Christmas Tea Straight from the Garden
Tea is a wonderful gift, but a personal touch makes it even more special. This gallery will walk you through how to create your own tea bags and get you started making homegrown tea full of ingredients you can grow in your garden.
Create Your Tea Bag
Start with a clean and dry piece of sheer fabric. Choose something with a weave that is tight enough so your tea won't fall out, but thin enough so the flavor can escape. Cut two identical leaf shapes, about 3 inches tall. Whip stitch the edges together, leaving an opening on one side to put the tea in. Fill with the tea of your choice, and finish stitching all the way around. Stitch a 5-inch long string to one leaf tip.
Create a Poinsettia Tag
To add some Christmas spirit to your tea, create a poinsettia tag to the other end of the thread. Begin with a square of felt in the color of your choice. Cut 3 flower shapes, each a bit smaller than the last. The largest shape shouldn't be larger than 2 inches across. Stack the flowers, rotating so the petals alternate. Stitch them together with contrasting thread. Create a star shape in the center to echo the shape of the flower, and add more decorative stitching if you like.
Finish your tea bag by attaching the felt poinsettia to the end of the string with fabric glue or a few stitches. Glue a small felt circle the same color as your flower to the back to cover the thread. Wrap your finished tea bags in tissue paper and present them in a beautiful box for a stunning gift, or place them in an airtight container for added longevity. Add hot water and enjoy!
Winter's Tale Tea
This tea, adapted from a recipe found in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," smells delightful and is full of subtle flavor. It makes a perfect gift for garden, tea or literature lovers, though you may want to save some for yourself! You will need 1 tablespoon each of dried lavender flowers, summer savory, sweet marjoram and calendula flowers along with 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint. Mix together before separating into 5 tea bags.
Fresh Flower Tea
Fill your cup with the scent of fresh flowers and hint of citrus with this delicate tea. Mix 7 dried hibiscus flowers, 11 dried rose hips, 2 and a half teaspoons each of dried lemon balm and orange zest, along with 8 mint leaves. Separate into 5 tea bags.
Russian Mint Tea
This robust Russian tea is a wonderful mix of strong and fruity. The black tea leaves provide a kick of caffeine that makes this an excellent morning tea. Mix together 5 tablespoons of black tea leaves with 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint and one third cup of dried cherries before separating evenly into 5 tea bags.
Rosemary Apple Tea
This recipe combines the sweet flavor of apple pie with a hint of rosemary for a truly unique tea. Mix 2 teaspoons of white tea leaves, 4 teaspoons of dried apples, 2 teaspoons of crushed cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon dried lemon verbena or lemon balm, 1 teaspoon crushed vanilla bean with half a teaspoon of rosemary. Distribute between 5 tea bags.
Soothing chamomile and calming lavender make this tea perfect for bedtime, or for just relaxing after a long day. Mix 1 and a half tablespoons each of dried chamomile, dried lavender, dried mint and dried lemon balm and separate into 5 different tea bags. Feel free to experiment with any of these tea recipes, or create your own and share it with us!