A new possibilitea

Last weekend there was a street fair in Loulé, full of vendors selling goods for Natal (Christmas). We wandered through it, picking up a few odds and ends (and one cat toy, because my wife now sees the world through the “will Rumple like this?” filter), and eventually found ourselves in front of one of my favorite businesses: Algarvespice. I first discovered them through just such a fair as this one, and have been a dedicated online shopper ever since. But no amount of onscreen viewing can compare to seeing all of the goods physically laid out in front of you, which is probably why I never knew that they carry dried orange blossoms.

Orange flower bag

I snapped up a bag, eager to try it in my tea. I drink buckets of hot tea during the winter — loose leaf, of course, because I am a total tea snob. My favorite is Earl Grey, which I often mix with a pinch of lavender blossoms. Thus my first test was Earl Grey with a pinch of orange blossoms instead.

Yum! The orange blossoms seem to bring out the bite of a good, fresh Earl Grey. This is definitely a blend to wake a person up; it slaps one in the mouth. In my book, that’s a good thing.

Orange flowers

(Rehydrated orange blossoms on the left, dried on the right.)

Next I tried it with the last of my Assam. This was a bust — the Assam is much milder than Earl Grey, so there isn’t a bite for the blossoms to enhance. I’ll try again, this time with twice the amount of orange blossoms. Perhaps I can use the mildness of the Assam to let the taste of the blossoms themselves shine through. But I’m not sure if they really have much of a taste, so this will be interesting.

I know I’m a tea drinker in a world of coffee addicts, but if anyone out there has ideas for how to use orange blossoms in tea, I’m ready to experiment.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in food, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A new possibilitea

  1. Joanna says:

    I am also a tea drinker in a house of a coffee addict so please don’t feel too lonely 🙂

  2. Archivistwolf says:

    Try with TIE GUAN YIN or YIN JUNMEI(the mix with the smoky flavor of this teas should prove quite good).

    • oregon expat says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! In the past I haven’t much liked smoky teas, but my palate has changed quite a bit, and I haven’t tried one in years. Might be time to try again.

      • Archivistwolf says:

        I wasn’t either, but I decided to try it after browsing in my local tea shop…. I’m an old Earl Grey drinker from childhood because it was ALWAYS available at my parent’s home. Folks never seemed to know what to give my father on hosting occasions, so they would bring it. (Care to guess what his name was?)

  3. syrin says:

    Another tea lover, yey!
    Next time you come to Lisbon, you should take a detour to Empório do Chá, in Avenida de Paris (close to the red-line subway stop Alameda). They have a wonderful selection of loose-leaf teas.
    http://steepster.com/places/2645-emporio-do-cha-lisboa-lisboa

    http://maps.google.pt/maps?q=avenida+de+paris,+17,+lisboa&hl=pt-PT&sll=40.22876,-8.416274&sspn=0.160153,0.117416&hnear=Avenida+Paris+17,+Lisboa&t=m&z=16

  4. Lisa Shaw says:

    And have you tried Princess Grey Tea? I’ve seen it in the markets here. I am not a big fan of black tea, but it smells delightful. 🙂

    http://www.marketspice.com/store/products/princess-grey-tea

  5. Brigitte says:

    I like Keemun with a mild Ceylon Tea and orange flowers.

  6. oregon expat says:

    Thanks for all of these great ideas! I’ve taken notes.

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