For the last 4 winters, I’ve been going to Spain to avoid the harsh temperatures in Oregon. We head to the southernmost coast in Andalucia and enjoy springtime temperatures along the Mediterranean. Perhaps the only downside of this experience is the lack of tea shops and good quality tea in the area.
We found a second home in the small village of La Herradura. It is our routine to walk down to the beach and have some tea/coffee in the morning at a cafe on the beach. I’ve learned to bring my own tea in past years as the quality of local cafe tea had been quite dreadful. This year I was surprised to see that many cafes along the beach had upgraded their selection of Te Verde – green tea. Still not up to standards from Portland, Oregon, it was sufficient for me to enjoy while watching the waves and spotting dolphins and gulls. Still no tea shops but I’m not going to complain.
We had a date to meet some Spanish friends in the Granada area – about 50 minutes north of La Herradura. The plan was to hike in the Alpujarras Mountains and then have a late lunch in one of the small mountain villages in a cave restaurant. Later in the afternoon, our friends took us to a cafe for dessert in the village of La Tubia. The cafe was wonderful. It was housed in an ancient building across the street from a 15th Century church. We were surrounded by books and interesting artifacts.
Once I saw the menu, I was absolutely shocked. The tea selection was quite substantial. I think it was the most comprehensive tea offerings I’d ever seen in Spain.
When my tea arrived in its organic paper sachet, I was in heaven. What could be better after a lovely morning spent hiking with friends in a mountain village in Andalucia?
Images provided by author.
Especially in and around Granada you will find the tradition of the tetería. The Moorish inspired tea rooms are often furnished in Moroccan style and can be hit and miss. The tea focus is on flavored blends with the occasional good pure black or green tea.
The tea menus can be slightly cryptic, and you often don’t know which tea you are getting. Nevertheless worth a visit.
A few years back I got a fabulous recipe in one of the teterías. The owner showed me how to make the tea which was made with green gunpowder, the fresh local spearmint and peppermint, cardamom seeds, sugar and orange blossom water (added just before serving and makes all the difference). I recreated the blend in my shop and served it as ‘Alhambra’ tea.
There is a small tea shop on one of the main streets in Granada (Calle Reyes Católicos, 10). Tiny shop with an ok selection to get over your withdrawal symptoms. Many souvenir shops offer prepacked tea leaves in plastic bags. Don’t buy – they are overpriced and of questionable quality.
Next time you came to Spain, or if you are still here, just let me know and I think i can give you some adresses
Hi Michele…hope you continue to find great tea places there! A Twitter friend of mine who has a tea cafe asked me to pass on her contact info with you. Here it is: http://lateter.net o http://teycafedelmundo.com
Thanks Diane. I’ll get in touch with her.