Apple tea is simple to brew.
My introduction to apple tea was when a dear friend placed a wonderful aromatic beverage on my bedside table many years ago. I was attempting to recover from a nasty viral fever and my taste buds were deader than disco. I loved it so much that I’ve tried several of my own recipes over the years.
What can go wrong with apple and tea, right?
Three apple tea recipes coming up…one a slight deviation of the classic, one spicy and one a loose tea blend. They are distinctly different from each other and after this you can make your own versions using them as a blueprint.
The classic version is the combination of tea, apple and a dash of cinnamon or clove and you have a license to go wild with experimentation. Make your own DIY beverage which is cheaper and much healthier than the sugar-rich beverages in the market.
Plus, it ensures that no part of the fruit is wasted.
Those apple cores and peels need no longer be exclusive to sauces and preserves. Besides the flavor, there are several health benefits to this beverage which I will get into in a bit.
Okay, let’s get to the recipes all of which you can try at home. All they require are apples, tea, some spices and flowers to sprinkle magic. 🙂
For non-tea drinkers there’s always the option of taking tea off the recipe. You are left with something that is not technically tea but tisane. True tea comes from the plant Camelia Sinensis while tisanes but are simply infusions made from spices, berries, roots and leaves.
Apple Cinnamon Tea Recipe
1 big apple (Sliced. Use core and peels if you’ve already eaten the apple)
2 cups of water
1 black tea bag
2 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract /½ cut open vanilla bean pod
Honey/ maple syrup
Lemon slice for servicing
For a spicier version (perfect for winters) you can also add the following ingredients. Adjust the spices accordingly; a little goes a long way.
¼ tsp clove/nutmeg/allspice powder
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
½ tsp grated ginger
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Honey/ maple syrup
Mint sprig for garnishing
Step 1: Pour the water in a pot or pan and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, put in the sliced apples, cinnamon and vanilla extract/bean pod. If you are going for the spicier version, add all ingredients except honey or maple syrup.
Step 2: Now, turn the flame down and let the concoction simmer for 15-20 minutes; how long is up to you. The longer you keep it on the stove, the more aromatic the tea.
Step 3: Turn the flame off, give the liquid a good mix and run it through a strainer.
Step 4: Whatever remains on the strainer, use the back of a spoon to extract every ounce of goodness from them.
Step 5: Pour the hot liquid in the cup and put the black tea bag in.
Step 6: Put the desired amount of honey or maple syrup and top your freshly brewed apple tea with a lemon slice or mint leaves. Enjoy!
You can store your apple tea in the fridge for about a week and have it later, cold (add ice cubes if you wish) or warmed.
What if you can’t do without milk in your tea?
Simply replace the water with almond or whole milk and voila! you have your apple latte.
If you don’t want your beverage too milky then you can mix milk with water.
A small tip if you go that route. Always put the water after the milk is heated. Reversing the process causes the milk to lose structure. For a frothier latte, pour the drink from a good height through the strainer.
Loose Apple Tea Blends
Apple is so versatile that you can blend with cornucopia of other fruits, herbs and spices.
Combine dried apples with mint, lemongrass, tangy lemon, hibiscus and strawberries for that perfect summer drink, and spices for winter.
Not only do they taste great, homemade blended tea also makes for lovely gifts. Pack it in a mason jar and share with family and friends. You can either work with tea or tisane as the base.
Apple, Rosehip and Hibiscus Loose Tea Blend Recipe
250 gms of finely diced dried apple
250 gms of Rooibos tea (I choose Rooibos tea for its smooth sweet flavor)
50 gms of dried rosehips
50 gms of dried hibiscus
30 gms of dried cranberries
8-10 sticks of cinnamon (Preferably Ceylon cinnamon. You can put more or less depending on preference.)
8 vanilla bean pods cut into small pieces (You can put more or less depending on preference.)
To brew the tea, put two tea spoons of the blend into a cup of hot water and let it infuse. Pour it into another cup using a strainer and enjoy your beverage.
You can buy store-bought dehydrated apples or use a food dehydrator at home.
Dried rosehips, hibiscus and chamomile are common and trusted options. Especially hibiscus offers a citrusy flavor and a warm red color to your teas. A popular alternative is Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) which has its own distinct flavor besides adding to the appearance. It has a light peppery taste on its own which may not appeal to everyone, but with apple tea it offers depth.
If you have not harvested them, you can easily buy these flowers at your local herb or grocery store.
To know what different edible flowers taste like, check out this list of 60+ Flowers for your Kitchen.
Other good choices include dried raspberry, orange, pineapple, ginger and elderberry. Or, if you are a fan of coconuts, you can add coconut flakes.
Use your creativity and imagination. The apple tea world is one where you are at freedom to make your own tunes.
Note: Light and moisture are not friends to blended tea. So, ensure to store it tightly in a ceramic or dark bottle and keep it in a cool, dry place. If you are storing it in a mason jar (I know they look prettier), store it in a dark place where there is no humidity. Tea is hydroscopic in that it easily absorbs odors in the atmosphere. This is especially relevant when working with spices. So, it’s advisable to start with spices as little as an eighth of a teaspoon per ounce of tea. You can work your way up to a flavor you like.
all this hoo-ha the big deal about apple tea?
