8 oz good black tea (not china)
3 sticks cinnamon bark; crumbled
2 tablespoon cassia bark; crumbled*
4 whole star anise
3 oz dried hibiscus flowers
1 oz coarsely grated fresh orange peel
2 oz dried orange petals
1 teaspoon whole cloves; pounded in a mortar
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 few twists of a pepper mill
*An aromatic bark sometimes called Bastard or Chinese cinnamon. It is more pungent than cinnamon and is the main ingredient of the commercial blend called "Apple Pie Spice" which also contains nutmeg.
Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl with your hands. Then spread out on a flat basket or tray and dry in a warm place (such as an airing cupboard) for a few hours. Store in air-tight tins. Use one heaped tablespoon per pot.
The authors suggest drinking the tea without milk, but with a little bit of sugar and, if you like, a slice of orange. They also warn to store the tea away from strong light, otherwise the flavor will be affected.
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