INFORMATION: Did you know that there are over 1000 varieties of apples grown in North America? It's true. Or, that even though we are accustomed to buying the same varieties of apples from supermarket to supermarket, in nature, no two apple trees produce genetically identical fruit. The genetic diversity of apple trees makes them extremely hardy and able to whether droughts, blight, and other natural environmental hazards. As for apple tea, did you know that it is considered by some to be the unofficial national drink of Turkey? In that country, apple tea can be enjoyed literally just about anywhere. Whether you are waiting in a bus terminal, perusing carpets, or lounging in a park, you can be sure that you will be approached by an apple tea merchant. The merchants carry the tea in large metal carafes that hang over their backs and curl up over their shoulders like a tuba. The tea is served in small glass teacups with a cube or two of sugar and sipped on the spot. The acidity of apple makes it a natural fit with the astringency of a good black tea. Brew a pot for yourself, add a dash of sugar, a splash of milk and savor the flavor - delicious!
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.