Our Canadian Ice Wine tea has a unique flavor. Grapes are left to fully ripen and then freeze before they are picked to make ice wine. This makes the flavor richer and sweeter than normal wines. This tea captures the richness and sweetness which compliments the wonderful black tea base.
Made with all natural flavorings.
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Region: Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula or Uva districts
Shipping Port: Colombo
Grade: OP Orange Pekoe
Altitude: 4800 - 7600 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Add a dash of sugar and have an organoleptic journey to the winter vineyards of Niagara. A delicious fresh and piquant white grape flavor with hints of exotic fruit that pleasantly lingers on the tongue
Infusion: Bright and Coppery
Ingredients: Luxury black tea, Freeze dried grapes, Luxury white tea, Ontario Icewine, Natural flavors
Ice wine is the nectar of winter. Ice wine is produced when the grape is frozen solid on the vine and harvested at a maximum temperature of -10 deg Celsius. The frozen grapes that make up ice wine are then pressed and the resultant nectar exudes aromas of apricot and honey with a fine overall balance between fruit flavors, sweetness and acidity. Ice wine ends up a golden color, or deep rich amber and has a very sweet taste. The flavor is a combination of apricot, peach, mango, melon or other sweet fruits. The rules of true ice wine (governed by VQA) state that the grapes must be naturally frozen no artificial freezing allowed. Ice Wine is typically made of Vidal (a cross between European and North American white grapes). Normally used to produce a table wine, Vidal yields well. It also has a relatively thick skin enabling the grape clusters to withstand the elements better. Ice wine is difficult to produce not only do the grapes have to withstand the elements but crows and other birds find Vidal grapes particularly tasty. After the 'fight' with the elements and birds, the grapes go through weeks of fermentation followed by a few months of barrel aging.
What type of tea do we use, how do we flavor the tea and why do we use natural flavors?
Firstly... 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.
Secondly... we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat.
Thirdly... 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.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea '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]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!