Long before the arrival of the first Europeans to the shores of Canada and the United States, the native inhabitants of the North Eastern woodlands had discovered the secret of tapping Maple Trees to produce maple syrup. Because the Native peoples kept no written records, it is impossible to determine who first produced the sweet syrup, but oral traditions throughout the region tell many different legends regarding its discovery. One Iroquois tale tells of a young warrior who spent a winter deep in the woods. After many cold months, Spring arrived and he began noticing squirrels gnawing at small Maple branches with great relish. Curious, he broke a branch off for himself and discovered that the sap inside was sweet on his tongue. He took the discovery back to his village and developed a method for tapping the trees for the sweet sap. First, a v-shaped gash was cut into the bark of a tree. Next, a curved bark strip was forced into the opening. The sap was then collected in birch bark pails which where left outside for a few nights to freeze. Each morning the ice was broken off and discarded, reducing the water content of the sap. Finally, heated stones were dropped them into the sap buckets. The syrup would harden and form into cakes that would keep for a long time. As settlers began to arrive they quickly learned and refined the process after becoming enamored with the sweet, rustic flavor.To this day Maple syrup is still the favored method of sweetening many dishes and desserts throughout the Canadian and American North East. Venturing a little farther East, we also discovered that Maple could be used to flavor items considerably more exotic than pancakes or vanilla ice cream. One of these is the high quality Hyson style tea you’ll find when you crack the seal of this bag. This Hyson variety, grown in Sri Lanka, exhibits all the ethereal nuances the style is known for. Rolled into fine pearls, Hysons are typically smooth, with a fresh green character that rolls over the tongue. Their flavor made them wildly popular during the 18th century. In fact, the British Tea Tax imposed on Hysons at the time was higher than for all other teas. Owing to its fresh flavor, Hysons make a lovely match for our all-natural flavoring. The cup is bright, the liquor greenish and the flavor, all these centuries later, is still divine - sweet Maple underscored by hints of caramel. The Iroquois warriors of old would never have dreamed up this one!