“Afterwards, they always had tea in the kitchen,
much the nicest room in the house.”
~ Flora Thompson, Author of Lark Rise to Candleford
As we load up on oranges and tangerines for the vitamin c punch this winter, don't forget the peels provide their own medicinal benefits. A cup of tea mixed with citrus peels would be a blessing to your health, a delight to the senses and rest for the weary.
We have dried some tangerine peels (how to here) and mixed them with a loose black tea for a simple effect. We used a ratio of 1 cup of tea leaves to 1/4 cup of dried peels but I encourage you to be creative! Prepare a rainbow variety using lemon, orange and tangerine peels!
The Tazo tea company prepares tantalizing blends featuring the abandoned peel for an enormous price. Perhaps these combinations will inspire you?
- The "Aloha Citrus" is made up of "black tea with pineapple, lemongrass, orange peel & coconut flakes".
- The "Wild Sweet Orange" blend features a "herbal infusion of orange peel, lemongrass, citrus herbs & licorice root" while the "Passion Tea" is comprised of "hibiscus, orange peel, rose hips and passion fruit flavors".
- The "Mintly Citrus" combines spearmint, tangerine peel, freeze-dried orange peel, blackberry leaves and orange oil (and they charge $5.95 for 2 oz!).
My question is… why have we been taught to throw our citrus peels away?
For added "zest", you can make custom tea bags for your "house-blends".
Simply make a pattern using a bag of tea (I traced it with the wrapper on to allow room for my seams).
Fold over your fine cheesecloth a few times so that you can prepare many bags with one cut.
Note: My cheesecloth could have been a bit "finer" but I used what we had.
You could also use other transparent fabrics such as organza.
Once you have your tea cloths all cut out...
...then sew three ends together (I used a sewing machine).
Fill with a generous teaspoon of your custom tea blend and sew the bag closed.
Enjoy your exotic tea! This would make a wonderful gift or a great reason to invite a friend over to enjoy a cup together. You could also serve your tea as a "loose tea" by utilizing a tea strainer or French Press. Loose tea is nice to gift in a pretty tin.
If you enjoyed this project, we share 100+ more ideas on how to use up fruit scraps in our Ebook here! Happy kitchen-crafting, ladies!
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