Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Make Citrus Peel "Tazo" Style Tea Blends and Bags ~ Citrus Series

“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!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).


  1. Thank you for these ideas! My husband has a French press he uses for coffee, and recently began using it for making tea as well. Right now he's putting commercial tea bags in it that he'd already purchased, but he recently asked me to find a way to buy bulk tea to use in the press. He has tried several of the Tazo brand teas and we have mandarins on hand right now - I'll start saving those peels!

    1. Oh yes! A french press would be perfect for this! I might have to add that idea into the post :) Also, you will love the money you save by making your own blends since the Tazo's do add up! Have a wonderful week~ JES :)

  2. Tea is just one of the niceties of life. Nothing quite like it weather it's hot or cold out:)
    And...citrus in anything makes it better (my opinion of course.)
    Thank you

    1. I agree, I really enjoy my afternoon cup of green tea :)

  3. They all sound lovely! Wish I had a cup now! Very simple but thought provoking question as well. Why were we taught to toss the peels/skin? Crazy!

  4. My thoughts exactly, on it all. While I love loose tea, Hubby has to have a tea bag and now I have a solution thanks to your tutorial. Another inspiring post!

    1. Thanks Annie! It is always nice to hear from you :)

  5. Oh my, this would be lovely to make! I have never made my own tea, but you have inspired me, sweet JES :) Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. wonderful post-I love how you made the tea bags! thanks

    1. Thanks Kathy for taking the time to comment sweetly :)

  7. I am so pleased to have found you. You are one interesting lady.
    I not only peel my citrus fruit but remove all the membrane as well. For some reason the feel of the membrane in my mouth makes me gag (sorry about being so descriptive)
    I was informed recently that there is a lot of goodness in orange pith, so if we are making a smoothie we should leave it in.
    The same person also said that apple pips should be left in, but I am sure that in large amounts they are toxic. So why risk a build up?
    I have been glancing down your side bar and there is so much to read.
    Many thanks from across the pond.

    1. Nice to meet you Cally! And thanks for the smoothie tips! :) I am not a fan of the membrane either which is why I usually juice my oranges and then strain them… I rarely eat an orange as an orange. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is very clever! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  9. What a fabulous idea! I've some loose tea I could make up.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  10. Great tutorial on making your own citrus tea bags. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  11. For over two years now have been making my own spice tea blend with orange/lemon peel, lemongrass and pieces of cinnamon and safflowers, which I buy at the local farmer's market. However, just lately,they seem less pungent or fresh, so have started to make my own peels since I regularly use/eat oranges and lemons. Thank you for your advice!