The 21st Century Herbalist

DIY Gift Ideas: Apple-Cinnamon Tea Mix

I’m still on a “homemade for the holidays” kick and this week is an easy gift idea that you can put together on the cheap. I suggest making a batch for yourself too because this tea smells amazing and tastes wonderful! I’ve touted the benefits of cinnamon in some of my other recipes and this one is no different. It will stimulate your system, get your blood flowing and between the cinnamon and hot water, it will warm you from the inside out.

This is, of course, another great gift idea for the co-workers, teachers, mail carriers or neighbor-you-don’t-know-well-but-she-shows-up-with-a-surprise-gift-for-you, on your list. It’s also a great option for the tea lover on your list. I love this blend and it feels so “autumn” when I snuggle up in a big, comfy chair on a chilly night with my warm socks and a fluffy blanket thrown over my legs while sipping on this tea.

Ingredients per serving of tea:

  • 1 tbsp. of your favorite black loose tea blend (or substitute 1 bag of tea if you don’t want to use loose tea). If you’re not a tea drinker, I suggest selecting a blend that has the word breakfast in it, like a British or Irish Breakfast tea. You can also select an Earl or Lady Grey.
  • 1 slice of dried apple (usually available in health or whole food stores in the bulk section)
  • 1/2 of a cinnamon stick (usually available in jars, in the spice section of your grocery store)

I like to use loose tea but you can use tea bags if you prefer. If you’re presenting the gift to someone that isn’t usually a loose tea drinker then you’ll want to include a tea ball (usually pretty cheap from the grocery store) in the package. Gather all of the ingredients together and put them in the small, clear bags that can be found in the baking/party favor section of the grocery or party store. This time of year you can probably find them with holiday patterns. You’ll want to tie them closed using pretty ribbon or for a more natural look, use twine or string.

I’ll usually put two to three servings in one baggie. I’ll also include a pretty, handwritten card with brewing instructions: Add 1 tbsp. tea, 1 apple slice and 1 cinnamon stick [you can say “1” here and not “1/2″ like I’ve written above because you will have already broken the cinnamon stick in half for them] to your favorite mug and cover with 1 c. of boiling water. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes and remove the tea ball [or bag]. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

I find that the apple and cinnamon create such a sweet and earthy flavor that I don’ need to add any additional sweetener to this tea blend. If you want it a little sweeter I suggest adding a bit of honey instead of regular sugar. The unique honey flavor melts together with the apple and cinnamon to create a very natural flavor.

Even if you’re not whipping up any homemade gifts this season, I still suggest making this tea for yourself as you enjoy the changing seasons. Happy Autumn everyone!