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If you've ever been to Italy at Christmas you've no doubt seen the ubiquitous boxes of Panettone hanging in the windows of shops, cafes, and restaurants. The famous cake is usually enjoyed after sumptuous holiday feasts. In fact it was at one of these in Milan many years ago that Panettone made its debut. Ludovico il Moro, the Lord of the city, invited many of his loyal subjects for a feast including 18 antipastos, 9 soups, 23 pastas, and 14 meat dishes! As the guests devoured the meal, the head chef faced a kitchen disaster. His dessert had fallen flat in his oven. Mama-mia! What to do!? Without missing a beat, a young kitchen assistant named Toni picked up a bowl and quickly mixed some flour, yeast, butter, sugar, spices and candied fruit. As he baked the dough, the wonderful aromas reached the nose of Ludovico il Moro. When he asked what the delicious smell was, the head chef called out that it was the bread baked by Toni. In Italian he cried out, "il pan de Toni," which became Panettone. Over the years, many variations have been created including our favorite, which is made with vanilla and lemon. We like it so much we decided to create this tea. The result is a wonderful blend of lemon, and vanilla with spicy undertones and creamy notes. Que magnifico!
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.