Jasmine tea has been well known in China since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Since that time flowers, spices, and sometimes fruit were added to tea to create new flavors. One of the creations was green tea with jasmine. The Chinese believes that it opens energy channels, detoxifies, and balances energy inside the body.
The cherry blossom festival in Japan is amazingly beautiful. The flowering occurs mid-January on the southern island of Okinawa then, with the arrival of spring, moves north to the island of Hokkaido, where it ends in May. Bright pink or white flowers of the sakura, or Japanese cherry, appear before the the leaves unfurl, producing the classic image of floating blossoms.
Since ancient times the sakura has been a popular emblem of Japan. It represents feminine youth and beauty. It is a national tradition to sit and contemplate the cherry blossoms, just admiring them and living in the moment. It is widely believed that the most beautiful cherry blossoms bloom in the ancient capitals of Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura.
We have a wonderful tea called Kyoto Rose Cherry Blossom Festival. It is a superb Japanese-style sencha combined with cherry flavoring and genuine rose petals. It has a rich and intense flavor and a pleasant aftertaste that will inspire you to contemplate the springtime miracle of the sakura blossoming.
Russian Earl Grey brings us the story of the appearance of tea in Russia. Its début was a little earlier in the 17th Century than in France, arriving with the opening of the great silk trading route that brought goods from China. The introduction was a tribute to Tsar Alexei, who accepted tea as a gift from the Chinese emperor.
Tea became more popular in Russian than it ever became in Europe. Since that time serving tea has become the Russian symbol of hospitality and is offered to everyone entering the household.
Spanish orange peel and lemon grass are added to the classic bergamot flavoring to create a citrusy and uniquely refreshing beverage. Every Russian family would enjoy drinking Russian Earl Grey from their samovar.
Lavender is well known for its aroma and its therapeutic qualities: calming the nervous system and helping to relax mind and body. Our lavender variation is a gentle blend of classic Earl Grey . The bergamot and lavender are perfectly balanced and do not overpower the black tea. It is bold, but naturally sweet with a gentle lavender aftertaste.
In our collection this tea is also called Versailles Earl Grey as a tribute to the French King Louis XIV, who was very fond of lavender, built the Versailles palace, and introduced 17th Century French aristocrats to tea.
Windsor Castle is a combination of Assam,Darjeeling, and Kenyan black teas. It has complex multi-dimensional flavor with the flowery aroma of Kenyan tea, the muscatel-like character of Darjeeling, and the quality of a mature, but gentle Assam. Windsor Castle can be served with milk and sugar for afternoon tea
In winter I like to drink black tea. Our Assam and Assam blends are flavorful and rich, yet smooth. My favorite is Assam Bukhail TGFOP (Second Flush). Second Flush means second harvest at the end of May.
TGFOP is a major grade of tea cultivated in the Assam or Darjeeling areas of India. Bukhial is the name of the estate where it is produced. It's a full-bodied Assam with a coppery color and a deep malty flavor. It is wonderful for breakfast and warms the body and soul. Try it with milk and little sugar.