Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crazy me, making my own teas

As I have done my best to cut down on caffeine, I have fallen in love with herbal teas, 
especially if I drink them in the tea cups I collect. 
I use my "special" tea cups everyday, as everyday is special to me...
How can you not like drinking tea in this...?

or this..?

I feel like a queen when I do.

I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants a couple of months ago, having a totally healthy day
(you know, those days when you are even surprised at the healthy choices you've made since
 breakfast and you don't want to ruin it).
I ordered a salad for dinner.
Thinking that it would not be enough but not wanting to grab a slice of the pizza my hubs had ordered
(that would be the "ruining" part -- too many carbs), and given it was such a cold evening,
I decided to go for tea. 

One of the flavors caught my attention: Blueberry Hibiscus. 
It was love at first sip. 
That's all it took for me to start a long conversation with the server that would lead me to Tea Grotto.

The very next day, I headed downtown to visit this tea store. 
Great teas, high price. 
I expected the high prices, but I was surprised that there was no list of ingredients,
or no information about where the ingredients came from. 
I had no way of knowing if there were any additives, colorants, or anything else
I really don't want to put into my body.
I loved their teas (I bought quite a few different flavors) but I was missing
a lot of the information on ingredients that I am (quite) fanatic about.

While driving back home I thought..why can't I make my own herbal teas?
Then I would know exactly what goes in it, right?
The control-freak in me applauded the idea.

While watching one of my favorite shows on PBS, I saw a recipe for an herbal tea with ginger 
and lemon grass. I love both and happened to have them on hand.
I added two more ingredients and came up with this wonderfully sweet (on its own) tea.
My first home-made tea.

Lemon Grass, Ginger, Mint Tea


  • 6 stalks of dried lemon grass (you can buy lemon grass in most supermarkets or Asian specialty stores). It may come fresh, so just leave a few stalks out on a plate somewhere on your kitchen counter for a week or so and voila. Ready for tea. It's wonderfully sweet on its own, and the aroma is magnificent.
  • A few dried mint leaves (we collect these from our garden each summer and let them air dry, then keep in air tight container until ready to use - great for cooking or for making mint tea all on its own).
  • One teaspoon of dried ginger. Use real ginger, not the spice powder. It won't taste the same. You can purchase ginger at the grocery store, in the vegetable session. Peel part of it with a spoon, chop it in very teeny-tiny pieces, then allow it to air dry on a plate on your counter for a few days. 
  • 2 teaspoons of dried orange zest. Peel an orange (organic, preferably to avoid pesticides), being careful not to include the pith (white part) as it can be bitter. Just the orange peel. Allow it to dry a few days. Then break in into small pieces with your hands (it's easy to do once it's completely dried).
Mix all these in a container. Done. 
Of course, if you add more ginger, the tea will be quite strong, so watch out. 
Too much mint would overpower all the other flavors. 
I'd go 6 parts lemon grass to 1 part of each of the others.

To make one cup of tea, in a small saucepan add 2 teaspoons of the mix to 1 cup of water.
Bring to a boil. Let steep for 5 minutes.
Strain and serve. Add sugar to taste, if needed.

I made single-serving packets for my friends and family to sample the tea.

It's become my favorite tea.
It's delicate, sweet, flavorful, and calming.

Any of the ingredients in this tea will be good on their own.
Orange zest tea is wonderful.


Be good to yourself,


  1. i wish i could enjoy tea .. i'm a coffee girl

  2. Those tea cups are lovely.
    I love that you made your own tea, those little bags you put in look adorable!
    Lemon grass, ginger, and mint...sounds so warm and soothing on a cold evening :)

  3. Beautiful!!! Many cultures make and brew their own blend of spices. Cheers to you. Although, I prefer coffee. I have taken note that I have started liking Chai tea. The cardamom is delightful.

    Take care.


  4. I MUST try that! Such a wonderful idea! Be good to you too! xxxx Christa

  5. Hello Silvia,
    I saw you on another friend's blog, so thought I'd come over and visit. These tea cups are so pretty, and I just love tea time myself. It is very soothing and calming. You have such a lovely blog with many great ideas. Me and my daughters also have a blog, and we would love it if you could visit us and follow. It's so nice to meet new friends. I hope to hear from you, and have a sweet day.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley