Hot Cranberry Tea Recipe - Making Life Delicious (2024)

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Hot Cranberry Tea Recipe - Making Life Delicious (1)

One of my favorite moments on cold mornings is when I pour my cup of hot tea to start the day. Preparing the water, choosing a mug, and selecting my flavor is settling, calming, and my boys have started to participate in the tradition. We each choose a tea bag and steep it in hot water for a few minutes while preparing breakfast, then enjoy the fragrant vapors as we let the tea cool just enough to keep from burning our mouths as we take a first sip.

My collection of teas takes up more shelf space than it probably should. My enjoyment of tea began as a child, and became a passion when living and traveling abroad. I grew up only knowing one kind of tea, then began drinking herbal teas in college, and later tasted my first oolong and Pu-erh teas in Hong Kong. In Colombia I purchased the local herbal teas, and my favorite was yerbabuena. In Istanbul, I sipped my first apple tea while negotiating rug prices.

But my ultimate tea experience was the Japanese tea ceremony, one on one, with students who were studying the Urasenke tradition of chado, The Way of Tea. The ceremony was led by SEN Sosh*tsu XV, a fifteenth-generation Grand Master who shared with us the teachings and ideals of chado: Harmony, Respect, Purity, and Tranquility. It was a beautiful way to experience a piece of Japanese culture, and truly unforgettable. And each time I sip a cup of tea, I feel as if I am bringing part of that experience to my day.

Hot Cranberry Tea Recipe - Making Life Delicious (2)

The tea I grew up with was black, the common type found in tea bags in the supermarket. I remember reading the package and wondering what orange pekoe meant, and I just assumed it was the type of tea. Many years later I learned orange pekoe refers to the grade of the tea, mostly for teas from Sri Lanka, India, and countries other than China. There are about 30 different grades of tea in four categories (whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings, dust) and some jargon used to describe the consistency of the leaf.

That common black orange pekoe tea forms the base of this cranberry-infused mixture. Look for loose leaf tea, but you can used bagged tea, too. Combine all the ingredients in a pot on the stove and simmer, then let it rest. Your home will fill with the scent of tea and cranberries, making a welcoming aroma to share with family and friends during the holidays. The flavor is full and on the tart side, but you can add a couple drops of stevia to your cup if desired. For more orange flavor, substitute the juice of one orange for some of the water.

Hot Cranberry Tea Recipe - Making Life Delicious (3)[Update: Thanks toFoodista for featuring this post as Drink Blog of the Day for December 8, 2014!]

📖 Recipe

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Hot Cranberry Tea

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Course: Beverage

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: autumn, cranberries, tea, winter

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 56kcal

Author: Andrea Meyers


  • 3-quart heavy stainless steel saucepan

  • fine mesh strainer

  • heat-resistant large liquid measuring cup


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange pekoe tea leaves
  • 2 orange peel (3 x 1-inch strips )
  • cups water

Optional Additions

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves

US Customary - Metric


  • Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange pekoe tea, and orange rind strips in the stainless steel saucepan. Add water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Strain the mixture over the liquid measuring cup, and discard the solids. Serve hot.


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Share in the comments!

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[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]

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Reader Interactions


    Thanks for visiting! Let me know what you think!

  1. Alanna Kellogg says

    Okay so this is a “fancy” tea I can wrap my hands around!

    I’m intrigued by your tea ritual because my tea choice is totally boring -- Canadian Red Rose, yes it’s orange pekoe and yes I was much disappointed once to learn that orange pekoe isn’t so special -- but it’s all I drink, in memory of my mom whose day was filled with multiple cups of tea, all properly brewed, all Red Rose. A cup of tea was her “smoke” -- if something bad happened, she’d ask, Who’s making tea? When something good happened, she’d say, I’ll put the kettle on. PS Lipton has acquired Red Rose and the tea you buy in Canada that bears the Lipton label is different from the Red Rose tea purchased in the US. Thanks for broadening my horizons, Andrea!


    • Andrea says

      Hi Alanna, good to hear from you! That's a neat story about your mom and her tea. I was introduced to Red Rose tea by some Canadian friends, and could get it at the commissary in Saudi Arabia. Red Rose and Twinings Earl Grey were my regular teas for a while.


  2. Georgia Leon says

    I only drink Green tea because I really the smell and the taste. But I want to try that Cranberry tea. Is it sweet?


    • Andrea says

      Hi Georgia. The tea is a little bit tart, not very sweet at all.


