A simple cozy seasonal drink made with brewed black tea and apple cider. Warming spices and a squeeze of lemon make this perfect for sipping on a crisp fall evening.
The day the clocks change in the fall is pretty much the same day I start drinking tea every afternoon.
This seasonal routine is one of the very few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful time of year that honestly, I just can’t stand.
There’s just nothing good about 4:30pm darkness and cold weather in my opinion!
After a trip to a local cider mill last weekend, my afternoon tea ritual got a little facelift and while simple, I still think this apple cider tea recipe is worth sharing.
If you’re like me and love fresh apple cider but also don’t love drinking huge glasses of it at once (hello, sugar rush), this approach of diluting it and brewing with tea is the perfect compromise.
It’s a cozy fall drink that will satisfy the need for something warm to sip in the afternoon or cold evenings of the season.
And while non-alcoholic as written, who am I to judge anyone that wants to add a glug of bourbon or whiskey to it? Of course, this wassail recipe is also a great option this time of year.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE APPLE CIDER TEA
- apple cider
- black tea
- cinnamon stick
CHOOSING THE BEST APPLE CIDER
If possible, pick a fresh unfiltered cider for this recipe. It’s important to note I’m talking about non-alcoholic cider not the boozy kind! If you want booze, try this simply spiked apple cider recipe.
The only ingredient should be apples.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPLE CIDER AND APPLE JUICE?
Apple cider is fresh, unfiltered and unpasteurized. It’s made of fresh pressed apples and shouldn’t contain any additional ingredients. It’s basically made by cutting up apples, mashing them and then pressing out the juice.
Apple juice on the other hand, is a more processed product as it takes the apples and filters them to remove the pulp then pasteurizes it to become shelf stable. If you’re making your own apple juice at home, be sure to read this guide on the best apple juicer machine.
Apple cider needs to be kept under refrigeration while apple juice can sit at room temperature. Because cider is unpasteurized it can actually ferment with time and turn into hard cider.
HOW TO MAKE HOT APPLE CIDER TEA
Combine the apple cider, water, cinnamon stick and tea bags in a pot. Alternatively, you can use loose leaf tea and a tea ball strainer.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let sit for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove the tea bags (or strainer) and cinnamon stick from the pot and pour the cider tea into mugs. Squeeze a wedge of lemon into each mug and enjoy.
Garnish with apple slices if desired. Or serve with maple cinnamon air fryer apple chips.
WHAT TYPE OF TEA SHOULD I USE?
I like the flavor of regular black tea paired with the apple cider. Green tea can also be used if you like that (I’m just not a green tea fan) or other types of black tea like Earl Grey.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, free free to use decaffeinated tea in this recipe.
If you’re wondering how the flavors of tea and apple cider marry together the answer is just wonderfully. I love the sweetness from the cider and the depth the black tea brings to it.
The fresh lemon juice brightens everything up while the cinnamon adds to that warm and cozy fall vibe.
It’s really the perfect warm seasonal drink and if you pair it with something like a gluten free apple cider donut, pumpkin biscotti or a sweet potato cookie, you’ll look forward to every afternoon like just as much as I do!
MORE DRINKS LIKE THIS TO TRY:
I also love this honey-lemon ginger tea recipe this time of year when I want something caffeine-free.
Apple Cider Tea
- 2 black tea bags
- 1 cup unfiltered apple cider
- 1 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- lemon wedges for serving
- apple slices for garnish optional
- Combine the apple cider, water, tea bags and cinnamon stick in a small pot.
- Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour into mugs.
- Squeeze fresh lemon into each mug along with a thin slice of apple (if desired) and enjoy warm.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.