Thursday, November 25, 2010

Russian Tea, or, Is it Raining Where You Are?

It has started raining her in Portland.  If all goes the same this year, this should continue until the 4th of July.  This means it is going to be cold and damp for SEVEN. MORE. MONTHS.  It is raining so hard outside right now I can hardly hear myself think.  The only thing that can help that "I'm-so-freaking-cold-not-even-FIRE-can-reach-this" kind of cold is my new favorite thing in the universe, Russian Tea!
I am new to this lovely, citrusy, steamy concoction, but I think I'm the number one fan.  My friend made a little canister for me a couple of years ago for Christmas and I have been rationing it out ever since.  My parents said it was a staple in Alaska as I was growing up, but I apparently was left out - clearly everyone else loved it as much as I do and people protected their shares.  Today my friend Kattah brought me a NEW tub of it and I almost hugged her and then immediately made myself a cup.

I started this blog when it was POURING rain in Portland and today I sit in the country watching it snow and snow and snow outside.  Snow is infinitely better than rain, but amazingly Russian Tea is JUST as fitting today.  I didn't bring what little I have left so I tried a hack version with some black tea and some powdered Wassail.  Simply not the same thing.  I had to find the recipe, so here it is:


  • 2 cups orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant tea powder
  • 3/4 cup lemon-flavored instant tea powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  1. In a large bowl, combine orange drink mix, sugar, tea powder, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
  2. To serve, put 3 teaspoons of mix in a mug. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Adjust to taste. 
I found this recipe at but it seems to be pretty universal; a little more sugar here, a little less there.  If you are feeling ambitious, here is a *real* version that you could entertain with, but seriously, it isn't necessary, the original is fantastic and lasts and lasts.  It is a GREAT gift, as well - your friends will be as impressed and thankful as I am to Kattah!

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