Category Archives: Tea Recipes

Earl Lavender Tea Muffins

Mug of tea and three muffins drizzled in earl lavender glaze. 

Earl Lavender Muffins — fresh from the oven with tea.

Earl Lavender tea muffins are easy to make and a tasty breakfast treat. I have prepared these in miniature muffin tins but they can be done in a full sized one, just add about 7-10 minutes to the cooking time on these muffins. If you do not have Earl Grey with Lavender tea, don’t sweat it. It works just as well with your favorite black tea.

Earl Lavender Tea Muffins

Prepares 12 muffins in a regular sized pan & 24 in a miniature pan

1 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Earl Grey with Lavender tea
16 ounces of water
1 stick of butter
1 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional:  1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, chopped

Earl Grey with Lavender Glaze

1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons of brewed Earl Grey with Lavender (You may want additional if you want a thinner glaze on the muffins)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, you will need to melt the butter with 2 tsp of the Earl Grey with Lavender tea in it. Start by putting the stick of butter in a pan with the tea.

Bring the 16 oz of water to a boil and put in the tablespoon and half of the Earl Grey with Lavender tea. Allow to steep for 5 minutes and strain off the tea. You will need to reserve 8 ounces for the recipe and possibly as much as 1/4 cup for the icing. So the remaining 3/4 cup is for you to enjoy while you cook.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and slowly add the sugar making sure to incorporate the sugar fully into the egg. Then mix in the vanilla extract. Pour the cooled butter through a strainer, to remove the tea leaves, into the bowl and stir until combined. Then pour in the cooled cup of Earl Grey with Lavender tea and stir. Next pour the wet ingredients into the bowl full of flour. Mix until fully combined.

Next pour the batter into the muffin tins just shy of the top of the tin.

When using a miniature muffin pan, cook for 20-25 minutes and test the center of the muffin with a tooth pick before removing. For a full size muffin tin, start with 30 minutes but you may need as long as 40 minutes to make sure they are done.

Plate of Earl Lavender Muffins 

Fresh Glazed Earl Lavender Muffins

While the muffins are cooking, it is time to make your glaze. In a bowl, put the half cup of confectioners sugar and pour in the first tablespoon of tea and stir. Then pour in the second tablespoon of tea and stir completely to make sure there are no clumps of sugar. If you end up with clumps, use a fork to break them apart. If you would like a thinner batter, add additional tea 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want.

When the muffins are done, allow them to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then remove. To glaze, put the muffins on top of a cooling rack on wax paper. Brush the glaze over the top of the muffins. The glaze will drip off, which is why you want the wax paper below the cooling rack. It will take a few minutes for the glaze to set. The muffins are then ready to serve. They can also be put in the refrigerator and will be good for about 4 days.

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3 Tea Cocktails for Spring

Margarita made with hibiscus isle tea.

Hibiscus Isle Margarita

Longer days mean dinner outside and provides the opportunity to create some tea cocktails with a spring flare. Each recipe provides a fun way to mix your tea addiction with a bit of evening fun.

Hibiscus Isle Margarita (Serves 4)

  • 16 ounces of brewed Hibiscus Isle tea
  • 4 oz tequila
  • Juice from a lime
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar

To brew the tea, use 1 tablespoon of the Hibiscus Isle tea and steep in water at 185 degrees for 3 minutes.  Strain off the leaves and refrigerate the tea to cool it down.  If you do not have time to allow to cool in the refrigerator, brew the same 1 tablespoon in 8 ounces of water at 185 degrees for 3 minutes and then strain out the tea leaves pouring the tea over 1 cup of mounded ice.  The ice will melt, getting you the full 16 ounces of tea and the tea will be cold.  In a pitcher combine the tea, tequila, line and agave nectar and stir.  Serve over ice.

Adirondack Beer Cooler (Serves 3)

  • 12 ounces of brewed Adirondack Berries Tea
  • 12 ounces of your favorite IPA beer (this can be substituted with a malty black tea like Yunnan Sunrise or Colonial Breakfast)
  • Juice from 3/4 of a lemon
  • 3 tsp of Agave Nectar

To brew the tea, put 2 tsp of the Adirondack Berries tea into 12 ounces of boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes and strain off the tea.  Put in the refrigerator to cool.  If you do not have time to cool in the refrigerator, brew the 2 teaspoons of tea in 6 ounces or 2/3 cup of boiling water and then strain out the tea over a mounded 1/2 cup of ice.  This will cause the ice to melt and cool the tea down immediately.

In a pitcher, pour in the tea, and then add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Assuming the beer and tea where both cold, you will not need ice cubes.

