Using small treasures from thrift stores as containers, ribbons, whole spices, and loose tea, my children and I created Chai Tea gift mixes for our Christmas gifts. Last week my friend Cheryl inspired me to start making Chai tea, and that’s when I figured out what we’d give as gifts this year. Praise the Lord for friends and their ideas!
Besides gathering the loose tea and spices (which I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs), I needed containers. My kids and I hit a few thrift stores looking for them. It was really fun to shop with them and see what containers caught their eye. They quickly learned that I was not looking for any typical Christmas cutesy containers. In fact, I think we picked only one “Christmas” container – it was a square glass votive holder with an embossed Christmas tree on each side. Other than that we picked eclectic tins, boxes, small tea cups, and votive holders. I paid $1.75 for one of them – because it was an antique tea cup from England, but most of them were around 50 cents each. Anyway, that was fun. There are many options for containers for these gift mixes; don’t be afraid to think out of the box!
I’ll list the ingredients and their amounts – enough to make one batch of Chai Tea. You’ll have to double it, triple it, quadruple it, etc. depending on the size of your container. Most of my containers required triple or quadruple batches to fill them up. A triple batch makes a little over 1/2 cup of mix; a quadruple batch makes about 3/4 cup of mix. I advise that you create the gift mixes one at a time to ensure that each gift gets its true share of all the whole spices. Also note that the liquids (water, milk and honey), vanilla, fresh ginger, and nutmeg have been omitted from this gift mix; the recipient will add those when s/he is making the tea.
Please choose organic spices and tea. This is a great task to share with children – they love to count and measure out all the ingredients. Over. And over. And over. What’s tedious to us is fun for them!
- 2 tablespoons loose black tea (Assam Breakfast, Ceylon, or English Breakfast)
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 peppercorns (white or black or combination)
- 12 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds (can substitute fennel)
- 1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon bark (or 1 cinnamon stick)
Crush the cardamom pods and peppercorns. Then mix all the spices and tea leaves together and place in a plastic bag. Place that in the gift container and twist-tie it closed. Roll the twist-tie up on itself. Cover the twist-tie with a ribbon. Tie it with a bow or square knot (right over left, left over right…).
Print or hand-write a label (see below). Hole punch the corner. Use thread or a tiny ribbon to attach it to the bag of Chai Tea mix. Deliver!
Another gift mix to create is to make this Homemade Herb Seasoning Salt and put it in a salt shaker with a ribbon around it. Do you have any handmade gift plans this year? What have you made in the past? Please share!
I’m sharing this in the special Handmade Gift Carnival @ The Nourishing Gourmet – visit to see more handmade gift ideas!
Today, I’m hosting the Gallery of Thanksgiving Sides, where I and gnowfglins readers share real food Thanksgiving side dishes. If you want to add a real food Thanksgiving side dish, let me know in the comments of the Gallery post. But no matter what, be sure to hop over there to see what else has been submitted!