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Remember the old rhyme, "Here we go round the mulberry bush?" Well you may be surprised to learn that certain varieties of mulberries can grow to a height of 70 or 80 feet - not very bush-like! The ancient fruit grows wild throughout Asia minor, Armenia, and parts of the Middle East. Ancient? Yes, it has been recorded that even the ancient Egyptians ate mulberries. Pliny the Elder, an Egyptian writer, claimed that mulberry trees grew so fast that when their buds began to appear, "their breaking forth may be evidently heard." The ancients also believed the mulberry to have many medicinal properties and claimed it had a positive effect on the liver. The fruit is extremely juicy and has a refreshing, slightly acidic, sweet flavor. Incidentally, it also makes a great tea, brewed hot or over ice.
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.