Ingredients: Black tea (Pu-Erh style), Almond pieces, Natural flavors
Country of Origin: China
Shipping Port: Shenzhen
Altitude: 3200' ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Pu-erh
Cup Characteristics: Dessert in a cup. The earthiness of pu-erh fuses with caramel for a sweetly decadent finish
Infusion: Dark and stormy night
Luxury Ingredients: Pu-erh tea, Butterscotch + Almond pieces, Natural flavors
Introducing the favorite beverage of the Scotland-China Association. While it might sound odd that an organization with a mandate to combine kilts and haggis with dragons and dumplings exists, it does! The SCA was founded in Glasgow in an effort to strengthen ties between the two very different countries and offers seminars in Traditional Chinese medicine, language courses and more.
Scotland and China have a long history together. The first recorded encounters between the two occurred in the 17th century, during the days of the old British Empire. At that time the world of the Orient must have seemed wildly foreign to the Scottish officers and merchants who made their way across the Pacific to visit the port cities of Canton and Shanghai. Over the centuries, relations between the two countries continued to develop but it wasn't until the 1980s, with China's Open Door policy, that things really began to heat up. Since then, the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh began working collaboratively with Chinese botanists, Napier University, one of Scotland's finest, established a permanent presence in Beijing and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate scientific research between the two countries. Who knew?
In our own efforts to strengthen the ties between Scotland and China (a pet project of our Master Taster - strange really considering he's Dutch), we're proud to present the only tea in existence known to link the two vastly different cultures - Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh. Now, for those of you who familiar with the earthy, musty character of traditional pu-erh and are scratching your head over this flavor combo, scratch no more. Amazingly, the sweet, burnt sugary profiles of Caramel and Toffee blend in perfect harmony with the loose leafed pu-erh. The cup is warming and thick, layered with notes of damp sweet earth, burnt caramel and cream with balanced astringency and medium finish - as an afternoon tea, this one has no peer. Interestingly, while most pu-erh teas are best enjoyed on their own, the unique sweetness of this cup is well suited to a splash of milk. Here's to the future of Sino-Scottish relations!
What exactly is pu-erh? According to the Bureau of Standard Measurement of Yunnan Province, pu-erh teas are: "products fermented from green tea of big tea leaves picked within Yunnan Province. Pu-erh teas undergo a unique fermentation process that infuses them with their defining musty character. In China, many people believe that pu-erh aids in digestion by breaking down fat in foods.
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 water into teapot to cover the leaves - pour the water of - in effect you are 'rinsing' the tea. Next pour the boiling water into the teapot over the 'rinsed' leaves. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Add milk and sugar to taste though generally not done.
Iced tea brewing method: Not recommended - however if you do (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 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.