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Oranges are the primary source of vitamin C for the majority of North Americans. But is there any fruit taken more for granted than the noble orange? Did you know, for example, that a variation of the word orange first appeared in Sanskrit, the world’s oldest written language? It’s true. The location of the orange’s physical origin however is up for grabs. China, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Malaysia all claim that the fruit originated within their borders. What we do know is that oranges arrived in the West via India and that by the fall of the Roman Empire orange groves thrived on the Italian peninsula. After that, in the 6th and 7th centuries, a Muslim Empire stretching from India to Spain saw the orange introduced to the Spanish. Then from Spain, in 1492, by none other than Christopher Columbus, orange seeds were transported to the new world. Then, sometime in the late 20th century, natural orange flavoring was added to a high grown Ceylon and voila, the bag of tea you are holding in your hand right now – absolutely delicious.
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.