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So goes a poem by the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucious. The Chinese were the first to cultivate the smallish purple-blue fruit, and revered it as a symbol of love and good fortune. Interestingly, this reverence for the common plum is not just limited to ancient China. In the United States, the fruit has its own holiday, National Plum Pudding day on February 12th. Across the Pacific in Japan, the whole month of February is dedicated to the fruit since it blossoms during that month every year. In many parts of Europe wild plum trees grow in great quantities and living near a grove of them is thought to increase fertility, and virility!We're not sure if the same can be said of this tea. However, we can tell you that this blend has a fresh and slightly acidic plum flavor that beautifully compliments its astringent Ceylon base. Brew it hot with a dash of milk to help open up plum's subtle nuances. Or, as with all our flavored teas, enjoy it during the summer months by pouring it over ice. Either way, this one's plum dandy! (Pardon the lame colloquialism. We couldn't stop ourselves!)
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.