There’s a long history of using mandarin orange peels to hold small amounts of tea — often stacked like tiny treasure chests in caves so the tea can ferment in the rinds and take up hints of the orange flavor.
I don’t leave mine to ferment for years — but a few days makes a damn fine cup of tea!
1. use a small knife to cut through the skin carefully around the equator of the clementine.
2. remove half the peel carefully to keep it whole — but if it tears, don’t worry — you still have another half!
3. once you have one half the rind making a little cup…
4. …and tear the other half into a smaller circular shape (to be the lid for your little orange peel jar)
5. measure out about a teaspoon of your favorite tea — pick a flavor that is compatible with orange essence, or use an unblended assam.
(The tea I am using is Tea Forte’s “Rum Raisin Biscotti” — strong almond/amaretto flavor supplemented with rum-soaked raisins! It’s a seasonal tea and may not be available except at holiday time….
6. Place your tea in the larger bowl of the rind —
7. Then cover it with the smaller lid
8. Place the covered tiny bowl of tea in the bottom of a mesh tea strainer
9. After your tea/bowl has dried out (about 4-5 days) remove the lid and use the strainer — including the orange rind — in your favorite cup to brew an excellent cup of mandarin tea!
NOTE: If you have a deep strainer, you can use the same strainer to dry 2 bowls of tea at once — just be careful removing the top bowl!!!