Minimal Monday: Tangerine Tea

I’m a die hard coffee drinker, but I can’t ‘do’ caffeine after noon.  I end up wide awake in bed, thinking about things like the fiscal cliff, or how in the world Downton can go on without cousin Matthew.  So in the second half of the day I turn to herbal fruit teas as my hot beverage of choice, especially in the winter.  When I feel chilled, they warm me, and get me through the late afternoon snack attack.  But the ready made stuff is pretty boring, it usually lacks the flavor I’m looking for.  I’m going to fix all that by making it myself.

According to Livestrong, tangerine peel can help lower cholesterol and fight cancer.  That’s great because tangerine tea is my favorite and tangerines are in season right now, so grab a bagful to get started.  Because you’re going to be using the peel, try and find organic fruit— you want a fresh, fragrant fruit tea, not a chemical soup.

Wash and dry a few tangerines and then peel them.  You can just let the peels air dry for a day or two, or set them in a low oven to dry out.  When they’re crisp dry, you can crumble them by hand, chop them with a knife, or use a small food processor to break them up into small pieces.

There are a lot of flavors that go well with tangerine, like mint, ginger, cinnamon, clove, star anise, even vanilla.  But after some experimenting I decided I really wanted to feature the tangerine flavor in my tea, so I went with some hibiscus for its citrusy tang and rosy color, and a few jasmine green tea leaves.  I found these at the spice stand at my farmer’s market, but if you don’t have a spice stand nearby :) you can find loose tea in regular markets, and hibiscus at health food stores, or online.  Just mix it up together in a small bowl.

To store your tea you need something opaque and airtight.  Air and light will destroy the flavors you worked so hard to put in there.  Glazed ceramic or a metal tin work perfectly, and you probably have something around the house already.  Ideally, put small amounts of tea in small plastic bags or baggies, and then into the container.  Keep in a cool dark dry place, i.e not in the fridge, not next to the stove, not on a sunny windowsill.

You could buy empty tea bags to fill, but I think it’s so much easier to use it loose with an infuser, or even in a small coffee press.  I found my delicate little vintage spoon infuser in a thrift store.

Pour boiling water into your cup or pot and let the tea steep for several minutes. Much as I love it hot, this tea will be amazing iced in the summer, too.


The wonderful color and aroma of this tea makes you forget that it’s completely calorie free!  Unless you drop in a little bit of honey.  Which I recommend; it enhances the tangerine flavor.

Pretty, huh?




One year ago today—

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Arik H-k
    February 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    So…
    I know you said what other flavours go well with the tangerine peels, but could I have what you used? and measurements? Thank you.

    Best.

  • Reply
    Arik H-k
    February 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    So…
    I know you said what other flavours go well with the tangerine peels, but could I have what you used? and measurements? Thank you.

    Best.

  • Reply
    Patty
    January 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Love this idea for tea, am wondering what to do with a tree loaded with tangerines!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Being a tea addict this looks perfect.

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    January 1, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    This is beautiful! I’m loving all the colors and textures in the dried tea mixture.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    January 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    These teas are a pretty good help in cutting down on calories, I just focus on the wonderful color and fragrance and try to forget about the bag of chips in the cupboard ;)

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    January 1, 2013 at 6:10 am

    This is a grand, beautiful idea Sue! I’m like you and don’t like to drink coffee after lunch time. Plus I like my coffee with lots of creamer so that makes it too rich for more than a cup a day. I love herbal teas but I’m sure this one is way better than anything that comes in a box! Thanks so much for this idea!

  • Reply
    katrina hall
    December 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, what a beautiful tea – I can just imagine the perfume of a pretty pink cupful!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      The color is pretty, I wish it were more orange, but the peels don’t give off much color. I can’t wait to make iced tea with it.

  • Reply
    thyme Sarah
    December 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Yes, it is such a beautiful color. I think the tangerine peels toasting in the oven would be a lovely smell. We have lots of satsumas and grapefruits in season down here in Texas. I would love to try mixing up my own teas.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    December 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Oh, that is so beautiful…I love the pic of the dried tea in the dish! This sounds lovely (says another coffee drinker…). Wishing you a very happy new year, Sue!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    December 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Your tea sounds wonderful and I’ll have to give this a try (and it sounds virtuous and delicious after the holiday excesses). I also try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and haven’t been thrilled with the commercial choices. One question: are you using the tea leaves from jasmine tea or the jasmine blossoms? I think the tea leaves are a regular sort of green tea and will have some bit of caffeine, though not much.

    I’ve recently discovered that home brew stores have a wonderful array of flavoring ingredients. I was at a local store to buy cocoa nibs for cookies, and saw elder flowers, jasmine flowers and other curious ingredients. I think I might try some of them in teas!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      I think you’re right, I did read that green tea has some caffeine. I just sprinkled in a few of the Jasmine leaves because I love the fragrance so much. I am jealous that you have a home brew store in your area, I’ll have to head down to Chinatown to see if I can find one! Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    This is so fancy and beautiful that it reminds me of the tea at Teavana (ever been to one of those at the mall?) Oh I could just go nuts on this! The color alone is divine, Sue!

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