If you have ever been to cafes in Stockholm it’s very likely that you have come across Soderblandning or Soder Te which can be also called Blend of South Stockholm in english. This blend, as the name indicates comes from the southern part of Stockholm and is generally very popular in Sweden.
Soderblandning was first created by mistake in 1979 when a tea shop owner, Vernon Mauris was trying to make a new blend. While mixing, an extra ingredient fell into the tea accidentally and Mauris not willing to just throw the spoiled blend tried it and concluded that it tasted interesting. After improving the taste a bit, he marketed this new blend in his shop under the name “Mistake Blend”. Later used at a street celebration it was renamed Soderblandning in honor of the part of Stockholm where the store was located.
The ingredients of this blend are not officially stated and can also vary slightly between brands. The base is a blend of Chinese and Ceylon black teas with addition of flowers and fruits. Blue petals of cornflower and yellow petals of marigold as well as orange rind are very characteristic for this tea. I have tasted an alternative version of this blend with some small red berries, but it didn’t taste as good as the classic, most common Soderblandning. I have also seen variations with green tea instead of black. Generally the liquor has a dark color and a dominant floral note, but mixed with the fruit aroma it produces a unique and sweet combination.
Soderblandning tastes best as loose leaf tea, but it’s even available in tea bags produced by Twinings. It is also popular in Japan, probably due to the fact that Mauris would export about 4000 kg of this blend each year to Japan. It’s hard to believe that such an exotic and vivid tea could come from a cold place like Sweden, but if you ever have the chance, don’t hesitate to try it.