Ever tried “mulling” your tea? If you haven’t tried it yet, winter is the best time to add this seasonal liquid treat to your to-try tea list. This easy to make, delicious drink is the ultimate tea choice for lazy Sunday afternoons, snuggled up under a warm blanket.
What is mulled tea?
The word “mulled” is often seen next to wine, rarely next to tea. “Mulling” means heating wine or ciders with spices and sugar to get a warming, seasonal drink that’s often enjoyed outdoors. Just like mulled wine, mulled tea is a hot drink made with sugar and spices. Unlike mulled wine, mulled tea is alcohol free. However, depending on which tea you choose, it may contain caffeine. The classic mulled tea is made with regular black tea. All black teas, unless decaffeinated, caffeine. If you want a caffeine-free drink, many herbal fruity blends are great for mulling too.
Traditional mulling spices include orange and lemon peel, nutmeg, Chinese cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Spice mixes are available from many shops and are usually crushed or sometimes even powdered. You don’t need to use a traditional mix to get a soothing and warming mulled tea, as you can easily make your own at home. You will need cinnamon and cloves, and you can adjust your mulled tea recipe by adding other spices and fruits, such as star anise, and even extra fruits such as cranberries.
Best teas for making mulled tea
The best mulled tea is made with either pure black or bold herbal fruity tea with citrus notes. If you don’t want to use black or fruity tea, you may use some green, oolong or even white teas. However, avoid delicate green teas as many of them may be too delicate for blending with spices.
Fruity teas containing orange peel, hibiscus flower, cranberries, apple pieces, lemon peel and tangy berries are a perfect choice for making mulled tea. Wine, for example, is made from grapes, and often has a citrusy, tangy or slightly bitter flavor. Mulled cider is a drink made by mulling apple ciders, and they, too, have a tangy and sweet flavor.
Top 5 loose leaf teas for making black mulled tea:
- Golden Mangalam black tea
- Ceylon Orange Pekoe black tea
- Assam Black FTGFOP
- Cinnamon Plum Black decaf tea
- Super Pekoe black tea
Top 5 loose leaf teas for making fruity mulled tea:
- Cranberry Cider Herbal
- Sky at Sunset
- Cranberry Orange Herbal
- Blood Orange Herbal
- Prickly Pear Herbal
What does the tea taste like?
Each cup of mulled tea will have a slightly different flavor, depending on which tea and spices you use. However, it will always be fragrant, warming and soothing. Mulled tea should be all about spices, sweetness and tangy notes with a strong and bold tea base.
How to Make Mulled Tea
To make mulled tea you will need loose leaf teas or high quality tea bags, sugar, spices and preferably an orange. Unlike mulled wine, mulled tea doesn’t contain any alcohol, so it’s suitable for most age groups. However, it may contain caffeine. Use real tea if you are looking for a little energy boost in the early afternoon or if you need to avoid caffeine. Alternatively, use decaf of fruity teas. Fruity teas contain bigger pieces of fruit, so use one or two spoons more than you would normally use.
Mulled tea Ingredients
- 1 litre of water (33 oz)
- 2 smaller cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon of dried orange peel or 1 fresh organic orange, washed and sliced
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 30-40 grams of sugar, honey or sugar alternative such as Erythritol
- 3 spoons of pure strong black broken leaf tea or fruity tea
- In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add all ingredients except tea and honey and let it simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. If you are using honey, add it once the tea is ready.
- Add tea leaves and simmer for 5-10 minutes. If you are using fruity tea, simmer it for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain and pour into a big pitcher or pour into glass mugs.
- Decorate with cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices.