Organic Winterberry Spice - USDA Certified Organic Bulk Tea

How To Clear Out Winter Teas

With Spring officially here, it’s a great time to phase out your winter teas to get ready for your spring seasonal teas. Here are some tips to get through your tea inventory.

Have friends over for a tea clearing

Have friends and family over for tea. This may be an afternoon tea party or it could just simply be a cuppa and conversation. Keep the tea flowing!

Serve your winter teas iced:

Warming, spicy teas traditionally thought of as winter teas may be served iced. Iced teas with clove, cinnamon, and ginger pair pleasantly well with heavier meals. Try your winter teas iced, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Need help brewing iced tea, check out this guide.

Cooking with tea:

Tea is a culinary ingredient. While traditionally thought of as an infused beverage, it has its uses in cooking. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Please keep in mind that caffeinated teas will indeed caffeinate your food, perhaps not as concentrated as full on cup of tea, but enough to exercise caution when eating tea infused foods later in the day.

  1. Use in soup stocks: A good smoky tea like lapsang souchong is a popular addition to soup stocks, but any robust black or green tea can compliment a soup. To add to soup, brew your tea according to instructions, but double up on tea leaves. Set aside some soup and add a little bit of the concentrated tea infusion. Test taste.
  2. Add tea to poaching liquid: Add brewed tea concentrate to poaching liquid to impart a subtle flavor.
  3. Rice & Tea: Infuse fragrant notes and flavors of tea in your next batch of rice. Substitute some of the water for a concentrated tea infusion before cooking. Try a small test batch of rice first to get your infused tea ratio to your liking.

Looking for inspiration? You can view our tea recipe collection for ideas.


Some winter teas make for unique and exciting popsicles. Check out this guide to making popsicles using tea:

Hosting an afternoon tea party is easy! All you need are some tea and treats!

How To Serve Afternoon Tea

What is afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea, or low tea, is a small meal of tea sandwiches, scones, pastries, cakes, and other delectable treats piled up on plates and served with tea between lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea may be enjoyed as an informal social gathering at the coffee table. It may also be a more formal affair at the dining table, either at home, or at a restaurant offering afternoon tea service.

Afternoon tea originated in 1840’s Britain as a private social event. Traditionally served at 4pm, this small meal was intended to fill the long gap between lunch and dinner, which could be served as late as 8pm. Like tea itself, afternoon tea has gained popularity over the years, and has become an anticipated experience in hotels, tea rooms, and spas throughout the world.

How to serve afternoon tea

Afternoon tea may be served in the afternoon (go figure), between lunch and dinnertime. All you need is some tea, food, and friends.

What tea to serve

As for tea, the sky is the limit. Tea should pair well with food. The safe play is a good strong pot of black tea, like a breakfast tea, or a single estate black tea. When serving guests with limited tea exposure, this is often what they imagine when they think ‘tea.’

To spruce up the experience, try serving a seasonal blend. This can go well with a seasonal themed afternoon tea service.

For a caffeine-free experience, try a robust rooibos blend, or explore herbal tisanes. Herbal tisanes have a good potential for interesting food pairings.

Green teas and certain oolongs may be paired with lighter flavor foods. An amber oolong, such as Wu Yi has a more robust and toasty flavor that goes well savory foods, and compliments sweets very well. Pu-erh blends are very rich with a distinct earthy flavor, and may be better suited for heavier meals.

On a sweltering day, flip the script; try a tall glass of iced tea. It’s afternoon, it’s tea, why not?

Afternoon tea food

Fresh scones with preserves and cream or butter, tea cakes, tea sandwiches, tarts, biscuits, and french pastries piled up on plates. And plates piled up on tiered trays. Small dainties in abundance for your guests to pluck to their heart’s content. That is the afternoon tea experience.

The recipe ideas are endless. Some are very simple. If it’s small and beautiful, and pairs well with tea, put it on a plate!

Check out The Spruce for afternoon tea recipe ideas.

Afternoon tea tableware

The standard tea service tableware will do. You’ll need a large teapot and infuser, tea cups and saucers. If serving with milk and sugar, you’ll need a cream pitcher and sugar bowl.

Aside from small plates for serving and silverware, you may need ramekins for individual portions of preserves and cream if you are serving scones or other pastries that require spreads. While afternoon tea is typically served on tiered trays, they are not essential.