Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bulgarian Mystery Tea

You know I love coffee, but I have huge boxes and bags of tea, too.  Tea is like background music.  Coffee is something to get into.  Classical, jazz, etc., is tea.  Rock and pop is coffee.

An attempt to drink up some of my tea (which I do actually like, just don't get excited about) leads me to the mysteries of "tea from Bulgaria."  I also have "herbs from Bulgaria," but that's going to be covered down the road.  Equally mysterious, I might add.

Last time Gal was here, she brought boxes of tea for me.  The printing is in Bulgibberish, so I asked her what they were.  "That's tea from the mountain."  I held up another.  "The other mountain."  Another.  "That's for bedtime."  One more.  She pointed to the fruit on the box-- a bergamot orange.  "That's got that thing in it."

Since the bergamot one tasted pretty much like Earl Grey and I have a ton of that at home, I took it to work.  It's pretty good, although I'm sure there are some mysterious other ingredients in the mix, as you'll gather from the teas below....

As you can see from these boxes, there's really no telling what's what.  I finally had Gal look them up and translate for me.  Now I know which ones to make when I want something that tastes like tea and what to make when I want something that tastes like chicken.  You think I joke?  Well, it's not that far from the truth.

 Good Night Tea

This is that "for bedtime" tea.  I'm not sure what's in it.  She says it has "mint."  Not just any mint though.  It's freakin' catnip!  mmm...

I actually have used fresh catnip in place of regular mint, but I will never admit it.  It was in a delicious yogurty sauce and I was out of actual mint leaf.  Don't tell those guests, please.

However, catnip makes cats crazy, so the idea of catnip in a "good night tea" seems odd.

It also might have valerian root, which is another crazy cat herb.  Weirdness from Bulgaria...

 the red box of tea from "the mountain"

It has elderberry leaves, mint leaves (not catnip), blackberry leaves, thyme, oregano.

Oregano and thyme?  I'll use this in my chicken stock in a pinch.  It's actually good, but don't stand there with honey at the ready.  It's not that kind of tea.  Weird, but good.  A whole new meaning to herb tea.

the "other mountain"

She says "this has herbs that don't exist for you."  Oh.  And we see colors that don't exist in Bulgaria, dear.  So there!

It contains something that's a little bush that looks like a juniper, but is sour.  Rose hips from a dog rose flower thing.  Leaf of white yarrow.  Forest strawberry leaves.  Quince leaves.  and more thyme.

This tastes less like chicken soup and more like vegetable broth.  It's good, now that I'm used to it.  Savory tea for the win! 

I kinda want to salt it, though. Is that so wrong?


  1. If you drink your bedtime tea and suddenly begin getting all wild eyed and pouncy, well, we'll understand that it is the catnip. Maybe this is Galya's plan.

  2. Ha! Maybe!

    This tea did give me a use for an unusual honey that I've had in the cupboard. This buckwheat honey didn't really go well with anything, but it's actually pretty good with these things!


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