Ethically Sourced Black Tea with Natural Flavours
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Region: Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula or Uva districts
Grade: OP (Orange Pekoe)
Ethical Sourcing: Sourced from farms monitored by the Ethical Tea Partnership.
Altitude: 4800 - 7600 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: An unbelievable aroma that portends an unbelievable taste. A correct balance of flavouring that results in a piquant and refreshing true Earl Grey taste that goes well with pastries and cakes.
Infusion: Bright and coppery.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea, cornflower petals, bergamot oil, natural flavours.
Antioxidant Level: High.
Caffeine Content: Medium.
Traditionally Earl Grey was a blend of Chinese and Indian teas scented with the oil from the citrus bergamot fruit - a sort of orange. The stories of Earl Grey are numerous. One such tale tells how a British diplomat on a mission to China saved the life of a Mandarin and as a gift of gratitude was given the recipe for this flavoured tea. This diplomat upon his return to Britain presented the tea to the Prime Minister of the day, Earl Grey. Another story says it was the Prime Minister himself who saved the Mandarin. In an event it was the Prime Minister of England (1830-1834) Earl Grey who made this tea fashionable.
This tea has higher levels of high-quality bergamot on a top quality tea leaf base, giving a rich, smooth taste that is superior to the regular Earl Grey.
This tea is sourced from tea plantations that are monitored by the Ethical Tea Partnership, meaning a fairer deal for the growers and workers, and a more environmentally friendly way to produce tea.
What type of tea do we use, how do we flavour the tea and why do we use natural flavours?
For our flavoured teas, we only use high-grown tea from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva. These three high-grown districts produce flavourful teas that have a classic 'Ceylon' tea character which is noted by a floral bouquet and flavour notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery colour and, most importantly - perfect for use as the base tea of our flavoured teas. 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 flavoured tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness. Next, we use flavouring oils, not crystals, to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat. Finally, we specify natural flavours.
High quality tea tastes good and natural flavours do not mask the natural taste of the high-grown Ceylon tea. (The norm for many making flavoured tea is to use overpowering artificial flavours, which can be used to hide lower quality tea). Natural flavours do not leave an aftertaste, giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavours tend to be somewhat 'soft' and the flavours slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavoured teas.
Place 1 teaspoon of tea per cup (and add 1 teaspoon for the pot) into your teapot. For a more intense flavour, add a bit more tea. Pour boiling water into the pot and let it steep for about 3 to 7 minutes, to your taste. Pour into your cup and enjoy.
This tea is enhanced by the addition of milk and sugar, but it is perfectly acceptable to drink it straight up.
Alternatively, put the tea in a tea infuser and brew right in your cup.
Make as for hot, but add extra tea. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea. When the tea has cooled a little, pour over ice. It is important to make it a little stronger as the ice will water it down.
Alternatively, you can place the tea in a jug and add cold water. Leave to infuse for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge) strain and enjoy. Cold brewing will give a smoother taste.
To make 1 litre of iced tea: Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant jug. Pour Â½ pint (275ml) of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving jug with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher while straining the leaves. Add ice and top up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
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!
Great Earl Grey Tea
Loved the Supreme Earl Grey so much I also bought a large pack of Rose Earl Grey which tastes very similar to my favourite cuppa when out at one of the biggest cafe chains. Fantastic tea and brilliant service.
Antoni Zawadzki | Bristol | February 2020