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Popular Teas from Krocus Kozanis ProductsSee All 10 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Something my aunt picked up on her trip to the motherland.
The bag smells really good, like hair freshly washed with a lightly scented lemon shampoo. Kind of a musty quality but clean. The liquor smells the same but with an added depth probably from the saffron and rooibos. I can also pick up on the peppermint and a faint whiffs of rosemary and sage. It kind of reminds me of a Ricola throat lozenge.
On first sip, it also has the sweet medicinal quality of Ricola but then it turns savory and deep with a brightness from all the lemon-tasting ingredients. Thankfully the lemongrass is not perceptible as a separate ingredient. It’s also quite oily from the herbs and light to medium bodied. Tastes a lot like a light, fresh vegetable broth made with a little fresh rosemary and sage and a few drops of lemon. Leaves a nice clean feeling in the mouth afterward.
I’m really enjoying this and will stuff a few bags into my already overflowing backpack to take home.
Sipdown! I believe this came to me by way of MissB. Thanks!
This is really interesting. As soon as hot water hits the teabag, the water turns neon yellow. After a few seconds, tendrils of red start to trail out of the bag. It’s pretty fun to watch! The flavor is hard to place. It’s savory and saffrony. As it cools, a licorice note comes out. This would be an awesome base for a broth or to cook rice in.
My final sample from Miss B! I think I left this one until last because ginger and liquorice are pretty much my nemeses, at least when it comes to tea. Green tea isn’t always a favourite, either, although I’ve warmed to it over the last few years. It’s very much about the variety for me, now. Anyway, this one (finally) gets to see the light of day.
This one is bagged, so there’s no measuring, but I gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. It brews up to a pretty vibrant yellow-orange, which I’m guessing is the saffron again rather than just the green tea. To taste, it’s actually a lot gentler than I expected. I can taste the green tea/saffron first, and it’s a thick, rich, very smooth, and almost honey-like texture. The ginger emerges in the mid-sip, and while it has a bit of a spicy kick, it’s pretty fleeting. The liquorice isn’t as cloying or over-sweet as I’m used to, but it does lend a sort of saccharine sweetness that I’m not over-keen on. It’s not too bad, though, and fortunately it doesn’t catch the back of my throat.
I quite like this one, surprisingly. It’s pretty delicate, not over sweet, and it has a unique mouthfeel that I’m actually fairly sold on. A surprise win, if ever there was one!
A sample from Miss B (and one of my final two…I eventually found the bottom of the box!) This one is bagged, which is convenient today since I’m covering reception (boo!) for the morning and can’t “faff around with infusers and shit” as is my usual modus operandi. I also don’t have any milk, so it’s really a good thing all around.
This one brews up a pretty spectacular yellow/orange, very reminiscent of saffron. It smells sweeter than I thought it would, given that the main ingredients are saffron, lemon verbena, and sage. I’m thinking maybe honey/mead?
This is backed up by my first sip, which is sweet and very honey-like. I can taste lemon, although it’s not a strong flavour. The combination of honey/lemon is putting me in mind of throat sweets and/or that glycerin medicine that you get for a tickly cough. I can’t taste sage at all, which is a shame. I was hoping that would be a more prominent flavour, and that maybe the overall effect would be kinda savoury…not so, sadly.
This is enjoyable enough, but I’d not be in any particular hurry to drink it again. Maybe my tastes are changing, but it’s a little too sweet (and medicinal) for my liking.
Got home from work and my Universal Yums box had arrived! My husband got me a subscription as a surprise a few months ago. It’s basically my favorite thing ever. I love snacking and traveling and trying new foods. The box is snack foods from a different country every month. It’s usually a 2 or 3 bags of snack size chips or whatnot salty snack, and then a variety of sweets and baked goods that are traditional or popular in the country. It’s curated for the Western palate so everything is different and fun but not extreme. So for example in my Philippines box I got a bag of Sweet Corn Poofs. Like Cheetos, but Sweet Corn instead of cheese. They smelled just like corn on the cob with butter. The first one made me kind of grossed out but they were addictive and ultimately delicious. I have fond memories. My first box was France, the best box so far was Philippines, and this month is Greece, with Oregano potato chips and hazelnut chocolates and rose candies. This tea was a bonus item in the box and obviously I had to get right on it.
I couldn’t find any brewing instructions on the packaging or online so I guesstimated at 203F for 3 minutes in 8oz. That seemed okay.
It reminds me of Valerian tea in the smell and a bit in the taste, it could just be a sort of musty herbal quality. It’s kind of savory? If you put some oregano and noodles in it I would totally buy it as a soup (okay maybe a disappointing vegetable soup), but after all it does have saffron and sage and those are both great in soup. It’s certainly not sweet or floral. It’s very rustic. It leaves a brothy aftertaste. I’m not getting any of the Lemon Verbena.
Sipdown! Many thanks to MissB for sending me some of this unique tea. I can tell you that I quite like it, but I am having trouble articulating why. The problem is that I’ve never had saffron before so my palate can’t ID it and distinguish it from the other flavors. The honey flavor is very tastily strong here. There’s also a sage-like note that I think might be the saffron, and a slight tartness that lingers on the tongue. Although I don’t feel the need to instantly hunt it down and buy 10 boxes, this is certainly a blend I wouldn’t mind having in stock (especially at the office on days when I need a soothing moment).
