Looking for some easy-yet-thoughtful gift ideas? Look no further than your kitchen cupboard!
There are plenty of cool gifts that you can make using teas and spices, like these homemade spice blends, tea blends, potpourri mixes and cocktail infusers.
Check out these gift ideas below to find out just how you can use spices and teas to make your own DIY gifts!
Tea and spice gifts you can make at home
Homemade spice blends
Homemade spice blends are great gifts to make, as making just one jar of it is as easy as making a dozen! All you need to do is collect the spices, measure them out and assemble the blends.
And yes, spice blends are readily available in-store and online, so why go through the bother of making them yourself? Aside from the fact that this could be said for pretty much any item one gifts to someone else, there are a few reasons why a homemade spice blend makes for a great gift.
First, spice blends are incredibly easy to make! This gives you a lot of freedom in how you personalize your mix. You can create an aromatic garam masala blend in the blink of an eye, or add a zesty kick to a simple Italian blend. You can take a tried-and-true blend recipe and adjust it to your liking, or you can create your own chef’s blend that you’ve put to the test and thoroughly enjoyed.
Second, searching for the right ingredients will lead you to some stores that you may never have frequented. Making a mother-in-law’s tongue spice blend will take you to Indian and Middle Eastern markets in search of whole cardamom, mace and Peri Peri. Making a za’atar blend will take you to Mediterranean stores for sumac and toasted sesame seeds. These stores are the best places to get spices for their respective cuisines because they are more likely to have whole spices, they’re more likely to have a larger variety to choose from and, of course, they’re the real deal!
And finally, spices have a shelf life. It’s true! Spices are organic materials that, with time, heat, moisture and light, have the potential for going bad. Plastic and metal containers affect their longevity, too, as plastic isn’t always reliably airtight and aluminum tins conduct heat, which can slowly cook away all the good stuff.
And that’s the rub of it! Most of the time, your generic pre-ground spice blends packaged in a generic plastic container have been exposed to plenty of heat, light, air and moisture on their way to store shelves. If you can access whole spices or herbs, grind them yourself and package them in a nice little glass jar, you’re not only giving someone a thoughtful, homemade gift, but that spice mix will likely be fresher, more aromatic and far tastier than anything you could buy in-store.
At its core, this is all you need to make a homemade spice blend:
- Mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
- A clean, sealable glass jar
- A label
Homemade tea blends
Just like spices, teas have a shelf life that’s affected by light, heat, moisture and, ultimately, quality. A generic store-brand bag of herbal tea will taste totally different to a carefully-blended cup of hand-crafted tea, so a homemade tea blend is a great gift for the tea lover in your life.
There are plenty of recipes out there for making your own tea blends, so you needn’t look far for inspiration. You can also make your own blend through trial-and-error, which we cover in our article on how to create your own tea blend recipe!
As with making spice blends, getting your ingredients from quality sources will make a big difference in the outcome of your concoction. Indian and Middle Eastern stores are great places to find whole spices and herbs, as well as large packs of whole-leaf teas that you can use for your base. These ingredients usually come straight from the country of origin, too, so you know exactly where your ingredients are coming from.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your homemade tea blend gifts:
- Loose leaf tea
- Spices and herbs
- Mortar and pestle
- Tea strainer
- A clean, sealable glass jar
- A label
- A cool mug to go along with the jar of tea, or a single-serve teapot
Here are a few tea blends you can make at home! They include blends like rose breakfast blends, minty sencha blends, floral Earl Grey and more!
Potpourri is a great little gift to make and give because it’s so versatile and fragrant.
Stovetop potpourri can be simmered on the stove during the holiday season and dry potpourri in a small bag is great for cupboards and cabinets — plus, the dried flowers, spices and fruits always look gorgeous when packaged in a neat glass jar.
Whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and allspices are great bases for potpourri blends, as they are all warm and fragrant spices that make for great aromatics.
You may have seen those glass jars filled with dried fruit, spices and teas that, when filled with a liquor like gin, whiskey, rum or vodka, turn into infused cocktails.
Even if you haven’t, the concept isn’t all that new. It’s common practice to infuse liquors with fruit, sweeteners, spices and teas to give the spirits a unique flavor, but it’s usually done on a much larger scale.
You can make your own mini infusions by creating a blend of spices, teas and fruits in a glass jar. These make for clever, fun gifts that you can pair with a bottle of the selected spirits, a funky glass or other mixology items.
Never worry about gift ideas again! With these cool spice and tea-based homemade gifts, you can create something truly special and unique that will certainly impress.
Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/pompi