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Bonjou! Do you say prah-leen or pray-leen? Well, in New Orleans they’ve been saying prah-leen when referring to the sweet confection of pecans and sugar since the 1800’s. Like the famous city, the origin of Pralines lies in France. A popular tale tells of an 18th century French nobleman named Cesar du Plessis-Praslin who had a definite thing for almonds. In fact, most of the French had a thing for almonds. (Want to learn more? Order a bag of almond tea and ask us for the profile! You’ll see what we mean) But we digress…du Plessis-Praslin asked his chef to concoct a candy using his beloved nut. A few days later, the chef returned with almonds coated in boiled sugar. The chef proceeded to name the concoction after his pet name for his boss, Praslin, pronounced, Prah-lin. Years later, the almond praline made its way to the plantation houses of New Orleans. From there, Creole chefs developed the Pecan version we know and love today. Years ago, during a visit to New Orleans our Master Taster fell in love with the delicately sweet flavor of fresh pralines and knew he had to capture the profile in a tea. Et voila! The taste of this blend is sweet, nutty, and rich with the addition of fresh cream flavoring. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we encourage you to raise a steaming cup and toast the city of New Orleans. You can’t keep a good city down!
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.