crispy, store them in a sanitized, airtight jar away from sunlight and heat.

Can you make tea with ground thyme spice?

No. This recipe specifically calls for sprigs of fresh or dried thyme leaves because ground thyme from the spice aisle of a grocery store is too fine to make tea.

Why is my thyme tea bitter?

The cause of bitter thyme tea is typically using too much dried thyme or steeping the herbs for too long.

You can try diluting the bitterness by adding more water, but in the future, use less dried thyme and only steep the thyme for about 5 minutes.

More Herbal Teas and Infused Water Recipes

Thyme Tea

How to Make Thyme Tea

Yield: 1 teacup
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

Thyme tea is delicious, soothing, and comforting. Learn how to make thyme tea using fresh or dried thyme.


  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme ( or 2 sprigs of dried thyme)
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water


  1. Place the thyme sprigs into a teacup. Pour about 1 1/2 cup boiling water, cover, and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the sprigs before drinking.

Alternative method:

  1. If you have a tea ball infuser, chop the thyme sprigs. Place them into the tea ball and put the ball into a teacup. Pour boiling water over it, cover, and let it steep for about 5 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Yield 1 portion Serving Size full recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 9Total Fat 0.2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 15mgCarbohydrates 2.2gFiber 1.3gSugar 0gProtein 0.5g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 21st of October 2021

The thyme tea was successful and always helps.


Saturday 5th of December 2020

I can't find thyme tea bags, can i just buy a jar of thyme from the spice department at the store and make tea?


Tuesday 30th of March 2021

@ethel, l purchased thyme leaves in the spice section of the grocery store. Many grocery stores also sell potted fresh herbs in the produce section. If you can't find any in the afore mentioned places, with Spring here you'll find the plant at Walmart or you can grow from seed in a flowerpot. Good luck!

Maria Ushakova

Saturday 5th of December 2020

No. Ground thyme from the spice department is too fine to make tea.

Maria Ushakova

Sunday 16th of February 2020

You can use about 2 dried thyme sprigs.


Friday 17th of July 2020

Thanks for this recipe.

Maria Ushakova

Tuesday 27th of November 2018

I am so glad it was helpful! :)


Thursday 1st of March 2018

Hi thank you. So easy. Hoping for food results. Can I reuse the fresh sprigs?

Maria Ushakova

Thursday 1st of March 2018

Hi there! I am not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean reuse them for cooking?

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