You can go brewed or instant on spiced tea; the choice is yours with these two simple and delicious recipes.
What is better on a chilly day than a great cup of spiced tea? Not much. Just make a cup of tea, settle in with a great book, and life is good. But, there are different ideas of just what making a cup of “spiced tea” is.
When making tea, I simply do not think “instant.” If you’re gonna have tea, brew it! It is worth the time, and you can control the ingredients—add more of what you do like, less of what you do not. And, in the case of spiced tea, brewing your own makes it possible to control the sugar in the final product and, therefore, the calories! Spiced tea, like any tea, can be a low-calorie treat, but many “instant” products are so full of sugar, you may as well have a soft drink. Nevertheless, people do enjoy them.
Many people like instant spiced tea drinks. You can buy them ready-made in the grocery store, but you can also just purchase the ingredients separately, and make it yourself. Every version of this type of spiced tea I have ever tried is some version of the following:
1-1/2 cups instant tea
2 packets orange drink mix (Example for the drink mixes: Kool-Aid, Flavor-Aid)
1 packet lemon drink mix
3 cups sugar (Eliminate sugar if your instant tea, orange drink and lemon drink mix are the sweetened varieties)
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Mix all of the ingredients until well-combined, then store in an air-tight container (a zipper bag works well). To make a cup, just add one or two teaspoons into a cup of hot water.
Now, this is a good spiced tea for a quick pick-me-up; the sugar alone is going to give you a boost! But, to be honest, it probably is not something you would want to have more than one cup of each day, given all the sugar in the final product. Now, when I think of spiced tea, I think of something more like the following:
2 rounded tsp. of loose black tea (go decaf, if you wish)
¼ tsp. orange peel
¼ tsp. lemon peel
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
Place in a 12-ounce mug (or, for less muss and fuss, put it all in a tea ball before placing in a mug), and fill the cup with just-boiled water. Steep for several minutes (I like my tea strong, so I usually let it go about 10 minutes, but you might like yours after about five). Strain (or just take out the tea ball) and add a bit of honey if you would like some sweetener (I don’t care for sweet, but I do like a touch of milk, I confess).
Instant or Brewed?
The choice is yours, instant or brewed. But, I’ll admit, I’ll go brewed every time—give it a try, and play around with the spices. You may find that it is worth the extra few minutes to go brewed!
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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