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The next time you are grocery shopping, stop by the pears, hold one aloft and proclaim, "The noble Pear! Gift of the gods!” When security arrives, explain the following: It was Homer, the 8th century Greek poet, not Bart's dad, who described the fruit as the gift of the gods in his seminal work The Odyssey. Wild pears grew throughout the southern Mediterranean in those times and were considered an important natural food source. In fact, botanists in ancient Rome, interested in developing varieties that could be cultivated throughout the Roman Empire, (which ranged from scorching North Africa to chilly England) grafted more than 50 pear varieties. At this time pears were also being cultivated widely in many parts of China but the ones we are most familiar with in North America originated from the Romans. The first of these arrived in the New World with the British who brought seedlings with them to the early colonies. The most famous of these, and the most commonly consumed pear to this day is the Bartlett pear, first planted by Enoch Bartlett at his nursery in Dorchester Massachusetts. If the grocery store security guards won't listen to your story, calm them down by inviting them over for a cup of this tea. The sweet and tart subtleties of pear will definitely help soothe their nerves. Then, while you have them seated, start in on the history of tea!
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.