Maracuja Orange by Tea Desire
When I first started teaching in Canada, my first ever crop of international students included a bunch of crazy Brazilians who would become very dear friends. We danced, ate, drank, partied, baked, travelled, and laughed together in a perpetual frenzy of excitement, and I often miss those days. The students left Canada years ago, and I miss them terribly. Several years ago I travelled to Brazil to visit with them, and my friend took great pleasure in introducing me to all sorts of Brazilian foods, and especially the fruits! There were fresh acai berries, pineapples like I’ve never tasted in Canada, guavas, bananas, starfruits, the weird, mouth-numbing jambu, the heavenly, lovely cupuacu (made into cupuacu ice-cream… a dream!), and of course, maracuja (“passionfruit” to the rest of us). Canadian fruits pale by comparison! Apples and pears are nice, but sometimes I want something that sounds like drums echoing through the jungle night and tastes like all the colours of a ‘boi bumba‘ party! This “Maracuja Orange” tisane by Tea Desire could be it!
This is a fruit infusion, with no tea, no rooibos, and no hibiscus, which is truly astounding! Most non-caffeine teas in my experience have some combination of those ingredients. This one lists “apple pieces, pumpkin, carrot, raisins, orange pieces, beetroot, orange peel, and natural aroma”. Hm… strange… no ‘maracuja’. I open the packet and smell amazingly sweet, tangy tropical fruits… hard to identify, but I would say guavas, papayas, pineapples, and passionfruits. It’s really mouthwatering! What I can see are apples, oranges, beets, raisins, and other peachy coloured bits.
I steep 1 tbsp for about 5 minutes and the tea comes up a dark cherry red colour. Must be from the beets. It smells like hibiscus so I’m worried. I sip… and am pleasantly surprised. The flavour is sweet and smooth and reminds me of blood orange, passionfruit and mango, and even beets! It’s quite nice! Because of the colour, I expected it to taste like hibiscus, but in fact, it tastes quite tropical and juicy! Yeah… there’s definitely a little samba happening in my mouth… memories of Manaus coming through loud and clear!
I wonder if I can get a second cup out of it? I re-steep for 5 minutes and the tea comes up a lighter cherry-pink colour. It still tastes smooth and sweet, but a bit watered-down. It’s not as intensely tropical, but it is still identifiable as guava, passionfruit, and orange flavours. In this one, I think the aftertaste is even MORE ‘maracuja’ than the tea in the mouth. It’s got a super juicy tropical kick to it. I really like it!
Well, this has been a fun trip down memory lane. I would definitely recommend getting your hands on some of this tea if you’re looking for a non-hibiscus, caffeine-free alternative. Maracuja Orange – Eu te adoro!