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IThe islanders of Madagascar have always known Pomegranates to be a special gift of creation. In their native tongue, Malagasy, they called it ampongabendanitra, or “the great drum of heaven.” Countless uses for the versatile fruit were discovered with no part ever wasted. From the leaves, they made ink, from the skin, treatments for stomach ailments, the bark was used as a vermifuge, (for ridding the body of parasites) and the fruit was used to make wine. An amazing fruit to be sure, and that’s before we consider the high antioxidant levels in the fresh fruit. So, it should come as no surprise that in 2005, when a list of “Superfruits” was coined by the food and beverage industry, Pomegranates featured prominently.
We’ve found another fantastic use for this amazing fruit – a sweet addition to our fabulous high grown Ceylon tea. What’s more, in homage to another tasty treat from Madagascar, we’ve blended it with the sultry essence of orchid vanilla. The resulting cup is outstanding – winey pomegranate notes on the nose; touches of astringent fruit and a velvety smooth vanilla finish. Thank the heavens for this one - we do!
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.