The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How about some homemade orange spice tea?

So many people associate the scent and flavor of spiced oranges with the fall and winter season. Making old-fashioned clove oranges is a lovely pastime that results in a natural and decorative air freshener for the home, but also a delicious garnish for punches, hot beverages, and teas like the blend below. Orange spice tea is one of the most popular blends for cold weather, at least in the United States, but most people purchase theirs, and are unaware that it is a fairly simple recipe to make at home. With all due respect to Bigelow tea company and their classic Constant Comment blend, here is a homemade version:

Homemade orange spice tea (by the pot):
4 cups water
1 tablespoon black tea
1 tablespoon orange marmalade, plus extra
5 whole cloves, plus extra
1 whole cinnamon stick

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Place a tablespoon of loose black tea in the bottom of a warmed teapot, with one cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves which have been bruised or cracked. Add one tablespoon of orange marmalade. Fill the teapot with boiling water, cover, and allow to steep for up to 5 minutes. Strain into cups and enjoy. Using the same tea leaves and spices, but adding up to 1 tablespoon orange marmalade each time, you can get up to 4 teapots of orange spice tea.

Not only will you have a delicious and popular hot beverage, you can adjust the amount of orange and spice to suit your own taste! Serve with a thin slice or wedge of fresh orange, with 2 or 3 whole cloves pushed into the peel.

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)