Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Hampstead Teas
Our saffron infused black tea is a unique brew full of youthful capriciousness. In ancient India Saffron was used as a medicine sent from the gods to heal the body.
Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea, saffron
This is one of the more temperamental teas that I’ve encountered, but it is well worth the effort to find the “sweet spot” with this tea, because once you brew it right – it is so good.
The first couple of times I steeped this, I steeped it the same as I would most tea bags, that is, I used two teabags in my large tea mug (which holds about 14 ounces of liquid). Using boiling water, I steeped for 3 minutes. For most black teas, this would have produced a perfect brew. However, when I did that with this tea, I ended up with a very strong black tea flavor that was extraordinarily bitter – and that was really all of the saffron I could taste was the bitterness of it.
So, I went “back to the drawing board” and decided to change how I brew it. This time around, I used a smaller teacup, just one tea bag, and just 6 ounces of nearly boiling (but not quite boiling) water, and steeped for just 2 1/2 minutes. PERFECTION!
The black tea is brisk with a very strong character, but it is not bitter when I steeped with these parameters. It has a solid quality to it, though. This is a seriously bold black tea!
But what makes this tea stand out is the saffron! Although the black tea is not bitter, I do taste the distinctive savory bitter notes from the saffron, but here they are much more subdued than they were in the first couple of infusions that I had of this tea. There are honey-esque sweet tones to the saffron as well as the faintest earthy quality. This really is unlike any other teas that I’ve tasted and because of that, it really is worth the extra effort to brew it properly.
Another great tea from Hampstead!