It’s nearing what would be my Yia-yia’s 93rd birthday, so I’ve been thinking about her and decided to have a Greek saffron tisane before bed tonight. In the process of convincing my aunt to let me have her last bag of this rose and pineapple saffron tea, she told me the town of Kozani (where the saffron is grown) is located near my Yia-yia’s village. Exploring more when I got home, Google Maps told me that Kozani is a mere 70km (or 1h drive time for Americans) from there. It’s a pleasure to have a sense of place and family while drinking this.
The bag smells of mostly saffron with hints of apple and hibiscus. Steeping the tea, it comes to life, a pleasant saffron red with a tinge of that hibiscus magenta. The aroma wafting from the mug exhibits a wonderful balance of the ingredients.
Despite this being touted as rose and pineapple, I find that the rose is only a light complement to the fruity flavors present. The pineapple is more of an unripe green pineapple taste like that of a feijoa, also known as a pineapple guava. The hibiscus adds a delicate tartness, not dominating the flavor by any means, and the licorice an almost imperceptible sweetness. Saffron offers what I think is a savory quality. The other ingredients, like apple, rosehips and orange peel seem to aid in the balance. The orange peel does leave an oily sheen on the liquor but I don’t notice any slickness in the mouth.
Overall, the body is light and easy to sip. Combined with the fruity and lightly floral quality, this is a really pleasant drink and I think one that could possibly win the hearts of hibiscus and licorice haters. I imagine this would be amazing iced. This tea is not only available in Greece but also on Amazon for a hefty price, so I will have to wait until my family’s travels to Greece next summer to acquire some more. I would be happy to send some out to fellow Steepsters if I can manage to get a good quantity.
Σ ’αγαπώ πάρα πολύ. καληνυχτα κούκλα μου.