This delicious orange peel tea recipe is easy to make and perfect to enjoy on a chilly day. It bursts with vitamin C, has a bright yet smooth zesty flavor and is such a fun way to use your extra orange peels instead of throwing them away! Make it with or without caffeine and you can sweeten it to taste.
Next time you feel under the weather, then you should give this fragrant orange peel tea a try!
But this time I was looking for a healthy and vitamin-loaded drink that's warm and cozy for the fall and the winter. So here is my new seasonal addiction: warm spiced orange peel tea.
I never thought that boiling orange peels would taste good, but I tried it and I am hooked!
I am sure you already know that oranges are packed with vitamin C, but did you know that the orange peels are way higher in vitamin C than the juicy flesh? Boiling orange peel helps make the most of this nutrient-dense fruit, plus it is super fun to make and will make your house smell amazing!
In this case, the orange peels simmer alongside warming spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and cloves, although you can tweak the spices as you wish. Then, the spiced and zesty warm tea is combined with the orange juice and sweetened to taste with a hint of maple syrup (optional).
You can then choose to steep some green or black tea in the orange tea as well for a boost of caffeine and antioxidants, although not essential, especially if looking for a cozy cup of soothing tea to enjoy before bedtime.
I hope you give it a try! ❤️
Health benefits of orange peel tea
Orange peel tea has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its amazing health benefits.
Not only does orange peel contain an impressive amount of vitamin C (up to 3 times the amount found in the flesh!) and polyphenols (act as antioxidants), it also contains a high amount of flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in some fruits and tea and have powerful antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory protection.
Similarly to drinking regular tea, in general, regular consumption of orange peel tea might be associated with various medicinal properties. It is known to boost the immune system, support the digestive system, prevent high blood pressure, help prevent cancer by limiting the free radicals in your body and even protect against infections due to its antimicrobial properties. It can also support skin health and help you stay hydrated.
You can read more about nutrients found in orange peel in this article from Healthline.
Why you should try this recipe
- Warm cozy cup of tea perfect to enjoy on a chilly day
- Can choose to make it with or without caffeine
- Filled with orange flavor and warming spices
- Healthy and packed with vitamins and antioxidants
- Easy to make and ready in 15 minutes
- Made using 3 simple ingredients
- Perfect feel-good warm tea for when you have a cold or sore throat
- Fun to make and such a perfect way to use your leftover orange peels, which helps reduce food waste!
- Versatile and perfect recipe to personalize
- Naturally vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free
What you will need
- Whole orange: You will need the peel of an orange as well as the juice. I recommend using a large Navel orange as they are usually sweeter than other kinds, plus they will give you a fair amount of juice to add to your tea as well. That being said, feel free to experiment and use other kinds of oranges, such as Cara cara, Blood orange and Tangelo. Look for a bright fresh orange without any bruise.
- Whole spices: I used a combination of a cinnamon stick, whole cardamom pods, star anise and whole cloves. You can easily play around with the spices you use, so feel free to use what you have.
- Sweetener: optional. I recommend making the tea without it and then adding it at the end when serving. I have made this tea a bunch of times and sometimes I need a sweetener and sometimes not, which depends on how sweet the orange is and how long the tea has been simmering for.
How to make homemade orange peel tea recipe
Such a simple recipe that bursts with flavors. Don't hesitate to make more since this recipe will give you one large mug. You can make double or triple batches, keep in the fridge and reheat a few days later.
Prepare the orange
Start by slicing the orange in half and then juice the orange. I like using a glass citrus juicer for that (the hand-held ones are usually too small for a Navel orange).
Set the juice aside and then use a spoon to scoop out the remaining fibers and white part from the orange, and discard. Then, use a sharp knife to slice the orange peel into small strips.
To a small saucepan, add the water, orange peel strips and all the spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and star anise). Cover and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and keep simmering for about 5-7 minutes.
Then, uncover and pour the fresh orange juice over it. Bring it back to a simmer, then remove from the heat (this is just to warm up the orange juice).
Set the orange peel tea aside and let the peel soak in the hot tea for another 5-7 minutes.
Taste the orange peel tea and add a little maple syrup if needed. If you let it steep for a while, you might also want to briefly warm it up just before serving so you can enjoy a steamy cup of tea.
To serve, simply strain the tea through a fine mesh colander or do like me and simply gently pour into a mug, the citrus peels and spices should stay at the bottom of the sauce pan if done slowly.
At this point, you can enjoy it as is or choose to steep a bag of black tea or green tea for a little boost of caffeine and antioxidants. This would also add a tasty earthy flavor that pairs well with the citrus fruit.
