Friendship Tea Recipe (Spiced Tea with Tang) (2024)

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade spiced tea mix made with Tang, instant tea, lemonade powder and spices. Not only is it quick and easy to make a batch of Friendship Tea, but it's a tasty gift for tea lovers, too.

Friendship Tea Recipe (Spiced Tea with Tang) (1)
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Friendship Tea Mix

If you’ve never heard of Friendship Tea, also known as Spiced Tea with Tang or Russian Tea Mix, it’s a bit of a blast-from-the-past. As a matter of fact, cookbooks from the 70s often contain a Friendship Tea recipe.

And by cookbooks I mean those spiral-bound cookbooks put together with recipe contributions from community groups and organizations.

Basically, Spiced Tea Mix blends together iced tea, Tang orange drink, lemonade mix and spices like cinnamon and cloves.

As you can imagine, a cup of Friendship Tea is wonderfully sweet and spicy.

Of course, it goes without saying, sipping a warm mug of this tea is really delicious, especially during the cool fall and winter seasons.

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Spiced Tea Recipe from the 70s

My first memory of Friendship Tea is, as a child during the 1970s, seeing it given as a gift amongst my mother’s friends.

While the spiced tea mix, made with Tang of all things, was always the same, the gift of friendship and tea was packaged using all sorts of jars, ribbons, fabric, tags, and recipe cards. Often, the gift included a friendship poem, as well.

You have to remember, the ingredients that make up this spiced tea mix were quite novel at the time.

For instance, Lipton iced tea powder mix was introduced to the United States in 1964. And it didn’t make its way to Europe until 1978.

As far as Tang goes, this “Breakfast Drink” was actually available on store shelves as early as 1959. However, it was Tang’s trip to space, literally, that launched its popularity into American households.

By 1968 Tang sponsored Apollo 8’s coverage on ABC television and NASA Made Tang Cool.

While I’m guessing here, perhaps Tang’s new found popularity led to the creation of Friendship Tea.

No matter the recipe’s origin, it’s easy to see why people often refer to this mix as Spiced Tea with Tang.

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Friendship Tea and Its Many Names

Like all recipes, there are variations of spiced tea mix. However, the core ingredients almost always include Lipton instant iced tea, Tang orange drink, Country Time lemonade mix, cinnamon and cloves.

Some recipes variations even call for additional sugar. Yikes!

That being said, this tea mix has quite a few names. Here are the ones I’ve heard over the years:

  • Friendship Tea
  • Friendship Drink
  • Spiced Tea Mix
  • Spiced Tea with Tang
  • Russian Tea Mix
  • Russian Friendship Tea
  • Mormon Tea
  • Christmas Tea Mix
  • Christmas Tea with Red Hots

Personally, I like the idea of adding red hot candies to the mix, especially when giving Friendship Tea as a Christmas gift.

The red hots and mix dissolve in a mug of boiling water, adding even more spicy cinnamon flavor to the tea.

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How to Make Spiced Tea with Tang

Making spiced tea mix is as easy as combining all the dry ingredients together.

Friendship Tea Ingredients

  • Instant Iced Tea
  • Tang Orange Drink
  • Powdered Lemonade Mix
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Red Hots (optional)

And actually, the most time consuming part of making this tea, is going to the store to purchase the ingredients.

What’s great about this recipe is that you can make several batches at once and give a couple jars as gifts to friends. Just be sure and keep one for yourself.

I will say, I find it’s easiest to make the spice tea mix in either a zipper plastic bag or a container with a spout.

Next, you have a choice. Pour the mix into a jar and you’re done.

Or, powder the mix further using either a food processor or blender.

Personally, I prefer to powder the mix for two reasons.

First, the ingredients are well-blended and won’t separate. Second, the tea mix dissolves easily when making a cup of hot spiced tea.

As you can see, many of the photos in this article show jars of Friendship tea that aren’t blended.

However, I like to blend it, especially for gift-giving.

For instance, take a look at my pictures below for the jars of Christmas spiced tea with red hots. Notice how the mix is a powder.

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Giving the Gift of Spiced Tea

Finally, it’s time to get creative decorating the Friendship tea jars for gifts.

Autumn is my favorite season, so I like to give friends jars of spiced tea decorated with orange ribbon around Thanksgiving.

Just be sure and include directions for how to make a hot cup of spiced tea.

Two more favorite fall-themed recipes I like to give as gifts are Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Sauce and Instant Chai Latte Mix.

A jar of homemade mulling spices for apple cider, wine or tea also makes a delicious Autumn gift.

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Friendship Tea Recipe (Spiced Tea with Tang) (7)

And for the Christmas holiday, why not spice up the spiced tea a little more with some red hot candies?

Not only does the Friendship Tea look more festive, but the prepared tea has even more yummy cinnamon flavor.

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Friendship Tea Recipe (Spiced Tea with Tang) (9)

Making a Cup of Hot Spiced Tea

All-in-all, this classic spiced tea mix recipe couldn’t be easier to make.

Of course, it’s super simple to make a cup of hot spiced tea, too.

Simply add 2-3 teaspoons of the mix to a mug. Then, pour in a cup of hot water and stir until dissolved.

Be sure and include these serving instructions when giving a jar of Friendship Tea as a gift.

Finally, sip and enjoy your spiced tea. Better yet, share a cup with a friend!

Friendship Tea Recipe

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Friendship Tea (Spiced Tea Mix with Tang)

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 6 minutes

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade spiced tea mix that's made by combining instant tea, Tang, powdered lemonade and a few spices. To make hot cup of spiced tea, simply stir some Friendship Tea powder into a cup of boiling water.


