Friendship Tea Recipe

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This Friendship Tea Recipe is an instant spiced tea with a fruity flavor thanks to Tang and lemonade mix. Cinnamon and cloves add to the warm flavor.

There’s nothing like sitting down to a warm drink with a friend and sharing life together. Maybe it is a Thai coffee, spiced cider or hot chocolate. Possibly even a chai latte. All are popular drinks these days.

If you’re looking for a recipe from years gone by, you may remember on a cold day your mom whipping up a cup of Friendship Tea that she received from a friend. I can remember thinking that instant spiced tea mix was sweet, tangy and deliciously comforting.

Need a homemade gift for a friend, coworker or teacher? Make this homemade hot beverage mix!

a jar of friendship tea homemade mix

About Friendship Tea

  • Flavor: Think sweet & tangy orange and lemon with a hint of the warm spices of cinnamon and cloves.
  • Texture: Smooth and warm. This is similar to an apple cider and is thicker rather than thin like tea.
  • Source: This recipe can be found in just about any of the old church cookbooks and in many places online. I have an old cookbook called Holiday Cookbook and in that book along there are about 6 variations of this recipe. This is the one that was closest to what I remember.

What is friendship tea?

Friendship tea is sometimes called instant spiced tea, Tang tea or Russian Friendship Tea. We do have a Russian Tea recipe as well, but that recipe uses fresh ingredients and juices along with tea bags for a delicious slow cooker drink.

two mugs of friendship tea with orange slices


There are 5 simple ingredients in this recipe:

  • Instant Tea: You can find instant tea in the tea and coffee aisle of most grocery stores. Our tea powder was a black tea.
  • Tang: Tang is an old fashioned orange drink mix that you can find by the lemonade powder mixes in the grocery store. It is in an orange container.
  • Lemonade Drink Mix: CountryTime Lemonade works well.
  • Cinnamon: ground cinnamon
  • Cloves: ground cloves
old fashioned friendship tea in a jar with oranges and lemons

For extra spice

For extra spice and a little color, mix red hots, the cinnamon candy, into the powdered mix. It adds a boost of spicy flavor.

How to Make Friendship Tea

  • Mix together in a bowl. If you’d like, you can run the mix through a food processor or blender to make it finer, but with powders we use I don’t find it necessary.
  • Then store the powdered mix in containers with tight lids in a dry place. Mason jars work well. Add a cute label with “Friendship Tea” written on it.
  • To make a cup of tea, add 1 tablespoon of Russian tea mix to 6 or 8 ounces of hot water.
overhead view of a cup of friendship tea with anise and cloves

This instant tea mix makes the perfect gift! It tastes like a Christmas tea so is great for the holidays.

closeup of a jar of friendship tea mix
closeup of a jar of friendship tea mix

Friendship Tea Recipe

4.82 from 37 votes
This Friendship Tea Recipe is an instant spiced tea with a fruity flavor thanks to Tang and lemonade mix. Cinnamon and cloves add to the warm flavor.
Servings 80
Prep Time 5 minutes

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  • 1 cup instant tea
  • 2 cups Tang
  • 2 cups sweetened lemonade drink mix CountryTime
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Mix together in a bowl. If you'd like, you can run the mix through a food processor to make it finer, but with powders we use I don't find it necessary.
  • Showcase the powder in a mason jar or another airtight container with a tag attached to it labled “Friendship Tea”.
  • To make a cup of tea, stir 1 tablespoon into 6-8 ounces of hot water. Decorate with cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise if desired.


Recipe Source: Holiday Cookbook
You can make this as an iced tea as well. Mix two tablespoons of powder mix into a cup of hot water. Stir to dissolve, then pour over ice.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 80 cups of tea, with 1 serving being 1 cup of tea. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0.04g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.005g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.03mg
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Calories 23
Keyword christmas gift, drink mix, homemade gift

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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Sandy Mi
10 months ago

Can you make this into a cold iced tea?