Spiced Tea (a.k.a. Russian Tea)

by Lana Stuart on March 8, 2010 · 13 comments

Spiced Tea (a.k.a. Russian Tea)

You might not think that growing up as I did in a tiny, rural south Georgia town in the 50’s and 60’s would provide a person with many social opportunities. That assumption would be so wrong! I believe we probably had more social events back then than people have these days. And the most important social occasions in my small hometown were showers. Wedding showers and baby showers. Showers were big events back then. Huge events, really. It was not unusual for several hundred people to be invited to a wedding shower. Putting on a shower of that size required some detailed planning. Invitations were printed, hand addressed and mailed sufficiently ahead so that everyone could place the event on her calendar. Hostesses were assigned specific responsibilities and the gift shops in town prepared for the multitude of purchases which were delivered and set up on display tables before the honoree arrived. Many gifts were accompanied by the engraved calling card of the giver.

On the day of the big event, everyone dressed in their Sunday best – heels, hose…the works – and arrived at the celebration. Showers were as much a time to honor a bride or expectant mother as they were an opportunity to catch up on the local news and gossip. The location was always beautifully decorated with flowers and tables laden with white linen cloths, silver serving pieces and, always, a silver or crystal punch bowl. I remember those crystal punch bowls with the little cups that hung on tiny crystal hooks all around their edges. And more often than not, the punch bowl held the recipe that I’m sharing with you today. It’s a warm, citrusy spiced tea. Back then we called it “Russian Tea.” I don’t know why and we had no idea whether it was actually Russian or not. We probably thought it sounded exotic. Whether it is Russian in origin (which I doubt), it was so good and still is today. Sipping this sweet spiced tea takes me right back to those simpler, slower times. Days when we planned events months in advance, hand addressed correspondence and put on our Sunday best to show how much we cared for those we shared our lives with.

8 small tea bags (black tea) (or 8 teaspoons loose black tea)
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup strained orange juice
1/2 cup strained lemon juice

Black Pearl Tea bags for Spiced Tea

I haven’t made this recipe in quite a few years so when I went to the grocery store for some loose black tea I was shocked that I couldn’t find it. I mean none…anywhere! I’ve always used Lipton’s loose black tea for this, so I settled on trying these black pearl tea bags. It was just as good, but does anyone know why you can’t find loose tea in the regular grocery store anymore?

Place the tea bags or loose tea in a heat proof measuring cup or other container. Pour the 4 cups of boiling water over the tea bags and let steep while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Preparing infusion for Spiced Tea

In a medium saucepan, prepare in infusion by bringing 1/2 cup water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick to a boil. Boil for one minute. Remove cloves and cinnamon and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the orange juice and lemon juice into the spiced infusion. Stir well to combine. Remove the tea bags (or strain the loose tea) and combine with the spiced infusion and juice.

Serve warm in punch cups or tea cups.

Enjoy!

Spiced Tea (a.k.a. Russian Tea)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Spiced Tea (a.k.a. Russian Tea)

Citrus and spice infused tea.

Ingredients

  • 8 small tea bags (black tea) (or 8 teaspoons loose black tea)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup strained orange juice
  • 1/2 cup strained lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Place the tea bags or loose tea in a heat proof measuring cup or other container.
  2. Pour the 4 cups of boiling water over the tea bags and let steep while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a medium saucepan, prepare in infusion by bringing 1/2 cup water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick to a boil.
  4. Boil for one minute.
  5. Remove cloves and cinnamon and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the orange juice and lemon juice into the spiced infusion. Stir well to combine.
  7. Remove the tea bags (or strain the loose tea) and combine with the spiced infusion and juice.
  8. Serve warm in punch cups or tea cups.

Notes

All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

http://www.lanascooking.com/2010/03/08/spiced-tea-a-k-a-russian-tea/

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenn (Bread + Butter) March 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I love a good cup of tea in the afternoon. Sounds lovely.

Reply

2 Miss P March 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Oh yes, it was always quite an affair to remember. If it was a bridal shower, the “miscellaneous shower” was the large, blow it all out, event. I have some pictures of us from my miscellaneous shower. We were so young. Ahhhhhh…….

The tea was often served from a silver tea service, complete with footed tray, tea pot or samovar, sugar bowl, creamer, waste container, etc, etc, etc. The punch was generally a slushy concoction, with a frozen fruit ring in the center. I always liked that floating fruit ring the best. Go figure.

To be asked by the honoree to serve was a sign of esteem.

Remember, everybody had to stay in good graces with one another so that each could “borrow” back and forth the silver serving trays, finest linen tablecloths and other items.

The older I get, the more I appreciate ceremony and tradition. It would be refreshing to revive some of these traditions.

Thanks for reminding me.

Miss P

Reply

3 Rocquie March 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Yes, I remember the showers and socials. (I grew up in Alabama.) Did ya’ll have little pimiento cheese finger sandwiches? Silver bowls of mixed nuts? Homemade butter mints? How about petit fours? A gracious time — thanks for the reminder.

Reply

4 Lana March 9, 2010 at 9:47 am

Oh, yes! Pimiento cheese, chicken salad, and cucumber finger sandwiches were requirements! Petit fours, too. I’ve made enough finger sandwiches to feed an army in my lifetime :-)

Reply

5 Nutmeg Nanny March 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

This tea looks great! I have never heard of hundreds of people invited to a shower, but I can imagine it would be fun to plan.

Reply

6 Amy from She Wears Many Hat March 10, 2010 at 8:58 am

It all sounds quite lovely except the hose. If I never wear a pair of hose again I’ll be just fine.

Yummy tea. Haven’t had it in a while – thanks for the reminder.

Reply

7 Linda March 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

My kids grew up in Virginia and eastern Kentucky… it was the same there. I really miss all of that. The simplest things were so special.

As far as loose leaf teas goes, for years I have bought mine from http://www.specialteas.com/ They are not as pricey as some of the other sites or as commercial as Teavanna (the Starbucks of Tea). Their service is very personal and their teas are excellent.

My book-club friends and I have “Teas” regularly. Partly because we love to make all the little goodies, partly because we love all the tea paraphernalia and ritual, but mostly because we love to have an excuse to meet and dish!

Reply

8 Lana March 10, 2010 at 10:58 am

Linda – Thanks for the information on the loose tea. I just knew it had to be out there somewhere!

Reply

9 kathy gori March 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I remember teas, and a very starched white pique dress (easter dress) that I wore to one. I still have the picture somewhere. This brings back many memories, even though I grew up nowhere near the south.

Reply

10 MaryMoh March 11, 2010 at 4:20 am

Wow…that a lot of people invited! Must be so much fod and fun. Love the tea, especially with orange and lemon juice added. Would love to try.

Reply

11 Kay March 12, 2010 at 2:04 am

I drink tons of flavored tea, but somehow I never thought about making my own. So gonna try this :)

Reply

12 Joan December 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

This is the same recipe my late mother always made. It is the one I make. Easy, but I do use an electric juicer when making it for a crowd. Anyone who drinks this will not go to the “instant” version. It keeps well in the refrigerator and reheated. Yum.

Reply

13 Lana Stuart December 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I just love it, Joan. I’d *much* rather have this than the instant version.

Reply

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