My family has always drank a lot of tea – growing up in an old house with a woodstove, you need something hot to hold onto and sip. One of our favorites is Constant Comment, a spicy orange black tea. This is my version using oven-dried Satsuma Mandarins – use oranges if you like – and mixed with warming spices cinnamon, clove, and black pepper.
I’ve used Ceylon black tea here, but I think a citrus-y Earl Grey would be delicious, too.
Also, don’t be put off by oven-drying the citrus slices; if you don’t want to wait, make a smaller batch and use freshly-grated zest and keep the mix in the refrigerator. Also, if you are not a fan of spicy tea (think spicy chai…), leave out the pepper.
- 1/2 cup ceylon tea
- 1/2 cup dried satsuma mandarin slices or 2-3 satsuma mandarins
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons whole clove
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- To prepare the dried mandarins, thinly slice (use a mandoline if you have one) and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 175°F (or your oven's lowest setting) for 8-10 hours, or until crispy and fully dried. (Feel free to substitute any dried citrus you can find).
- In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup dried mandarin slices along with the cinnamon, clove, and peppercorns until coarsely ground. Mix with the tea and store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dark space.
- For each cup of tea, use 2 teaspoons dried tea mix in a tea bag or tea infuser. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over and let steep 5 minutes.
- Great with a sweetener and soy creamer.