...and saffron's good in a tea! (With apologies to Donovan)
Last week I drove an hour to go to a networking event, which gave me an excuse to go shopping at Phoenicia, an international supermarket in West Houston (Energy Corridor/Westchase area). Despite having more than a cabinet's worth of tea at home already, I couldn't help but browse the tea aisle. I was excited to find (among other things) a saffron black tea from Spain! The brand name is Azafranda: it's manufactured in Spain and distributed by Sadaf Foods in Los Angeles.
The ingredients are black tea (97.5%) and saffron (2.5%), and the price ($10 for 25 teabags) seemed in keeping with the price of saffron. I know that many "tea snobs" are anti-teabag, but sometimes you just want convenience along with your flavorful tea experience.
The origin of the tea itself is not listed on the package, but the phrase "exotic aroma and seductive flavor" is! The aroma of saffron was indeed redolent in the dry tea bags.
I used a cup of boiling water per tea bag. The first one I oversteeped at five minutes: it proved to be a strong, very astringent cup of black tea with a lingering after-note of saffron. It was too bitter to drink straight, but it stood up well to two sugar cubes.
The second tea bag I only steeped for three minutes, but even with the shorter steeping time, it made for a brisk cup! This time I added a splash of milk along with sugar, and WOW! The saffron flavor really popped! It reminded me of some Indian desserts I have had.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with this tea. In the mornings I often crave a strong cup of black tea that I can enjoy with cream and sugar, and the added saffron flavor gives this tea a sense of exotic luxury.