Darjeeling Gin (Serves 4)

Pour the gin into a container with a lid. Put the tea directly into the gin and put the lid on the container. You can leave the container out on the counter or put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but it gets stronger if you allow it to go over night before removing the tea leaves. In a pitcher, mix together the gin, lemon juice and Agave Nectar and stir. This is a perfect drink to use the tea ice cubes with (Link).

There are plenty of other teas that can be substituted in these recipes, so feel free to play and enjoy.

5 Tips for Making Your Own Tea Blends

Herbs and spices to create your own tea blend.

Herbs, spices, flower petals, and more can be used to create your own tea blend.

Making your own tea blends is a fun way to play with your tea and allow you to make a one-of-a-kind creation for yourself or for a special event. Before pulling out all the spices you can find, you should keep in mind the following.

    1. Bad tea is bad tea. No matter how good your spicing or flower mix is, it cannot cover up bad tea. If you want a good tasting blend, you need to start with good quality tea. If you are contemplating blending to try to use a tea you do not like or tastes slightly off, put those tea leaves in your flower bed or compost pile, your plants will love you and you do not have to drink bad tea.
    2. Less is more. When working with spices and herbs like cinnamon, mint, or lavender, a little bit goes a long way. Tea is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs all odors in the air. It only takes thirty minutes of exposure to mint, that is just sitting next to it on the counter, for mint flavor to appear in your tea, adding that to the spice itself amplifies its effect. Start with these spices and herbs at 1/8-1/4 of a teaspoon per ounce of tea and work your way up to a flavor profile you like.
    3. Work in small batches. Black tea can have a three year shelf life, but few additives can last that long. If you are making a blend, work with no more than 2 ounces of tea, which makes thirty cups.
    4. Use dried or fresh edible flowers, but brew them first by themselves. To brew them by themselves, you will want about 1 gram to 1 ounce of water, bring the water to a boil and steep for 5 minutes. Sorry, but a scale is necessary when handling flower petals, there is no direct conversion to teaspoons as their weights vary dramatically. This will mimic what will happen when it is in the tea and give you an idea of what flavor it can add to the mix. Dried flowers, like calendula (marigold) are frequently added to tea for their appearance but they have their own flavor. By itself, calendula tastes like leather, but in a tea it adds depth and a full mouth feel.
    5. Size of ingredients matter if you are planning to store the tea. Small ingredients will fall to the bottom of your container, if you size the ingredients to the size of the tea you have a better chance of it remaining blended evenly while in storage. If that isn’t possible, you will want to pour out the dried tea, stir and then scoop out what you need to brew a cup or pot.

We have several tea blend recipes for you to play with including Almond Tea, Kashmiri Chai, and Masala Chai.

Chai Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana chocolate chip bread drizzled with chai tea icing.

Moist banana chocolate chip bread with chai tea icing.

Nothing like browning bananas to prompt the search for a banana bread recipe, like Chai Banana Chocolate Chip. This recipe can also be baked  as cakes or muffins, which I have included in the instructions below. This banana bread incorporates Chocolate Chai tea, giving the bread a nice spice. I have a tendency to treat banana bread as a dessert, so I have included a recipe for Chai icing as well. You can actually use any of your favorite chai teas in this recipe.

The great thing about this recipe is that it starts by making yourself a good cup of Chai, most of which you can enjoy while baking.

Chai Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

1 tsp Chocolate Chai Tea

8 oz of water

4 small to medium sized really ripe bananas (You are looking to get to about a cup when smashed)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil (or other mild flavor oil)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (optional, can be replaced with walnuts)

Start by making yourself a cup of Chai tea. Bring the 8 oz of water up to a boil and then pour over your Chocolate Chai tea leaves and allow to steep for 5 minutes. While that is steeping preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease your cake,bread or muffin pan. When your tea is done steeping, reserve a 1/4-1/3 cup of it to mash into the bananas and another 2 tablespoons for the icing recipe. Take the remaining tea and doctor how your chose,so you can enjoy it while you are cooking.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. In a larger bowl, mix together the sugar and oil, then add the bananas. Stir in 1/4 of the chai tea and the vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. If batter appears dry, going a teaspoon at a time,stir in more of the chai tea. Next stir in the flour mixture and chocolate chips until just incorporated.

Fill your muffin, bread or cake pans about half way full. This batter rises a lot.

For muffins and small bundt cake pans – Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and the a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For bread pans – Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean

For cake pans – Bake 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

While it is baking, this is the perfect time to making icing. Follow our recipe for Chai icing to add a little more tea flavor to this treat.


Almond Tea: How to Make Your Own

Almond blossoms and the fruit which is found in almond tea.

