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.
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.
(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.