In Romania we call tea "ceai" and this word is very similar to the Chinese 茶 "cha2" where it originated from. Romanians have many different types of tea, and most of them are used as natural remedies.
This means that most teas here are made of various parts of various plants or trees. For instance we have cherry stem tea as a mild solution for UTI and not only, or linden flowers tea for a fragrant tea meant to calm you down.
Caffeinated teas are not traditionally popular or used over here, though in recent years their popularity increased thanks to the international influence and trends. Fruity teas are also raised in popularity quite recently.
The linden tea is one of the more expensive types of tea over here. This must have something to do with the relatively short period in which these flowers can be harvested - end of May through the first week of June.
If you're lucky enough to have linden trees where you live, and you have an enough tall ladder, maybe you can pick some flowers next year. You need to let them get dry for at least a few days before consuming.
You can mix them with any other tea, of course, but it's best by itself, or maybe with a fruity mix. All by itself, it doesn't even need honey - the tea is both fragrant and sweet enough.
how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(
Where to buy
There are several place where you can buy tea when in Romania. The supermarket is the easiest option, and most of them have a decent selection of teas. They are mostly green, fruity, or plant based teas. Some have brought fancy mixes as well that can be even offered as gifts.
Another place is the drug store. Their selection however is not that great, and you're highly likely not to find fancy teas there. They might also be a bit more expensive than in the supermarket.
Another place is represented by holistic shops. These places sell all sorts of natural remedies, so naturally [sorry about the pun ;) ] they'd sell a variety of teas as well. Their selection of fruity teas might be disappointing, but they have plenty of herbal teas for many health issues.
Some gift shops or book stores are the last place where you could find tea. Of course, in these places the teas are pricier and the fancy and "modern" type.
How to make
Unlike green tea that you can only brew for less than 30 seconds for it not to get bitter, most of the Romanian teas should be brewed for some 7 minutes at the very least, and generally about 10 minutes.
For 1 cup, usually 1 teaspoon or maybe 2 of product is [are] needed, if it's a loose tea. If it comes in envelopes, so already portioned, only one envelope per cup.
They say that if you want to benefit from the "remedy" teas, you should drink them unsweetened. However this is not always possible because sometimes the teas are bitter. If you must add something to make it more sweet, just try to add honey.
this is how I make tea...
By the way, if the tea is portioned, there are usually 20 servings per box. You can find bigger boxes than that, of course, but it's more rare.
© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.