How to make orange spice tea.

Orange and clove pomander. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

So many people associate the scent and flavor of spiced oranges with the fall and winter season. Making old-fashioned clove oranges is a lovely pastime that results in a natural and decorative air freshener for the home, but also a delicious garnish for punches, hot beverages, and teas like the blend below.

Orange spice tea is one of the most popular blends for cold weather, at least in the United States, but most people purchase theirs, and are unaware that it is a fairly simple recipe to make at home. Why not use your favorite loose black tea and prepare your own?  With all due respect to Bigelow tea company and their classic Constant Comment blend, here is a homemade version:

Homemade orange spice tea (by the pot):
4 cups water
1 tablespoon black tea
1 tablespoon orange marmalade, plus extra to taste
5 whole cloves, plus extra
1 whole cinnamon stick

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Place a tablespoon of loose black tea in the bottom of a warmed teapot, with one cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves which have been bruised or cracked. Add 1/2 to one tablespoon of orange marmalade. Fill the teapot with boiling water, cover, and allow to steep for up to 5 minutes. Strain into cups and enjoy. Using the same tea leaves and spices, but adding up to 1 tablespoon orange marmalade each time, you can get 2 or even 3 teapots of orange spice tea.
— from the South Bay Ladies’ Tea Guild.

Not only will you have a delicious and popular hot beverage, you can adjust the amount of orange and spice to suit your own taste! Serve with a thin slice or wedge of fresh orange, with 2 or 3 whole cloves pushed into the peel.  Or, if you want to make an unsweetened version, substitute an orange wedge studded with cloves for the orange marmalade in the teapot.

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

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