Country of Origin: China
Region: Hunan Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Japan Sencha style
Altitude: about 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Pan fired green tea
Cup Characteristics: Ooh-la-la refreshing raspberry with smooth green tea notes
Infusion: Bright pale green to yellow, light colored cup
Ingredients: Luxury green tea, Raspberry pieces, Natural Flavors
Raspberries have been enjoyed as a delicacy in Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic, since at least the 900s. One need only drive a little way outside of Prague to find wild bushes lining many of the roadsides that wind their way through the countryside. These sweet little berries were purportedly the favorite of Boleslav I, the first King of Bohemia. Unfortunately, old King Boleslav, also known as Boleslav the Cruel, murdered his own brother St. Wenceslas. The murder allowed Boleslav to take the throne and was committed at a family feast some family! Given the kings fondness for raspberries, there is no doubt that along with murder, the fruit was also served. It is too bad Bohemian Raspberry green tea wasn't also available - itmay have relaxed the man a little. This blend, with its mellow grassy undertones and sweet raspberry notes, is one of our most soothing greens yet.
Bohemian Raspberry is based on a Sencha style green tea manufactured in Hunan Province, South Eastern China. Sencha, a Japanese style green tea, is produced by skipping the fermentation process required to produce black tea. Interestingly, both green and black teas can be produced from the same bushes. In green manufacture, the freshly plucked leaves are steamed or heated (to kill the enzymes that cause fermentation) immediately and then bruised either by machine or hand. Next the leaf is pan-fried or basket fired - a process that gives the tea its distinctive glossy looks and feels. Senchas typically have dark green, needle shaped leaves and produce a pale green to yellow, very bright and smooth cup with a sweetish, honey like finish. Infuse a pot today, inhale the sweet aromas and raise a toast to Boleslav the Cruel. On second thought, make that St. Wenceslas.
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.]