Hot Cranberry Tea Recipe - Making Life Delicious (2024)


Is hot cranberry tea good for you? ›

In general, the cranberry helps to keep a good immune system, fights against cholesterol, protects the stomach (it calms ulcers) and the mucous membranes.

How to make good tasting hot tea? ›

Here are some tips to make the tea tasty:
  1. Use high-quality tea leaves: Start with good-quality tea leaves that are fresh and aromatic. ...
  2. Use fresh water: Always use fresh, cold water to make tea. ...
  3. Control the water temperature: Different types of tea require different water temperatures.
Jun 29, 2017

How do you take the bitterness out of fresh cranberries? ›

Anything from a drizzle of honey to agave, maple syrup, or molasses will also fare well. After a few minutes of maceration, the sour fruit juices will mix with the sugar and alleviate some of the cranberries' natural tartness.

Is cranberry tea good for kidneys? ›

Possibly Effective for

Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs). Taking certain cranberry products by mouth seems to help prevent UTIs in adult females, children, and people at risk for developing UTIs due to certain surgeries or radiation treatment.

What is the healthiest hot tea? ›

What is the healthiest tea? Green tea will get you “the most bang for your buck” when it comes to nutritional benefits, Crumble Smith said. It has better antioxidant properties than black tea because it contains more polyphenols. Green tea contains several types of catechins, a group of flavonoid compounds.

What can you add to hot tea to make it sweeter? ›

What can I use to sweeten my hot tea? If you don't have sugar or honey to hand, try adding a few drops of vanilla extract. Syrups will dissolve well in hot tea too, so consider using a teaspoon of golden or maple syrup.

Do you add anything to hot tea? ›

Adding milk to tea has a few benefits, according to the experts. It can help counteract the tannin's astringent or bitter aspects and adds a few calories and nutrients to an otherwise nutritionally bereft beverage.

What can I add to hot tea to make it sweet? ›

Sweet tea is most commonly made by adding sugar or simple syrup to black tea either while the tea is brewing or still hot, although artificial sweeteners are also frequently used. Sweet tea is almost always served ice cold. It may sometimes be flavored, most commonly with lemon but also with peach, raspberry, or mint.

Why do my cranberries taste bitter? ›

Cranberries are generally considered safe whether they are cooked or raw. However, because of their notoriously bitter, sharp taste, most people prefer not to eat them raw or unsweetened. This bitterness is due to the high tannin content of cranberries.

What makes cranberry bitter? ›

One of the names Native Americans of that era called the fruit was “ibimi,” which translates literally as “sour” or “bitter berries.” The bitterness is due to compounds called tannins, which also impart health benefits to the berry.

What happens if you overcook cranberries? ›

It is important that you don't overcook them or they will turn to mush, and will also turn bitter. Cranberries should be cooked only until they pop or split, which usually happens in under 10 minutes over medium heat.

Is cranberry tea good for urine infection? ›

Some studies have found that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills can prevent UTIs, especially in women who are at risk for these infections. But others haven't come to that conclusion. Cranberries don't seem to work for everyone. And they don't treat UTIs that you already have.

Is cranberry tea anti inflammatory? ›

Anti Inflammatory. Vitamin C in a cranberry infusion that helps boost anti oxidative properties may also help in reducing certain kinds of inflammations in the body as the immunity is up and toxins flushed out.

What not to take with cranberry? ›

Possible Interactions
  • Warfarin (Coumadin): Cranberry may raise the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take medications to thin the blood such as warfarin. ...
  • Aspirin: Like aspirin, cranberries contain salicylic acid. ...
  • Other medications: Cranberry may interact with medications that are broken down by the liver.

What is the benefit of cranberry tea? ›

Cranberry tea contains certain compounds like proanthocyanidins that may help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This can contribute to a healthier gut microbiome, which is associated with improved digestion and better nutrient absorption.

Is it safe to drink warm cranberry juice? ›

Yes, you read that correctly—hot cranberry juice. While you, like us, might be used to drinking it cold over ice, Rogers makes the case for heating it up and treating it like a mulled wine.

Is cranberry tea good for the liver? ›

Many dark berries — including blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries — contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help protect the liver from damage.

Is cranberry tea better than juice? ›

Cranberry tea may not be as rich in nutrients as fresh cranberries, juice or capsules, but it's still a popular way to enjoy some cranberry benefits, especially during winter, and it makes for a delicious, warm treat.


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