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Although no one can say with certainty when these two flavorful items were first combined in a drink or dish, it is safe to say that it probably happened a very, very long time ago somewhere in the Arab world. Can we back that up? Well, some of the earliest mentions of Ginger, (Latin: Zingiber officinale), can be found in the Koran. This would indicate that the spicy root was known to Arabs in at least 650 AD, roughly the time the holy book was written. As for lemons, (Latin: Citrus Limonum) their first literary reference is found in a treatise on farming written in the early part of the 10th century by Qustus al-Rumi, an Arab scholar. So, it is safe to say that the two flavors were probably combined sometime roughly 1000 years ago. And why not combine them? The tart tanginess of lemon is as perfectly balanced by the heat and flavor of ginger as day is by night. (Speaking of literary references, that last metaphor ain’t bad, we’ll have to remember that one.) Brew a pot of this tea and sample the wonderful flavor mélange, a true taste of history! Fisehatak! (That’s cheers in Arabic.)
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.