Imagine 18% cream cascading over fresh strawberries that is our Strawberry Shortcake Tea!
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: Imagine cream cascading over hand-picked strawberries! A delectable tea!
Infusion: Bright and Coppery
Ingredients: Luxury black tea, Freeze dried strawberry, Jasmine blossoms, Blackberry + Lime leaves, Natural flavors
Who doesn't love Strawberry Shortcake? Fresh strawberries, pastry icing, sugar, fresh cream. In a word, scrumptious. The original recipe can be traced back to a 19th century American food writer named Eliza Leslie. Her shtick, (even back then all food writers and celebrity chefs had one) was to incorporate various elements of French cuisine into American cooking. Her recipe called for a special pastry crust that was a cross between traditional pastry and cookie dough, cut into rounds with mashed strawberries sandwiched between them, covered in icing sugar. Phew! The recipe spread like wildfire and spawned many variations. One that saw the addition of fresh whipped became the Strawberry Shortcake most of us are familiar with today. This tea has all the great flavors of the sweet creamy dessert with none of the calories, (read guilt free). Dessert in a teacup. Nothing could be finer.
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!