Here are 10 health benefits of apple tea
Sure to convert doubters to believers.
Apples and tea are filled with micronutrients called polyphenols which are effective in managing diabetes.
The benefits of polyphenols are myriad. Not only do they contain the intake of carbohydrates in our system, they also control the absorption of glucose. Plus, they help the pancreas produce insulin which maintains sugar levels.
Color matters too. Polyphenols give fruits their color. So, a shiny red apple is full of them. Same with green tea, which has much higher levels than other teas because it is processed from unfermented leaves.
This is not to say that black tea has no benefits. Black tea has more plant chemicals called flavonoids that also do a great job at controlling cholesterol and bringing down the risk of diabetes.
2. Weight loss
Polyphenols and catechins found in apples reduce bad cholesterol and help to burn fat, according to studies. Plus, the fructose in apples prevents fluctuations in blood sugar and reduces the need to eat more than necessary.
Cinnamon also regulates blood pressure. For more benefits, try adding turmeric or licorice to your classic apple tea. Turmeric has the capacity to reduce blood sugar in diabetics. And, if you are really craving something sweet try licorice, which is 50 times sweeter than refined sugar.
Additionally, apples are also known to prevent weakness and provide vitality to people who are recovering from illnesses.
3. Heart health
Apple tea can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Polyphenols help widen the heart arteries, which reduces blood pressure and cholesterol.
The skin of the apple especially is full of benefits. The quercetin content in it brings down the amount of C-reactive protein that is responsible for inflammation of the blood vessels.
Cinnamon has similar properties and can help prevent heart-related ailments, by limiting cholesterol and alleviating blood pressure.
4. Constipation, diarrhea and bowel movement
Apples contain pectin, a naturally occurring carbohydrate substance, which improves bowel condition and helps to treat diarrhea and constipation.
Apple tea also improves gut health. This is due to the presence of malic acid in the fruit that balances the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract by optimizing the benefits of what we eat.
Also, cinnamon is antioxidant and helps in digestion, besides its positive effects on insulin and sugar levels.
5. Boosts immunity
Apple tea is full of antioxidants which boost the immune system. It contains vitamin B6 which boosts epithelial cells and strengthens immunity.
The beverage is also effective in breaking down the dopamine producing nerve cells responsible for causing Parkinson’s disease. Acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain, may increase after apple tea consumption which can lead to better concentration, memory and problem solving ability.
6. Bone health
Apple tea provides substantial amounts of magnesium, potassium, sodium, and vitamin C, which can help build strong bones and bring down the risk of osteoporosis.
Flavonoids found in apples like kaempferol, myricetin and quercetin may treat arthritis.
Apple teas with cinnamon have greater benefits as the spice has properties that prevent bone breakdown and bone loss.
7. For vision
Flavonoids in apples are believed to improve vision and combat eye-related ailments in old age by preventing macular degeneration.
These chemicals along with phytonutrients present in apple tea can also help fight blindness, cataract and glaucoma by reducing the effects of free radicals.
Apple tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat arthritis as well as sore muscles.
Black tea, in particular, is good for the respiratory system and is among the best treatments for asthma. To augment the benefits and add to the flavor, throw in some fresh turmeric and fresh ginger.
9. Prevents cancer
Flavonoid compounds found in apples, such as kaempferol and quercetin, have been known to limit the spread of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. This makes drinking apple tea beneficial for smoker and heavy drinkers.
Apples may also help with colon and breast cancer. As per one research, a combination of apple infused and green tea may be able to block a molecule called VEGF which is responsible for cancer growth.
10. Can prevent neurodegenerative diseases
Apples may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Phytonutrients in apple tea has antioxidants that can reduce radical activity in the brain, which may help to combat diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Apple tea can also stop dopamine-producing nerve cells from breaking down, which some believe to one of the causes of Parkinson’s.
(If you like healthy DIY food recipes, you might want to check out our version of the underrated superfood, Sattu.)
Apple Tea Side-effects
Side effects with apple tea are minimal or none. Still, it is best to avoid it if you are allergic to apples or fruits of the Rosaceae family such as apricot, peach or strawberry.
Same with cinnamon. Consumption in moderation is all right but too much may result in liver damage, due to the presence of the chemical compound coumarin.
As for pregnant women, apple tea is safe as long as it does not contain caffeine.
Apples have endured. They’ve remained close to the top of the apex of desirable fruits for eight and a half millennia, revered for their mythical and healing properties. This, despite the advent of superfruits and others created out of the human need to invent. Tea is much younger at 4,500 years but, like the apple, it has been used forever for its health benefits. Somewhere along the line, their paths crossed and apple tea was born.
The combination was meant to be a hit.
So which apple tea are you going to try first? Do you have some of your own versions of apple tea? Let us know in the comments.