Most people associate Ethiopia with coffee. After all, aside from being the world's sixth-largest producer of coffee beans, the country is also famous for its delicious and robust specialty coffee blends. But did you know the country also has a vibrant tea culture? The lush landscapes of the Ethiopian highlands are home to many tea plantations that produce some of the world's finest tea leaves. And if you're curious about Ethiopian tea, their spiced tea will make for a perfect first taste.
As its name suggests, Ethiopian spiced tea is a mixture of black tea leaves with an assortment of scented herbs and flavoring fruit peels. Unwrap a sachet, and you'll uncover hints of cardamom, citrus peels, cloves, cinnamon, and rosehip, all mingling with the dried tea leaves. Once steeped in hot water, the resulting brew has all the best qualities of a perfect cup of tea — full of flavor, aromatic, and wonderfully comforting and warming.
While you can find ready-made Ethiopian spiced tea sachets from various brands, mixing this tea brew at home is also quite easy. All you need is Ethiopian black tea (any brand will do, as long as it's sourced from Ethiopia) and a small amount of herbs and fruit peels. Boil them in hot water, mix them with freshly brewed black tea from a separate pot, and voila!
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How Is Ethiopian Spiced Tea Usually Enjoyed?
Ethiopian spiced tea is integral to the country and its people's culture. As such, you should enjoy it like locals do if you're determined to have a taste. Traditionally, families gather around a pot of this tea to kickstart their day. The tea can be quite bold in flavor, so if you like your tea a touch lighter, adding a spoonful of honey or sugar can help mellow it out. However, adding milk is not recommended. In Ethiopia, milk isn't commonly mixed with tea. Plus, the milk would dilute the unique herbal flavors of this tea, which is the exact opposite of what you'd want if you want to experience this tea blend to the fullest.
Once the tea's prepped, you should also have a plate of sweet buns by your side, too. In Ethiopian tradition, tea is often accompanied by sweets. Remember, the chosen black tea is robust in nature. Pairing it with some nice pastries, like cakes and tarts, will create a more delightful and balanced tasting experience, especially if you don't add extra sweeteners to the tea.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.