Mine says “with selected herbs” which sounds kinda sketchy but whatever.
It smells like hot apple cider. Really, it smells SO good I almost don’t want to drink it.
This doesn’t taste how it smells. It’s not bad, but it’s mostly just a cinnamon-and-clove tea with some other stuff. It’d probably be better with honey, but I’d rather head back to bed than go into the kitchen.
Thanks for sharing, MissB, but this isn’t one I’m in love with. :)
This is really, really neat. But it’d be a lot better without the spearmint.
It’s definitely a savoury tea, but it takes honey well. Rosemary and thyme are some of my favourite “weird” tea ingredients. Sadly, the mint just kills it for me. Sorry tea, but you’re going to meet Mr. Sink shortly here. (I don’t even mind the teensy amount of licorice root, if there’s even any in here. It’s the sour gross spearmint flavour that’s not working.)
Hm. Interesting, complex tea. There’s a creaminess along with a hint of thyme and oregano, plus an added sweetness. Having a hard time pinpointing this one. I want to say it’s like a rosee sauce (cream, oregano, tomato) minus the tomato? Perhaps like a curry with thyme and oregano, saffron? I don’t get it. I like it? I think. Just because it’s so unusual, and quite, well, yes, tasty.
Flavors: Cream, Saffron, Thyme
I wanted some caffeine free tea after I got back from a wine wednesday at a friend’s place. I picked this one because parts of the packaging are written in greek and I kind of love foreign things. I also love Greek things, like especially their food but also their mythology. And also, you know, thanks for geometry and democracy and all that. But I digress. I’ve never had a saffron tea, but I do enjoy it in rice and paella! To me the citrus notes stand out in this tea but there is an “otherness” lurking in the background that mellows everything out. I guess this is what saffron tea tastes like? I’m not a huge fan of citrus, but I am enjoying this tisane. Thanks for the very interesting addition, Miss B!
missB sent this one my way and admittedly i figured these could be easy quick sipdowns while i made honey bran muffins :) It’s been a long day that’s not quite over but i am SUPER happy with how the house is starting to come together. I’m really liking the time we’re taking with everything…it’s just been fun.
This cup of tea? reminds me of cookies..or baking..or something, which i think is the result of the cloves in this one. Not a bad cup and for sure it’s an interesting one, so thanks for sharing missb!
This tea is shockingly delicious. I’ve had it six times now (again, huge backlog) and every single time it’s blown me away. It’s sweet and gentle, and very surprising as to the flavor. It’s a hard one to describe, other than to say I associate this flavor with other saffron teas I’ve had in the past – however this is by far the best. This will be a staple in my cupboard now.
Flavors: Honey, Orange, Saffron
Again, really tasty (although I prefer the Mint, Lemongrass and Saffron more). Slightly sweet from the apple, cinnamon and clove for a bit of… spice? Almost like a heavily mulled, spicy cider, with again that hint of creaminess from (assuming) the saffron. There are things in here I normally avoid (apple, hibiscus) and I still really love this.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves
Holy crap! This is really tasty. Shockingly, wonderfully tasty. I only get faint mint in here, it’s more a compliment than anything. Same goes for the lemongrass, and it’s creamy. Smooth. Clean. I think the saffron is the tiniest amount of anything in here, and yet, it pulls it all together… truly amazing. This is wonderful.
I was concerned about using one teabag for 12 ounces of liquid, even with the box saying use one teabag for 4 cups of tea/one pot. Honestly? This is perfect. I’m so surprised with all of it.
I love saffron, but only recently – when I bought a couple of grams from the Iran Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo – did I realize one can infuse and drink it as an herbal tea. Nicely warming and soothing, especially with a spoonful of honey or yellow sugar. Reputedly good for feminine complaints. Permeates the entire kitchen, the charm of saffron being that it smells like nothing much very penetratingly. The Krocus Kozanis box conveys the scent even unopened in the grocery store, through the plastic wrap.
Greek saffron, according to the paper slip, has been in production since Minoan Crete (1600 BC) and is recognized as the best quality in the world. In my experience, every spice-producing country claims theirs to be the best, and Greeks claim everything of theirs to be the best and the oldest – but this stuff does punch above its weight. There’s a floweriness to it that makes one think of a living plant rather than a dry spice, and it’s not even whole stamens. Possibly the herbs and honey (boy is it honey-tastic) in the traditional recipe bring out the fragrance.
(Incidentally, the non-bookmark-friendly Flash doohickey on the Krocus Kozanis web site gives the following recipe for iced saffron fruit tea from scratch:
1 cup thyme honey
1 litre ice-cold water
3-4 slices lemon
5-6 slices orange
5-6 slices apple (unpeeled)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 spearmint twigs, well rinsed
Soak saffron in a cup of warm water for a few hours. Remove from water and place in a sizeable glass jug with the thyme honey and ice-cold water. [Ed.— it makes no sense to me to discard the first infusion, but that’s what it says.] Stir well to dissolve honey and taste for desired sweetness. Add the orange, apple, and lemon slices to the jug. Add lemon juice and a few ice cubes. Finally, add the spearmint twigs and stir well.)
4.70$CAN for ten teabags is pricey, but saffron always is – and one bag should be good for several infusions, if my experience with the from-scratch version counts for anything.