Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Handmade Tea Bags

Hot tea makes me happy.

  Drinking tea is an experience: there are so many different types- almost every culture around the world drinks tea.  I love holding a warm steamy mug, enjoying the intoxicating flavors and aromas and hearing where in the world the tea came from.  January is national tea month and I celebrated by visiting the loose leaf tea store with Patrick and picking out interesting new ingredients to make our own tea bags.  We stopped by Global Infusion, (Patrick’s favorite place ever) in East Hills.
The eclectic little shop is filled with handmade treasures from all over the world (all fair trade) and hundreds of jars filled with beautiful teas and spices line the wall.  Patrick helped me choose ingredients, scoop them into bags and weigh them.  I love to drink tea, but don’t know as much about loose leaf teas as my hubby.  Thankfully, the one of the owners was working behind the counter and was very helpful and informative.  I chose English breakfast black tea, dried berries, lemon peel and spearmint to mix and he chose sencha green tea, Siberian ginseng, spearmint and lemon balm.  
At home, we combined the ingredients in two separate bowls.  The different colors are so vibrant, especially the rich berries and bright lemon peel, and everything smelled incredible.  One spoonful of tea filled each  heat sealing tea bag.  I bought a pack (I think there were fifty bags) from Global Infusions a few months ago for less than five dollars.  If you aren't from this area, you can also purchase them online from frontiercoop.com.  The opening of the bag can be sealed with just your iron at home, its very easy. With my fancy punch and a bird stamp (from the Goodwill, of course) I made tags and sewed them to the bags. Patrick's tags are white and mine are cream colored.  Just like that you can have your own handmade tea bags!  If you don't want the hassle of making each tea bag, you can skip the entire process and steep the loose leaf tea in an infuser tea ball. Either way, I promise it will taste and smell a million times better than any prepackaged tea from the grocery store.

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