When cold winter comes and daylight becomes shorter, I love cocooning! Staying under the quilt or a tartan rug, with some hot chocolate or a mug of tea, reading an absorbing book or watching a cheesy movie.
Key item to your perfect cocooning kit, the Christmas tea is an aromatic blend with citrus fruits and spicy fragrances, reminding of mulled wine. With such a hot and fragrant winter nectar, Christmas lights and bells will come to life.
Prep: 1 hour
- 7 oz black or green tea
- 2 limes
- 1 big lemon
- 2 oranges
- 0.7 oz fresh ginger
- 15 cardamom pods
- 3 stars anise
- 10 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (0.5 oz)
- 1 vanilla pod
Peel the fruits and slice the zest thinly.
Peel the ginger and slice thinly.
Spread on a sheet pan, covered with baking paper or silicon baking mat. Put in the oven at 180°F until completely dried. If necessary, spread the zest and ginger on two sheet pans, or bake in two batches to help it dry better.
In a frying pan, lightly toast the spices for few minutes: cardamom, star anise, clove, cinnamon crushed in small pieces to enhance their fragrance (be careful and don’t burn them). Slice down the vanilla pod in the middle and scrap the seeds with the tip of a knife. Put them in the pan together with the vanilla pod cut in small pieces.
In a mortar, crush the spices in small pieces and mix them in a bowl with the tea, the dried citrus fruit skins and ginger.
Keep the tea in a glass jar or tin box, away from light. Let the flavors and aromas intensify for at least 15 days. The older, the better!
To savour this tea, use a teaspoon for each mug of simmering water. Brew for 2 minutes.