DIY Parisian tea blend

I was at the supermarket in Rome a couple of weeks ago and I saw this Parisian artisanal tea blend. The packaging was out of this world and so was the price. Ten euros for 50g! I wanted to buy it so bad I had to drag myself kicking and screaming from the shelves.

I consoled myself in the thought that I would make my own blend at home. I have a serious tea addiction and enough tea leaves to last two world wars. I may have sucked at chemistry, but I could mix a few spoonfuls of tea together to get something decent couldn’t I?

So I went back to the said artisan tea packet and memorised the ingredients. Then I went home, stared at my tea cupboard and started mixing things together. I have no idea what the Parisian tea tasted like, but I was happy with my blend. It reminded me of English gardens and summer days – clearly I have a career in tea marketing. Check it out!

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INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons loose leaf green tea
1 thin slice of orange peel, diced
3-4 dried rose buds
pinch of dried lavender buds
pinch of fennel seeds
5 dried chamomile flowers

This makes enough for one cup. With all herbal infusions, you don’t want to use freshly boiled water. Since I don’t have one of those fancy temperature controlled kettles, I just boil the water and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before I pour it into my cup.

Leave the tea to steep for 6 minutes and enjoy (without sugar!). The orange peel adds a lovely fresh note to all the dried flowers. I don’t like overly fruity teas, but using the peel this way gives you a flavour profile similar to the bergamot you find in earl grey. It’s subtle and brings out the rose, which is my number one favourite addition to any tea.

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You can use the same ingredients, but change the tea base. For something stronger, try a black tea. If you want to taste the flowers more, soften it with a white tea.

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This blend is gorgeous as ice tea too.

I used to make ice tea the old fashioned way, but then I discovered cold brew. It’s the best. Just put your loose leaf tea in a jug with cold water, leave to infuse for 24 hours, strain and serve with ice. The tea taste is stronger and less bitter when you make it this way because you’re not burning the leaves.

If you live in a really hot climate, put your jug somewhere cool and away from the sun, but not in the fridge – it won’t infuse in the fridge. You don’t know how many batches I ruined this past summer because they fermented in the heat!

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