Are you a tea lover? Get a thrill every time you walk into David’s Tea? Why not try making your own spicy tea blend that has health benefits too? It’s the perfect gift for a fellow tea lover on your Christmas list, or even as a treat for yourself!
I’ve been experimenting with homemade teas for a few years now. Last year, I grew my own chamomile for tea. And I grow many varieties of mint, which I mix together to make a tea we all love. There’s a bunch of mint drying in my daughters bedroom right now, since she is conveniently away at school during mint drying season. I often blend my mint with lemongrass and lemon verbena, since I grow those too and I hate to waste perfectly good herbs. I’ve been pretty successful with some basic tea herbs – it’s about all I can grow that the opossums, groundhogs, and raccoons turn their noses up at.
This year, just in time for the holiday season, I’ve decided to branch out into some more exotic blends. One tea I’ve always loved is the Yogi Tea that I was introduced to by one of my yoga teachers. It’s a recipe based on five traditional Ayurvedic spices: cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, clove bud, ginger root and black pepper. It’s soothing and delicious, and offers health benefits too numerous to mention including helping to prevent colds, flu and sinus problems – a big bonus this time of year.
To make Yogi Tea, you normally boil the spices for at least 20 minutes, and then add a small amount of black tea and milk. This tea blend is a variation on the traditional recipe that’s designed to be a little easier to make on-the-go. I’ve cut the ginger out of the blend since I prefer to use it fresh, and I often add a slice to my cup when I brew this tea. You could try drying some ginger slices and adding them to the mix if you like.
The trick to making this tea blend is to grind the spices coarsely. I have an awesome stone mortar and pestle that my amazing sis brought back for me from Thailand. She actually dragged two of these around in her backpack for the two of us – that’s good sistering, don’t you think? This was perfect to break up the hard spices in this recipe, but you could try using a coffee grinder instead.
If you wanted to, you could boil this tea on the stove for a while to intensify the flavour, but I enjoy it just as much brewed the normal way. If the flavour feels too light for you, you could increase the amount of black tea in the recipe.
Isn’t the tea pretty? I’ll be tucking a few of these jars under the tree for my girls and sis, and I’ll be sure to keep a jar for myself too.
Dani’s Yogi Tea Blend
(makes 1 cup)
10 sticks cinnamon
60 whole cardamom pods
20 red peppercorns
40 black peppercorns
2 teaspoons loose black tea (up to 8 teaspoons for stronger flavour)
milk and honey to taste
1. Cut up the cinnamon sticks and grind coarsely using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.
2. Grind the remaining spices and mix together. Add the tea.
3. Brew using 1 tablespoon per cup of hot water.
One of my favourite things heading into the holiday season is all the great ideas you can find online for unique and personal gifts to make. Longtime readers know we have a big tradition of making gifts in my house, and I’ll be visiting my blogger friends for inspiration. Today I’m participating in a fun DIY Christmas Gifting roundup. Why not head over today to see these bloggers so you can get a head start on your list?
From the top, they are: