Ingredients From: Sri Lanka
Region(s): Nuwara Eliya + Dimbula + Uva
Shipping Port(s): Colombo
Grade(s): OP (Orange Pekoe)
Growing Altitudes: 4000 – 8500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type(s): Tea : Orthodox (Traditional leafy)
Cup Characteristics: Fruity character with slight hints of berry, bring depth and character to this delicious tea.
Infusion: Bright and Coppery.
Luxury Ingredients: Black tea, Pineapple pieces, Cornflower & Jasmine & Mallow petals, and Natural flavors.
“The branches of the aspen plum, to and fro they sway. How can I not think of her? But home is far away,”
So goes a poem by the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. The Chinese were the first to cultivate the smallish purple-blue fruit, and revered it as a symbol of love and good fortune. Interestingly, this reverence for the common plum is not just limited to ancient China. In the United States, the fruit has its own holiday, National Plum Pudding day on February 12th. Across the Pacific in Japan, the whole month of February is dedicated to the fruit since it blossoms during that month every year. In many parts of Europe wild plum trees grow in great quantities and living near a grove of them is thought to increase fertility, and virility!
We’re not sure if the same can be said of this tea. However, we can tell you that this blend has a fresh and slightly acidic plum flavor that beautifully compliments its astringent Ceylon base. Brew it hot with a dash of milk to help open up plum’s subtle nuances. Or, as with all our flavored teas, enjoy it during the summer months by pouring it over ice. Either way, this one’s plum dandy! (Pardon the lame colloquialism. We couldn’t stop ourselves!)
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 filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in 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). Add milk and sugar to taste.
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 single serve packets into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the tea or removing the tea bags. 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 increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about.)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. Sweeten and/or add lemon to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.