Have you ever walked into a tea shop or tea house and gotten a hit of the most delicious scent of tea? Simmering Vanilla Chai Potpourri will fill your home with a spicy essence of holidays, and of course, the scent of freshly brewed tea!This is a great time to use up any extra spices you have lying around. If you have some a little bit past their prime, this is a good opportunity to use them up.For the tea, we just use simple, everyday (and inexpensive) tea bags in this potpourri. A black tea with a brisk, clean scent works really well. Please don’t use any of your best tea here–the cheap stuff will do!Although a traditional chai usually includes black peppercorns, I like to use a tricolor mix for a pop of crimson color in this potpourri. Against the green cardamom pods, the red adds a cheery, festive look.The final touch to this potpourri is to add some essential oil to the mix. Clove, orange, lemon, and ginger essential oils are all readily available at health stores, but my favorites for this craft are cassia cinnamon and vanilla. Choose the scents that you love and remember that a little goes a long way.To bring this mélange of tea and spices to life, place the contents in a pot of simmering water over a regular stove top, on a hot plate or even in an open crock pot. Packed into cello bags or in mason jars, the dry mix makes a homey and original gift for the holidays.
Simmering Vanilla Chai Potpourri
Makes 1 jar.
What You’ll Need:
5 orange or lemon slices, dried
5 cinnamon sticks or swirls
1 Tbsp dried ginger pieces
1/2 Tbsp cardamom
1 Tbsp peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp cloves
1 star anise
5 drops of vanilla essential oil
5 drops of cinnamon essential oil
3 black tea bags, with strings cut off
1 Tbsp pumpkin or apple pie spice (optional)
mason or jam jar (I used a 12.5 ounce Weck jar)
1. Mix all the citrus spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger pieces, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves and star anise together. Add the drops of essential oil and lightly toss the dry mix.
2. If using the pumpkin or apple pie spice, spoon this into the bottom of the empty jar. Place the dry mix into the jars. Top with the 3 black tea bags, then close the jar.
3. To make the potpourri, combine the contents of the jar with 2-3 cups of simmering water. Top with additional water as necessary.