Just curious since I know at least one of my readers is a tea lover like myself, but what are some of your favourite teas?
I have 5 favourite homemade brews. Everything else I’m just so so about. Here’s what I love and how to make it or spice it up a bit.
- Chai tea
- Orange tea
- Rose tea
- Lime/Lemon leaf tea or using dehydrated fruit slices
- Lemon Slice in black tea or green tea with honey
Some of my other favourite combinations are just variations of these. I like how simple they are. Recently I tried lemon myrtle tea. I wasn’t a fan but I am willing to try it again. I think I’d rather just regular lemons. They’re always tasty and quick and easy to use and make a great tea.
Here’s the recipes for my homemade versions of these teas:
Ingredients for a standard teapot:
- Black tea, I recommend Bushells Australian Breakfast
- 3 or 4 dried Bay leaves
- 4 to 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole pepper corns (not as spicy as it sounds, it disperses slowly)
- 3 to 4 cardamon pods (crushing them a bit first is optional)
- half or a whole cinnamon stick
- (optional) A few thin slices of ginger root.
- (optional) Sugar (raw or brown) or honey.
- (optional) Milk
Place all of the herbs in the teapot and the normal amount of black tea you would use for a plain pot of tea. I use whole leaf and have a strainer which suits me just fine. Fill the pot with freshly boiled tea and allow to steep for 7 to 10 minutes. Take the tea bags out after it’s reached the desired flavour of tea. If you let it sit, more tannin can release and it can ruin the flavour.
Give a quick stir and use a fine mesh strainer before pouring a cup. If you don’t have one just give it a minute or 2 for it to settle to the bottom and then pour.
After pouring your serve, sweeten and add some milk but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. It’s quite nice black. I personally recommend adding a teaspoon of brown sugar, it really sets of the flavours of the cinnamon and cardamon. You could also leave out the cinnamon and just sprinkle the powder in your cup. I don’t recommend adding cinnamon powder to your tea pot it can sometimes mingle and turn gooey. I have no idea why.
Afterwards if or when you finish your pot, you can leave the herbs in and brew another 3 or so pots before it looses it’s flavour.
Usually this is made with either fresh whole slices of oranges or just the peel. I however, make mine with dehydrated orange slices and sometimes put it in black tea. The flavour for all three ways will make the teas taste vary. Here’s a few methods. This is also really nice as a slow cooked air freshener.
I also forgot to mention you can spice it up a bit with some clove, star anise and cinnamon. It’s quite nice with just cloves.
Fill your tea pot with cold water. Then pour it into a saucepan. It’s just an easier way to measure it out. Then put several whole slices of an orange in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on medium to low heat for 15minutes. Take off heat and put it aside.
Take your teapot to the sink and warm up your teapot under the tap. I just run mine under straight hot water since my taps take a while to heat. Pour out the hot water (I use mine for a quick clean up). While your teapot is still warm, pour the tea in. If you do this in a cold teapot you could smash it from the sudden temperature change.
Now it’s ready to serve. The skins can sometimes add a slight bitterness so I do recommend having some kind of sweetener. Honey goes well and is a healthy option.
Peel a whole orange. Preferably a navel orange. If using just skins 1 navel orange should be enough for one pot of tea. Use the same method as above. Measure out the amount of water you need by filling your teapot with cold water and pouring it into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer on medium to low heat for 15minutes.
This one is easy. You can do this with just hot water or with some black tea of your preferred strength.
Break up and add several dehydrated slices to your teapot. Add hot water to your teapot and allow to steep for 10 minutes. This creates a warm orange flavoured tea. You can really taste the oils from the peel. If you add black tea remember to remove it once you reach the desired flavour level.
You can leave the peel in but it will keep dispersing oils until it’s re-hydrated and it could add an undesired flavour strength. When it comes to black tea it often tastes better to make the black tea and add a few broken chunks to your hot cup and let it do it’s own thing.
This one is always interesting. Tastes like turkish delight. Here’s 2 plain recipes:
Gather some roses for your tea. Aim for colourful roses. White ones seem to have no flavour. And of course red or pink taste best.
