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I'm trying to make homemade orange herbal tea bags from scratch.

I have found some recipes that require drying fresh orange peels, and then brewing it on a stovetop with other spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves.

If I am trying to make tea bags, should I try to crush all the ingredients into powder or should I leave them relatively whole in the tea bag?

I'd like to accomplish 3 goals for the tea bags:

  • They can be stored for a long time

  • They will continue to taste good when brewed

  • They can be brewed relatively quickly by just using the tea bag in boiling water.

Does anyone have any experience on which method would be better, or perhaps suggest an alternate method?

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They can be stored for a long time

They will continue to taste good when brewed

They can be brewed relatively quickly by just using the tea bag in boiling water.

With these goals, I would suggest storing your ingredients in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, and dark place (e.g. inside a sealed tin stored in a kitchen cupboard) rather than dividing them up into tea bags. Then when you're ready to make a cup of tea, take only the amount you need for one cup and spoon it into a reusable tea diffuser like this. This meets all of your goals and will help give fresher, better tasting tea than storing in tea bags.

Whether you use a diffuser or tea bags, I recommend breaking down your ingredients just small enough to fit into your container. You don't need to crush them into a powder (especially with a diffuser where too small of ingredients will flow through the mesh and into your cup, which isn't what you want).

Also, keep note that different teas require different water temperatures and brew times. If you're sticking to purely herbal teas, steeping tea for 5-10 minutes in water that is just off boiling will give you the best results. Green and black teas tend to be more finicky and will begin to taste bitter if steeped in water that is too hot or for too long.

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