(Cinnamon Orange tea)
If you are like me, right about now you are collecting pumpkins, breaking out the Halloween decorations – all while complaining you don’t have enough of said decorations – and enjoying every pumpkin spiced drink and treat you can get your hands on. Fall is my time of year! It’s my birth month, and I can’t get enough of the warm spiciness cinnamon brings to just about everything. I love the falling temps, the changing of the colors and the season, and the gradual move into Winter. The air holds a crispness that has been missing all spring and summer and I relish being able to finally breathe deep again.
Right about now the trees will be a riot of colors in my backyard, and as you head down the path towards the valley before the next peak, there are places to pause and look out over a sea of orange, red, yellow and brown spreading out before you. The deer are out in the clearings and it’s bear season too. Hot apple cider becomes a staple in the crockpot and there is always a kettle on for tea. All the witchy-ness of my Halloween and Samhain decorations blend in with the many bundles of drying herbs hanging from the pine beams and the scattered baskets of vegetables harvested from the garden. Next year we will finish the front porch so I’ll have a cool space to create all manner of macabre displays for the holidays and I can’t wait.
This year has been different though. We relocated to SC temporarily so my husband could attend school. Spending the past year in SC rather than my home in ME has been a learning experience. I found that I do not handle the hot humidity very well, and have tended to hibernate inside this past summer as much as possible. The Fall does not have the same feel here as it does in ME, but the humidity is finally leaving and dragging in cooler temperatures in its wake. Heading out to walk in the sun or go horseback riding – my one indulgence here – is becoming more enjoyable the deeper into October we get. And that makes me smile!
There are so many good Fall Season tea blends out there, and Chai is always a fitting choice. Yet Cinnamon & Orange is one of my favorite tea blends during this time of year, and I like to make the blend myself. I usually buy organic oranges, dry the peels and store them until the fall time. Here’s a tip: I use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the top part of the orange peel so I don’t have to go back and cut off any of the white pith. Slice these into small pieces and dry on a rack or screen before storing in a glass jar. It’s easy to make this in small batches which you can store in a glass container and then measure out per cup.
Cinnamon Orange Tea blend:
1 cup looseleaf black tea – I use either Assam or Ceylon black tea blends
1/2 cup cinnamon sticks – crushed with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder (not too fine or you’ll have particles floating in your tea)
1/2 cup dried orange peel
Measure 1 1/2 tsp into a tea ball or other diffuser and steep in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Steep for longer if you like your tea strong.
Add honey and a drop of oat milk to taste
If you are looking for something sweet to accompany your cuppa, try cinnamon graham crackers or apple cider donuts. Those are my go-to favorites for a mid-day tea time!
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do. Happy Fall, Merry Samhain, and a Happy Halloween to all!