Almond Blossoms by flickr user Victor R. Ruiz (CC BY 2.0)

Almond tea is becoming harder find, and that is not surprising. Most almonds in the United States are grown in California, which is suffering from a record drought. Like any orchard crop that requires water, when it doesn’t get enough it will not produce enough high quality final product. This sends the cost sky rocketing, making it harder for for industries that use almonds as an ingredient to keep their costs in line with what consumers expect. Adding higher cost to an ingredient that dramatically cuts the shelf life of your end tea product already, and eliminating almond tea makes good economic sense for most high quality tea producers. However, that doesn’t mean an end consumer cannot make their own almond tea in smaller batches to enjoy at home.

Before we get to the recipe,there are a few things you need to know about almonds.

Shelf Life of Almond Tea

Nuts and tea have very different self lives making it very tricky for a tea blender to come up with a high quality product, in a quantity that is cost effective, that features a nut as the main flavor component of the tea. Most nuts, once cut or crushed start to release their oils and in return take in air, moisture, and bacteria, which starts the spoiling process. Almonds are usually only good for two months, under the best storage conditions, once they have been cut. If you are blending that with a tea that is good for 24 to 36 months you have effectively killed the shelf life of your tea. So to ensure a good quality flavor and try to keep your tea from going rancid because of the nuts, extracts are used to apply the majority of the flavor. In fact, if you look at most teas with a nut like flavor, you will not find nuts in them, but extracts and flavors, which bring out the nut taste. Citric acid and other preservatives can be applied to the nuts to slow the degradation, but that is very tricky in tea as the boiling water will release the preservatives, usually causing a bitter flavor. Now, at home, the use of preservatives is not necessary as you will be making smaller batches that are not traveling to various stores and sitting in storage for who knows how long before being consumed. So we will use a combination of extract and almond pieces to make our tea recipe.

Almond Flavor and Size

Almonds have a very subtle flavor, which usually comes out bolder when toasted or cooked. So you would think boiling an almond would help bring out more flavor, but it doesn’t. To really get an almond flavor after applying boiling water, you need extract. Just putting in almond pieces will not get you the flavor you are after. When blending tea, we are constantly worried about the size and shapes of ingredients so that they all balance together to distribute evenly in the bag that is going to be shipped and stored in fashions out of our control. So we have the ingredients cut to the right size to complement the size of the tea leaves being used. At home, this may not be much of a concern to you but if you care about the almonds being distributed in your tea evenly you will want to follow our instructions on creating the almond meal instead of just using the sliced almonds. If even distribution does not bother you, then free to use larger almond pieces.

Almond Tea Recipe

Almond Tea usually includes extract to bring out the flavor.

Home Made Almond Tea

This recipe is geared to get you 15 cups of tea. If you do not think that is enough, you can double this recipe, but don’t go too large as the almonds will only keep for maybe 1 to 2 months (Do you really know how old that almond is you just bought off the shelf?). 2 oz of tea is about 30 cups or 1 months worth if you drink a cup every day.

1 oz of your favorite straight black unflavored tea (English Breakfast is my favorite for this. If you use Irish Breakfast, add an 1/8 teaspoon more extract)

3/4 teaspoon of almond extract

1 1/2 tablespoons of almond pieces or slices (skip the roasted or salted ones – look in the bulk food aisle of your grocery store)

For easier grinding, lightly heat the almond pieces in a dry cast iron pan. You can leave them in their long enough to toast them, but really you are just warming them up. Be careful not to burn them as it will ruin the tea.

For even distribution of the almonds, buy slivered almonds and put the warmed almonds and extract into a mortar and pestle and grind down until it looks like corn meal. Scrape into a glass jar (quart size or larger) or ziplock bag and then add the tea. Shake until everything looks evenly distributed. Pour the tea out onto wax paper and allow to dry at least 12 hours. At first this is going to have a very heavy alcohol smell from the extract. Don’t worry, as it dries that will disappear. You will notice after a few hours the smell gets smoother and more almond like. You can then put the tea back into the sealed bag, glass jar or air tight container, remember to keep it in the dark. If you need to speed up the drying process, you can use a dehydrator at its lowest setting for about 1 hour, check every 20 minutes as you run the risk of burning the tea.

You will brew this like any other tea. 1 teaspoon or 3 grams per 8 ounces of water, steep in boiling water for up to 5 minutes. Don’t be surprised if it is a little cloudy, that is the oil for the ground almonds.

Now that you have a base recipe for almond tea, you can get creative and try it with other subtle flavored teas like New World Vanilla. Enjoy your new tea and don’t forget to drink it more frequently so it is gone before the almonds go bad!