If there’s one thing I always bring home from Viet Nam, it's a heaping helping of tea. Their casual and, at the same time, artful tea tradition spans over three millennia so it is little wonder that Viet Nam produces some of the best tea leaves in the world.
During my most recent trip to Ha Noi, I did just that. Now I have enough tea to last me months and still have some to spare for Bamboo, who loves tea just as much as I do. And since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought it might be a good chance to go the extra mile beyond the usual French-pressing (of tea, not the lips). This train of thought led me to making DIY tea bags for a sweet Valentine’s morning, afternoon or night!
I used unbleached coffee filters for this DIY. If the size of the filter is a tad too big for one tea bag, trim it or cut it in half, and sew open edges. Aside from coffee filters, you can also use muslin or cheesecloth for this purpose. Fill the bags with about a teaspoon or so of dried tealeaves, then secure and string them. Enjoy a cup with your favorite tea snacks.
I prepared tea bags of different kinds of tea (Jasmine Green Tea, Oolong and Vietnam Lotus Tea). I used different-colored twine for each kind to be able to distinguish them from each other. It is not a good idea to mark your bags with pen, ink or the like – remember, they will have to be immersed in water and the last thing you definitely would want is Tea Montblanc at 10 o’clock.
After finishing the bags and to further prove it a labor of love, I encased them in small kraft envelopes as proper storage to keep them clean and “fresh” (in a manner of speaking) longer, or at least until Valentine’s day. I stamped the envelopes with food grade ink, mostly with the word “LOVE” because it looked easiest and sounded very valentine-y. Obviously, any other word would do so if you’re planning to make something like this, hopefully you get way more creative in words than I have been.
To cap, store your DIY tea bags in your beloved tea box or arrange them in a basket come Valentine’s morning. Present it with cookies or breakfast or on a tray along with your gift. That pair of cufflinks that you bought for him to wear for Valentine’s dinner? It’s the perfect “good morning” to go along with your handmade tea 🙂