Country of Origin: India
Region: Assam - Northeast India
Shipping Port: Calcutta
Grade: Pekoe Fannings
Altitude: up to 1500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: CTC (Cut Torn Curled)
Cup Characteristics: A full bodied malty character, takes milk very well
Infusion: Bright, coppery colour
The Metropolitan Tea Company Ltd.
Certified Organic by QMI Organic Inc.
Certificate #: 150 - 2008
Organic tea is produced without the input of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and herbicides. Unfortunately the yield per acre is lower and quite often quality can suffer compared to when fertilizers and others inputs are utilized. Nevertheless with good manufacturing techniques the cup characteristics can be maintained at a very high level - such is the case with this tea. This tea is a classic top quality Assam, very full bodied and tending 'juicy'. Quite often milk is used to tone down the strength of the tea since milk gives the tea a smoothness that is very pleasant and highlights the malty notes.
Historically the Assam tea bush is a subgenus of Camellia Sinensis. This variety was found growing wild in the Assam province of northeast India in the 1823, when the British East India Company was studying a proposal to grow tea in India. The idea was turned down for fears that India's production might endanger their China tea monopoly. Ten years later conditions had changed. The company's opium trafficking had angered the Chinese government and the British Crown overrode the objections of the East India Company and backed a project to grow tea in India. By 1837 it was successfully cultivated in Assam and in May 1838 a few chests were shipped to London (true organic tea - grown before the advent artificial fertilizers and herbicides). The first consignment of 8 chests of Assam tea was auctioned off in 1839 heralding the advent of Indian Tea in the world markets. Tea continues to play an important political role in India's development. Not only do millions of people gather their main source of family income from the tea business, but in 1946 Mahatma Ghandi in his non-violent struggle for Independence is known to have taken tea to King George-V at Buckingham Palace for their historic discussion on Indian Independence.
Hot tea brewing method: Use 2-4 teaspoons of tea per 4 cup tea pot (you vary the strength by the amount of tea used); pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn. (Do not overboil the water as this will de-oxygenate the water and affect the flavour of the tea). Steep the tea for 2-7 minutes depending upon the strength desired. Stir after 2 minutes (if you used boiling water virtually all the leaves will sink to the bottom ), let it stand for another 1 to 5 minutes and then gently pour into your cup. Milk and a dash of sugar will help capture the malty character, but it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (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. [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.] : NB. This tea tends to 'cloud' or go 'milky' when poured over ice. This commonly happens with high quality teas.