Country of Origin: China
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Japan Sencha style
Altitude: 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Pan fired
Cup Characteristics: Lush peach notes with sweet overtones. Superb quality green tea dotted with jasmine petals comes alive with one of the world's most favorite flavors
Infusion: Bright, pale green to yellow, light colored cup
Ingredients: Luxury green tea, Jasmine flowers, Natural flavors
When one usually thinks of Niagara, they think of the Falls, bridges and casinos. What many people outside of the area don't realize is that the countryside in the Niagara region is home to some of the most lush and rich farmland in North America. In recent years the region has earned a worldwide reputation for its numerous vineyards, but the area has traditionally been known for its abundance of orchards. Take a drive along any of Niagara's country highways and you will pass row after row of apple, pear, and peach orchards (the finest orchards of the three in our biased opinion!). The first of these orchards were probably planted in the area sometime in the mid 1800's by European settlers. The rich soil combined with a mild and relatively long summer make the Niagara Peach a sweet citrus treat. The peaches are generally larger than their Georgia cousins and are harvested from mid to late summer. When ripe, they have a delicate profile that hints of sweet nectar.
The tea we've used as a base for this blend is a green Sencha. Interestingly, green and black teas can be produced from the same plants. Green tea is produced by forgoing the fermentation process required to produce black tea. Instead the leaves are steamed as soon as they are plucked, and then bruised either by machine or by hand. The leaves are then pan-fried or basket fired - a process that gives the tea its distinctive glossy look and feel. Although Sencha is generally produced in Japan, we've used a Chinese variety from Hunan province. Our master taster felt that this Chinese variety had a subtleness of character perfectly suited to blending with peach. Like all Sencha teas, this particular variety has a dark green, needle shaped leaf and produces a pale green to yellow, very bright, smooth cup with a sweetish, honey like finish. You'll also notice that we've added delicate white Jasmine petals to this blend - an addition that enhances the citrus character of peach. Brew a pot today; drink it hot or over ice and experience summertime in Niagara.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180�F or 90�C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves, they foretell your fortune.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]