If you’re unsure about it you can buy them as whole buds from T2 or most organic health food stores. Since roses contain more vitmain C than oranges, this is a great tea to have before or during a cold or the flu.
Gently remove your rose petals and place in a strainer. Using a gentle stream of water, rinse and wash your petals. Be careful not to bruise them. I use about one full sized rose per 1cup of water but that’s how I like it. This is a recipe that you might have to alter as you go.
So using these measurements, 4cups of roses to 1 litre of water. Place in an appropriate sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes and then bring to a simmer until the petals turn white. You can actually over boil them. The water will start turning pink so you might need a fork (yes a fork) to pick up and view the petals. They will also become a little transparent so if you use a spoon, it is hard to tell how well cooked they are.
When they petals are white remove from heat and allow to sit to cool. Put it in a tea pot or allow to fully cool and place in a jug and put it in the fridge. Sweeten to your desired taste but use sugar. White sugar will yield the best flavour.
If you don’t like it as a tea then the unsweetened rose water is extremely good for the skin. You can use it as is or put a cup in your next bath.
When you make your next pot of black tea add a few clean rose petals and some sugar. It tastes good black or with milk. This has to be my favourite tea is Spring and Autumn. It’s very floral and easy to make.=.
Here’s a few other ways I like to have mine.
- A few petals in black tea
- A few petals in white tea
- Added as an extra ingredient in herbal teas
- As an iced tea
- Added to vanilla ice cream
Lime/Lemon Leaf Tea
I LOVE this tea! I was looking up cooking uses for lime leaves since I was making dinner with Basa and discovered this tea. It’s so easy. You can do this either by stove top or let it steep. Here’s the two ways I prepare mine:
This has to be the easiest way. I make mine in a small tea pot. It makes approximately 2 tea cups of tea.
Gather 4 or 5 lime or lemon tree leaves, but you can always use the fresh leaves from Woolies or Coles. Break it up into little bits. You don’t have to go crazy. Just small 1cm segments will do. I split mine down the middle and start ripping it into bits.
Pour in freshly boiled water and allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. It will be warm and ready to drink right away. You might need a strainer and I recommend giving it a quick stir before serving. Add honey if you like. It taste like lemon without any of the bitterness.
This tea is good for settling an upset tummy and calming the nerves. It’s also an excellent drink to give to someone that’s sick. Other than easing the tummy it’s still very rich in vitamins and can help speed up recovery.
Measure out what you will be making. So say 2 whole leaves per tea cup. When I make it in a sauce pan I make it for each person. Usually I serve 4 people so 8 leaves and 4 tea cups of water. Not cups, tea cups. Lime/Lemon leaf tea is a very gentle and mild flavoured tea.
You can cut up the leaves or put them in whole. I cut the leaves up a bit. I feel like it helps to extract the flavour better. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The leaves are thick and can take quite some time to extract.
Serve with a half to 1 teaspoon of honey. Honey is option but it’s so mild you really only need half that.
Black Tea With Lemon
This one is the simplest and never gets old. Honey is optional but recommended. All you need is a fresh brew of black tea and either a fresh slice of lemon or a slice of dehydrated lemon. I prefer the dehydrated lemon. And you can reuse the same slice more than once. Just drop it in, let it steep for a moment and enjoy!
I added this one separately. This one you can prepare exactly like the orange tea only you will want to add a lot of sugar to sweeten it. However being lemon and smaller, you only need to simmer it for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your rind.
This tea is really good for you, especially if you’ve got a cold. Though it’s nice with honey it’s also a very bitter tea so sweetening is essential. Also this tea is much better served as an iced tea so after making it and sweetening, let it cool and stick it in the fridge. If you were going to have this as an iced tea, adding a little white tea wouldn’t hurt and would likely improve the flavour.
Like I said, it’s a nice tea but it can be very bitter.
Most of these teas are very healthy with a lot of health benefits. The only thing that can make it unhealthy is what you sweeten it with and how much.
So what’s your favourite tea? I really love Oolong tea from time to time as well but these are my absolute favourites.