Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Getting tired of that peppermint tea in the pantry? It’s surprisingly easy to make your own tea blends using just a few ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Whether you’re craving a soothing herbal tea or a spicy caffeinated chai, crafting your own assortment lets you try new flavors without committing to a whole bag or box. Plus, the combinations are literally endless, says Victoria Boyert, founder of Satori Tea Company in Saratoga.

Victoria Boyert is the founder of Satori Tea Company in Saratoga. 

“Tea is such a nice comfort to have during these times, and making blends is a great activity to do with kids,” she says.

We asked Boyert for a lesson in Tea Blending 101, as well as tips on everything from brewing times to unexpected flavor enhancers. (Hello, freeze-dried fruit.) Here are her secrets, including five easy tea blend recipes:

Q: What are the benefits of making your own blends?

A: First and foremost, you can cater to your taste and monitor the quality of ingredients you’re using. If you’re growing your own mint, for instance, you know what’s in the soil.

Q: What are the basics of tea blending? How many ingredients are too many?

A: There are a few ways to think about tea and brewing: Whether fresh or dried, leaves and stems, like mint, basil and rosemary; seeds, including coriander and fennel; fruit, like apples, pears and coconut; and flowers, including roses and lavender. Ideally, two to six ingredients is enough when making a blend — including the base tea. Otherwise, flavors will get lost.

Q: Best base teas to start with? Kitchen tools?

A: You only need a kettle or pot for boiling water and a tea strainer or fine sieve. Start with a green tea or black tea, like Ceylon or English breakfast. Jasmine is also a fun one because it pairs with almost anything. If you don’t have loose teas on hand, you can just open up a tea bag. Remember that herbal and fruit teas generally require longer steeping times than black or green teas and will also be milder in flavor and lighter in color.

Q: What are some useful, common pantry ingredients for making tea blends?

A: I love dried sage, rosemary and fennel seeds. Basil is really good, and so is coriander. Ginger, turmeric and cinnamon are great in warming teas, especially if you’re not feeling well. Just remember that if you use ground ginger, a little goes a long way. Candied or fresh ginger works well too. Coconut flakes and freeze-dried fruits, like strawberries and apples, are also fun. If you have roses in bloom, dry the petals and use them in your teas.

Q: Any favorite tea tricks right now?

A: I’ve been experimenting with something really fun: Drying overripe fruit and using it in my infusions. You can use pears, apples, bananas or any citrus. Slice as thinly as possible or just use the peel. Sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon to taste and bake at 225 degrees for an hour on each side. They’re also fun to snack on or cook with, in addition to using in tea blends.

Lemon Mint Green Tea

Makes 2 cups


2 heaping teaspoons green tea (or tea from 2 tea bags)

4 dried lemon slices

Four sprigs fresh mint

Directions: Steep tea blend ingredients in 2 cups hot water for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired strength.

Pot of Chai

Makes 4 cups


5 heaping teaspoons (or tea from 5 tea bags) of Ceylon or English breakfast or other black tea

4 or 5 cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons fresh or candied ginger

1 tablespoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground cloves

Fresh ground pepper (optional)

Directions: In a pot on the stove, bring the tea blend ingredients and 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add your favorite milk and sugar to taste.

Blood Orange, Rosemary and Rose Tea

Makes 2 cups


1 tablespoon dried rose petals

4 dried blood orange slices

1/2 sprig fresh rosemary

Directions: Steep tisane ingredients in 2 cups hot water for 7 minutes, or to desired strength.

Apple, Pear, Cinnamon and Sage Tea

Makes 2 cups


¼ cup cinammon-sprinkled dried apple and/or pear slices

1 teaspoon dried sage

Directions: Steep tisane ingredients in 2 cups hot water for 7 minutes, or to desired strength.

Lavender Jasmine Tea

Makes 1 cup


1 teaspoon jasmine or chamomile tea (or tea from one bag)

¼ teaspoon dry lavender petals, or more to taste

Directions: Steep the tea and lavender mixture in 1 cup hot water for 3 minutes and taste. If you want more lavender flavor, strain the tea, add another ¼ teaspoon lavender and steep for 2 to 3 minutes more.

— Courtesy Victoria Boyert, Satori Tea Company


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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