Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Homemade Tea

When I think of it, Valentine's Day oddly has never been about a boy.  In, fact, my fondest memories about the holiday have always been nonromantic but loving jesters made by my parents - the little treats and note secretly stuffed in my lunch bag from my mom or the handmade construction paper cards from my dad.  For me, it's not about the dozen roses or fancy jewelry, but the smaller thoughtful things made with love from the people I love.  There is just something about receiving a gift made from the heart that just seems to melt my own.  So instead of cards or candy, I'm making homemade tea for my Valentines this year.  It's personal but also a fun pick-me-up for this long winter season.

With all the colds and flus spreading like crazy this winter, tea has been my saving grace.  So in thoughts of perking up others' winter blues for this Day of Love, this sweet flavor of homemade tea is reminiscent of the Fall that I already desperately miss but a glimpse into the Spring up ahead.  With a mild white tea base, dried orange peel, apples and spices, this particular concoction is comforting, soothing, healthy and tasty!

What you'll need: Serves 4

1 orange
4 tsp loose white tea
4 dried apple rings (cut in small pieces)
8 cinnamon sticks (broken in half)
1 pkg whole allspice (slightly smashed)
Fillable tea bags (found mine at Sur La Table)
Thick white string cut 4 inches long
Card stock paper (two colors)
Heart hole punch
Small hole punch
Double sided tape

Unless you can find already made dried orange peels, it's really easy to make your own.  Using a paring knife, peel off strips from the orange rind (cutting as close to the surface as possible).  The more white pith you leave, the longer it will take to dry out.  For quick results aline the peels on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 150 degrees until the peels have completely dried out.  Check the peels every 10 - 15 mins.  Timing depends on how thick the strip are, but mine took about an hour to completely dry out.

Once the orange peels are done, start assembling each tea bag with 1 tsp of white tea, dried apple pieces, a couple of orange peels, 4 cinnamon stick halves, and a handful of smashed allspice.

Create the tea hang tags by cutting a small piece of rectangular card stock, fold it in half, punch a heart shape hole on one half and tape a piece of contrast paper behind the cutout.  Using a tiny hole punch, make a hole for the thick string in the corner of the tag and tie a knot with one end of the string.  Punch another hole in the fillable tea bag and tie a knot with the other end of the string around that hole.

Once completely assembled, let the tea bags steep in boiling water for about 5 mins.  Remove and enjoy.


  1. May try this! Thanks!

  2. Replies
    1. Oh! Then you must give this a shot for her next birthday or holiday! xoxo

  3. Christina Marie, what a sweet gift. I know I love special teas and a homemade one would be even better!
    Hope your Valentine's was good.

    1. Valentine's was good! It involved an unsolved mystery of a secret admirer and lots of nutella stuffed straberries! Hope you had a love fest day with the family. xoxo