  • 1 cup Tang orange drink mix
  • 1/2 cup instant iced tea, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup instant lemonade powder, sweetened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


Friendship Tea Mixture

  1. Combine instant tea, Tang mix, lemonade powder (such as Country Time), and spices in a bowl, plastic bag or other container.
  2. Pour the spiced tea mix into a blender or food processor and blend until the tea mix becomes a fine powder. This step is optional, however, it's recommended.
  3. Store the spiced tea mix in a 16 ounce mason jar or other sealed container. Double the recipe to fill a 32 ounce mason jar.

Spiced Tea Serving Instructions

  1. Combine 2-3 teaspoons of friendship tea mix with 8 ounces boiling water. Adjust according to taste.
  2. Stir and enjoy


  • To make Mormon Tea, leave out the instant iced tea. You can also mix in red hots for an even spicier cinnamon flavor.
  • To give a jar of friendship tea as a Christmas gift, add some hot cinnamon red hot candies after blending. For Valentine's Day gifts I like to mix heart-shaped red hots into the jar of spiced tea.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 48Serving Size: 2 teaspoons
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 24Sodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 6.3gSugar: 5.8gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Friendship Tea Recipe (Spiced Tea with Tang) (2024)


What is the drink made from Tang? ›

"This powdered hot tea mix flavored with orange, cloves, and cinnamon has been a favorite of mine since childhood... and is now a favorite inexpensive gift for friends and family.

What is the name of the spiced tea? ›

Masala chai (/tʃaɪ/, lit. 'mixed-spice tea') is a popular beverage throughout South Asia, originating in the early modern Indian subcontinent. Chai is made by brewing black tea (usually CTC tea) in milk and water and then sweetening with sugar.

What spices should I add to my tea? ›

Some popular spices to flavor tea are allspice berries, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, hibiscus blossoms, lavender flower buds, lemongrass, cocoa nibs, mace, nutmeg, saffron, spearmint, star anise, and vanilla beans.

How do you make instant tea taste better? ›

You can add mint, lemon. organic sweetener and even pieces of watermelon. The most common way to drink iced tea is with fresh lemon slices inside the cup accompanied by medium size ice cubes. The lemons add a twist to the overall taste of the tea, giving it a more energizing flavor.

Is drinking too much Tang bad for you? ›

Consuming excessive sugar can lead to weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation. High sugar intake is associated with various health issues, including an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lack of Nutrients: Tang primarily provides empty calories from sugar, offering very little nutritional value.

Is Tang good or bad for you? ›

With all the sugars, preservatives, natural and artificial flavors, colors, and other chemicals, of course, Tang is not healthy. Those who loves its taste, can have it once in a while and not healthy to take daily.

What are the side effects of spiced tea? ›

  • What is Masala Tea? Masala tea, a popular beverage in India, involves adding whole spices to the brewing process alongside traditional elements like tea leaves, sweeteners, and milk. ...
  • Digestive Discomfort. ...
  • Caffeine Concerns. ...
  • Allergic Reactions. ...
  • Eye Irritation and Allergies.
Dec 4, 2023

What is spiced tea made of? ›

This orangey spiced tea mix made with Tang, cinnamon, sugar, and cloves, also called Friendship Tea, always reminds me of the holidays.

What is the benefit of spiced tea? ›

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits

They are therefore ideal to help you relieve muscle-type pains for example. They can also help you prevent and cure headaches and migraines. Spice tea can also be an ally to boost your immune system on a daily basis.

What can I add to tea to make it yummy? ›

11 things to add to your tea that will up your caffeine game
  1. Add ginger for some added benefits. ...
  2. Mint will make it extra lively. ...
  3. Basil can give you an earthy flavor. ...
  4. Lemon or lime will add a nice boost of citrus. ...
  5. A scoop of sorbet makes for a unique dessert. ...
  6. Cinnamon is a simple way to add sweetness.
Jul 19, 2018

What are the best tea combinations? ›

A few to try:
  • DIY Lady Gray: Earl Gray tea mixed with dried citrus.
  • Minty Green: Add dried mint to green tea. I love a hint of chamomile here too.
  • Chai Spice: Mix black tea with cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon.
Aug 1, 2021

Does boiling water make tea taste better? ›

The temperature of the water decides how quickly flavour and structure is released. The higher the temperature, the quicker the release. A cup of tea made with boiling water will look darker, taste stronger and have more structure than a cup of tea made with 80-degree water that has infused for the same amount of time.

Does adding salt to tea make it taste better? ›

She explains that salt acts as a blocker to the receptor which makes tea taste bitter, especially when it has been stewed. By adding a pinch of table salt - an undetectable amount - you will counteract the bitterness of the drink. "It is not like adding sugar.

How do you make tea strong but not bitter? ›

Don't Use Boiling Water

Water temperature is a key aspect of brewing a good cup of tea. Green teas that steep too long or in water that is too hot can turn bitter almost immediately. Water that is too cold results in a weak tea with little flavour. Aim to brew green tea between 75 to 85 degrees.

Does Tang drink still exist? ›

Enjoyed across Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, Tang is the leading brand in our powdered beverage portfolio. This fresh, fruit-flavored drink is available in a variety of flavors - based on local consumers' preferences - and is fortified with minerals and vitamins.

Is the product Tang is still available? ›

Tang is sold in about thirty-five countries and is available in a variety of flavors depending on location.

Is Tang the same as orange juice? ›

100% orange juice is better because it's a natural and minimally processed food and therefore a better source of vitamin C and other micronutrients. Tang is simply a vitamin supplement with water and sugar added.

Why is Tang so popular in Alaska? ›

In Alaska, where fruits were hard to import and to carry crosscountry without freezing, Tang became a common solution to the problem of providing a source of Vitamin C to children.

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