Click to enlarge image(s)
Think Kiwi fruits originated in New Zealand? They are actually native to China. Chinese nobility called them Yang Tao and prized them for their dazzling flavor and royal emerald color. The fuzzy fruit with the sweet green pulp (Latin: Actinidia chinensis) was first brought to New Zealand in 1906. A few years later a horticulturalist named Hayward Wright cultivated the commercial kiwi fruit that is now exported all over the globe. The fruit was originally marketed, with little success, under the name “Chinese Gooseberry”. It was decided that for advertising purposes the fruit needed a more memorable name and so the name of New Zealand’s national bird was chosen - Kiwi. It is difficult to describe the fruit’s sweet flavor. It is probably best summed up as having a delicate “multi-fruit” character – mild, and sweet, not too tart. It is not difficult to sum up the flavor of this tea however. One word can do that: absolutelycompletelydelicious, (although that too might not be so great for advertising purposes!)
What type of tea do we use, how do we flavor the tea and why do we use natural flavors?
- We only use high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva. These three high-grown districts produce flavorful teas that have classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character which is noted by floral bouquet and flavor notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery color and, most importantly - perfect for use as the base tea of our flavored teas. (We have tested teas from various other origins around the world as base stock for our flavored teas, but none of these teas made the grade.) Dimbula and the western estates of Nuwara Eliya have a major quality peak during Jan/Feb, whereas Uva and the eastern estates of Nuwara Eliya have their peak in July/Aug. This ‘dual peak period’ allow us to buy the best for our flavored tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness.
- We use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat.
- We specify natural flavors. High quality tea tastes good and natural flavors do not mask the natural taste of the high grown Ceylon tea. (The norm for many making flavored tea is to use overpowering artificial flavors, which can be used to hide lower quality tea). Natural flavors do not leave an aftertaste giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavors tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavors slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavored teas.