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Turkish Apple Tea

November 14, 2006

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Let me just preface today’s experience by venting a little frustration first: Air travel is such a pain these days. I just got off a plane yesterday, after being subjected to germs from another state to which I probably have zero immunity. My husband has a titanium rod inside his left leg, so we always get stopped so the TSA can search him thoroughly, and this was no exception. They also left a zipper on my suitcase open when they searched my luggage, and we lost a USB drive that contained some important documents.

We went from 80 degrees in sunny Arizona to cold, stormy weather, and I waited for a late bus with wet hair and no hat this morning, and got splashed by a bus driving through puddles by the sidewalk. On top of that, I’ve been unable to try out the rest of the new tea I bought because it’s all caffeinated, and my migraines are back with a vengeance. I feel like I need another vacation already.

Luckily for me, several friends of mine have visited Turkey in the last year, and each one of them has contributed to my tea habit with strange and exotic brews from the banks of the Bosphorus. The latest sampling came to my desk this morning, right when I needed it most.

The one I chose for this afternoon was the popular apple tea. I’d had an instant powdered version of this sweet, fruity brew before, and it is highly recommended if sugar isn’t a deterrant.

Turkish Apple TeaToday’s loose “tea” looked more like diced and dehydrated apples, and I wondered if they were edible like that, but I can’t bring myself to eat a piece. I can’t really tell if there is anything else mixed in. I dumped them straight into the pot instead of using my mesh basket, though I instantly regretted that, as the apple pieces clogged up the spout of my teapot, and cleaning it at work is going to be an adventure.

I let it steep for a couple minutes and filtered it into my cup, and was actually surprised. It has a wonderful apple aroma and taste, and needs absolutely no added sugar to make it palatable, or to make it resemble the instant kind I’d had before. It isn’t too reminiscent of apple juice or cider, either. Definitely pleasing to the part of me that wants to drink tea, while catering to the part of me that can’t handle caffeine right now. I don’t even have to mention how comforting it is in this weather, either.

The flavor is robust, and it gets a big thumbs up as-is, but I can imagine adding a cinnamon stick to the pot for a post-holiday-dinner treat.

Through a Turkish-English translation problem, my friend also brought me a bag of dried cherry tea instead of rose, but she compensated me with a bag of rose tea from her last trip to China. This improved my day by leaps and bounds, especially since I can enjoy new teas all week without any concerns about caffeine.

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