There’s nothing like opening up a box of tea delivered straight from its source, from where it’s grown, picked, and processed. Recently, I received a gorgeous box of teas postmarked direct from Darjeeling. I was totally thrilled…it’s certainly not everyday that you receive a package straight from India!
Inside, the package contained a box of the most exquisite loose leaf teas, from exotic, fruity oolongs to sweet, honey-like muscatel blacks. I love how tea has the power to transport you to a different place. Thanks to these fragrant, flavorful leaves, I found myself in Assam, Nepal, and Darjeeling. A few sips and you’re there, among the misty clouds in those very tea gardens.
Brilliant, vibrant, rich: these Spice Drawer Tea Sachets are inspired by the colors and flavors of India. They’re a fancier version of your standard tea bag, with an extra touch of flair. Just in time for the holidays, these homemade tea steepers make the most of my two favorite Indian ingredients: spices and tea!
If you’re an avid cook, you don’t need to reach far to make this cozy little tea craft. Open up your kitchen spice drawer and it’s very possible that you might already have most of the items you need. The textures and colors of whole spices like Tellicherry peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, and cinnamon set the stage for some wintry, nature-inspired scenery.
The tea sachet itself is made from a round piece of natural cheesecloth. You can certainly use ready-to-fill tea filters instead, but I happen to love the look of these rustic little sacs. To top everything off, there’s a crimson red bird–a cheery mark of the holidays and one that many believe is a sign of good luck!
Samplers of Teabox tea are perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season. Gift the tea along with Spice Drawer Tea Sachets by slipping the decorated cinnamon sticks into thin cellophane treat bags, the same kind used for lollipops. It’s a good idea to make extra sachets with small tied loops at the ends so that these can easily slip over the edges of the cinnamon sticks. Ideally, the cinnamon stick should be packaged separately from the tea sachets so that their flavors don’t mix.
Once you slip off a used tea sachet, the decorated cinnamon stick is reusable for multiple infusions. Try filling the sachets with one of Teabox’s spicy Chai blends (they have 17 kinds!), for a warm and cozy cup this holiday season. And if you’re interested in a personalized subscription plan, where you get 3 teas a month based on your specific tea tastes, use the coupon code BGSUB50 for 50% off your first box.
This post is sponsored by Teabox. All opinions expressed here are my own. If you’re interested in learning more about Teabox, check them out on the CNN Special, The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future. You’ll see how Teabox teas are picked and processed, and get a glimpse of the very tea gardens that they ship out from!
Spice Drawer Tea Sachets
What You’ll Need:
small craft birds
cinnamon sticks (at least 2″ longer than the diameter of your teacups)
rosemary sprigs (I used fresh ones for brighter green color)
Tellicherry peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, or other whole spices
double layered cheese cloth, cut into 5″ circles
baker’s twine, cut into 8″ strands
hot glue gun
teacups for serving
small cups or bowls, for placing brewed tea sachets on between additional steepings
1. With the curled (flat) side of a cinnamon stick facing down, glue a bay leaf atop the cinnamon stick. Once this sets, glue the craft bird atop the bay leaf. Decorate the leaf with more spices, stacking them by or around the bird. Take a cluster of rosemary needles and glue them to the bay leaf. Like arranging flowers, attach all the pieces with visual appeal in mind.
2. Make a tea sachet by placing a rounded teaspoon of loose leaf tea into a cheesecloth round. Bunch the edges together to form a loose pouch, then, using a piece of baker’s twine, tie a double knot to form the sachet on one end of the twine.
3. Leaving about 2″ of hanging twine (with the sachet at the end), wrap the twine around the cinnamon stick 3 times for a triple wrap around the cinnamon stick. Tie a knot snug against under/flat side of the stick, then cut off the any excess twine.
4. Set Spice Drawer Tea Sachets atop the rim of your teacups prior to serving. Pour hot water carefully into the cups, and place another small empty cup or bowl to the side to allow the sachet a place to rest in between additional steepings. If you are using Teabox teas, pay special attention to the labels…they’ll give you helpful details on brew times and temps, flavor profiles, and suggested additions like milk or sugar. Enjoy!