oil of bergamot
I have a tea that is weak in bergamot. I am wondering if I can find a bottle of it at a world food market or maybe a GNC? Have you seen bergamot on the shelf and what area should I look in (spices?). I live in a rural area so not many places to look and even those require a good drive so would like some feedback on where it might be found first, besides online.
Your best bet might be trying a health food store and looking in the aromatherapy section. Whilst not as complex and delicious, orange oil is a more common essential oil, and may be a good substitution if you can’t find bergamot anywhere.
Be very very careful with essential oils! They’re wicked powerful and if not diluted in a carrier oil many of them can be toxic and cause skin irritation, even in tiny amounts. You must be very sure what you’re doing before you put it in something you mean to ingest.
If I were you I would go for a flavouring extract instead. I googled a bit and then spent some times surfing around this website. http://www.naturesflavors.com/default.php That might be more what you’re looking for. Where I live, such things aren’t sold in supermarkets or similar. Food colouring yes, flavouring not so much. A hobby store which sold equipment for making your own sweets would be a better bet.
I know you want to avoid online, but if local options give you trouble, like they do for me, Try Monterrey Spice. They have good prices and are cheaper than many out there. I use them whenever I am in the mood to do a crazy blended tea concoction or work on a Chai recipe. (JacquelineM’s Orange oil is a good substitute suggestion. You might even try adding a little lime zest.) Good Luck!
PS: In my experience, the best way to get the bergamot flavor into the tea is to spritz the oil through a perfume bottle all over the leaves and let them dry out. Coat between 2-10 times depending on how strong you like your tea.
Another option is using Orange Flower Water, which is an essential water that you can find in most Arabic or Middle Eastern markets. Along with Rose water, they are used in many pastries and desserts. Spritzing it on the leaves, as David suggested, would probably be the best way to apply.
Thanks for all the helpful ideas. I buy my Earl Grey green by the pound. The last package the tea is fresh but someone went home early and didn’t finish spriting the leaves. Looking to liven it up a little.
A few Steepsterites used orange oil to liven up their teas, and they are still with us :) Just wanted to let you know that it’s been done and there were no casualties. :) :) :)