Clove tea is a good option for a flavorful, nutritious hot beverage. A potent spice available year round, clove offers a variety of health benefits, according to the June 2007 issue of "Phytotherapy Research," and its oil is widely sold as a nutritional supplement. It is primarily clove's eugenol content that provides its health benefits. These include boosting the body's ability to resist toxicity from environmental pollutants, working as an anti-inflammatory agent, and providing nutrients like antioxidant flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Buy whole cloves, as their flavor is more pronounced than that of pre-ground cloves. When selecting the cloves, press on them with a fingernail to be sure some oil is released. This is a sign of quality and freshness.
Grind one tablespoon of whole cloves per cup of tea with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. The clove should not be completely pulverized into a powder but should be ground down to small pieces to allow for straining.
Bring one cup of water per cup of tea to a boil. Leave the pot over the heat source, but turn it off.
Add the ground cloves to the hot water. You can also add other herbs or spices, like dandelion or stevia, that you wish to include in the clove tea. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes for a weaker-flavored brew and up to 20 minutes for a strongly-flavored brew.
Pour the tea through a mesh strainer to filter out the cloves. Dispose of the solids in the strainer, and the clove tea is ready to be served.
Sweeten the clove tea to taste with sugar or honey if desired.
Things You'll Need
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp dried cloves
Spice grinder or mortar and pestle
If you make extra, you can refrigerate clove tea in a pitcher. It will keep for a few days.
Store whole cloves in a tightly sealed glass container, and keep them in a cool, dry and dark place, and they can last up to a year. Ground cloves will keep for about six months when stored this way.
The National Institutes of Health offer some warnings: Cloves can cause potentially serious allergic reactions, as well as serious side effects when eaten in large doses. People with liver or kidney disorders who have had seizures should not consume cloves. Cloves can increase the risk of bleeding, so should be avoided when taking medications or supplements with the same risk. Also, cloves can burn the mouth or skin.
Clove tea may cause some digestive discomfort, especially before the body gets used to it, so you may prefer to start out drinking clove tea just once every few days.