Lately we’ve had the happy problem of too many teas in our house.

Yes, yes, it’s true. Some years ago I created a tea menu to list all the varieties in our tea cupboard. I always thought it overwhelming to verbally list all the options for our guests who would quickly lose track of the teas, coffees and hot chocolates, as we turned after dinner choices into almost a course of their own! This tea menu has been regularly updated as our collection grew and became a bit excessive.

It was too much. And I kept buying more.

“Enough!” my poor husband declared, and asked that we not buy any more teas until we had used up what we had.

Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Do without.

Thanks to my late grandmother, this has become my mantra lately (echoed by my five-year-old son). But what do you do with endless varieties of random teas in the summertime?

You make the best. iced. teas. ever.

It is SO MUCH FUN to blend your own teas with Exodus 4:2a in mind: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘What do you have in your hand?’”

So here is what I have been doing:

1. Boil a quart of water.

2. In a mason jar, put one family-size teabag (we use Lipton).

3. Add one spoonful (teaspoon or tablespoon, it doesn’t really matter) flavored loose-leaf tea or one individual teabag.

4. Add boiling water and let steep (or ignore it for as long as you want).

5. Strain, using fine mesh sieve, and toss used leaves/bags into compost container.

6. Sweeten as desired (I use a couple tablespoons xylitol for green tea or 3/8 cup sugar for black tea—a little sweeter than I like, but that’s how my husband likes it. Sometimes I cheat and cut back).

7. Pour into half-gallon pitcher and refrigerate.

We have enjoyed some marvelous flavors this way, and using one large teabag really stretches the flavored ones. Right now on my counter I have two jars brewing, one with black tea flavored with jasmine cream, the other green with peppermint leaves and a green citrus small bag. Some of our other favorites include:

  • Teavana Almondina Biscotti (still available, but you have to ask—their Amandine Rose would be similar)
  • Teavana Toasted Nut Brulee
  • Black tea with one Earl Grey (delicious combination!)
  • Black tea with one Constant Comment (a Virginia classic)

Yes, our collection is shrinking to make room for new discoveries and favorites. We still have a long ways to go before I buy new tea, but this practice has been a wonderful opportunity to make the most of the overwhelming selection of flavors, and to really share and enjoy them!