For caffeine-free herbal teas, you can steep a chai rooibo tea blend for an even more pronounced spiced flavor.
Can I use dried orange peels instead of fresh orange peels?
Yes, absolutely. You can make your tea using dried peel instead of fresh peel, although you might need to use less as they are going to be more potent. Dried peel also stores better, so you can make orange tea anytime even if you don't have fresh orange.
This recipe calls for the juice of one orange, so if using dried peels, then you can use store-bought orange juice or simply omit it if you don't have it.
- The longer you simmer the orange peel, the stronger the tea will taste. You can taste as you go and see when it is done right for you and ensure the tea does not become too bitter.
- I highly recommend choosing organic oranges if possible since the whole peel will be used for this recipe.
- Chopping the peel into small pieces will help extract more flavor and nutrients.
- Also, to avoid a bitter taste, make sure to clean up the peel and remove the white parts.
- Adjust sweetness to your taste, which depends a lot on how naturally sweet your orange is.
- If not drinking all the tea within 30 minutes of making it, then remove the peel to prevent it from becoming too bitter.
This orange peel tea is so versatile and you can easily play around with the spices to make it your own.
As a side note, you do not have to include spices to make it. You can simply boil the orange peels, then add orange juice and sweetener to taste.
Here are other flavorful ingredients to try:
- Ginger: slice a piece of fresh and peeled ginger root and add to the water to boil alongside the orange peel.
- Turmeric: similar to ginger, you can boil fresh turmeric root (or add a pinch of ground turmeric) and boost your tea with even more antioxidants and a warming spiced flavor.
- Cayenne: we love healthy drinks with a nice kick, which you can do here by adding a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
- Lemon: squeeze a little lemon juice when serving for a bright zesty flavor.
- Mint: feel free to add a few leaves of fresh mint to your serving mug before pouring the hot tea over for more fresh flavor.
If you are not drinking the tea right away, then I would recommend straining and removing the peel, otherwise, the tea could turn bitter.
Keep the leftovers in an airtight container (glass storage containers like a mason jar work well) in the fridge for up to 24-48 hours. After this, the tea loses its fresh flavor and might change in color. You can reheat on the stove or the microwave or drink the leftovers cold over ice cubes.
How long should I boil the peels?
This is up to you, but know that the longer you boil them, the stronger (and potentially bitter) the taste will be. You might want to adjust boiling time depending on the thickness of the peel: thick peel can be bitter whereas thin peel tends to be more smooth in flavor.
Can I enjoy it cold?
Yes, this recipe makes for an amazing orange iced tea! Simply make the tea as directed and then, strain and transfer to the fridge to chill before serving. You can pour over ice cubes with extra orange slices in a tall glass.
Are there any side effects of drinking a lot of orange peel tea?
Like most things in life, there are potential downsides to enjoying too much orange peel tea. Consuming lots of it can create digestive issues and acid reflux, but this should not be a problem unless you drink many cups a day. Also, try using organic orange peel to avoid pesticides that can hide in the orange peel.
More recipes like this to try
- Hot bubble tea
- Lemongrass ginger lemon tea
- Creamy peanut butter coffee
- Lavender milk tea
- Oat milk hot chocolate
- Lemon and turmeric shots
- Cardamom latte
- Chia hibiscus iced tea
- Pink latte
- Oolong peach iced tea
- Turmeric hot chocolate
I hope you like this orange peel tea recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Orange Peel Tea
- 1 large orange - Navel orange works well, but can be done with any kinds of orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 1 star anise - optional
- 3 cup water
- sweetener to taste - optional
- Slice the orange in half and juice the orange. Set the juice aside. Then, use a spoon to remove the white and fiber parts inside the peel and discard them. Slice the peel into thin strips.
- Pour 3 cups of water into a medium saucepan and add the orange peels, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and star anise. Bring to a simmer, then cover and let it simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then, pour the orange juice in the tea, warm up for 1 more minute, then turn off the heat. Let the peels sit in the hot tea for about 5 minutes.
- Add sweetener to taste (optional) and strain the tea. You can also simply gently pour the tea over your serving mug while keeping the solids at the bottom of the saucepan.
- At this point, you can enjoy as is or steep some green or black tea before serving.
- Storage: if not enjoying the tea right away, then I would recommend removing the orange peel or the tea can turn too bitter. If you have extra tea, then keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 24-48 hrs.
- You can play around with the spices and use what you like or already have. You can also use ground spices instead of whole.