*******FLAVORED GREEN TEA*******
CUP CHARACTERISTICS: Hibiscus and pomegranate were made for each other! Tart with floral highlights - a cleansing and highly refreshing cup.
INGREDIENTS: Green tea, Rosehip pieces, Hibiscus petals, Pomegranate
INGREDIENTS FROM: Sri Lanka / Chile / Egypt
ANTIOXIDANT LEVEL: High
CAFFEINE LEVEL: Low
It is believed that the first instance of the mixing of dried hibiscus petals and pomegranate took place in the harbor of Hanga Roa, the capital of Rapa Nui, otherwise known as Easter Island. Polynesian migrants, after traveling vast swathes of the Pacific in large canoes, are believed to have landed on the island some time around 400 CE, bringing many of their customs and cultural artifacts with them. Ocean legend has it that among other things, hibiscus flowers made the trip. For centuries the islanders lived in peace and harmony, erecting the giant statues for which the island is famous. As they did, the beautiful, highly fragrant flowers, flourished along with the island's population. While native species of fruit were plentiful, it would not be centuries later that pomegranates would make their appearance.
The ruby red fruit is thought to have made its arrival to the island with slaves deported from Peru in 1870. By that time Pomegranates were well known in South America having been brought over by Jesuit missionaries who cultivated them in great numbers. The native islanders were quickly smitten with the fruit and began blending its juice with the island's own agricultural bounty. As the harbor served as a sort of marketplace, it is believed that at some point, an enterprising marketer blended hibiscus and pomegranate together to great effect. He found the flavorful combination to drip with round floral notes and juicy berry astringency - a hit!
Whether or not the legend can be believed, what is certain that the tart combination of the flower and fruit is a winner. The superb cup offers a sweet, bright nose, with supple notes of honey, herbs and berries offset by grassy notes of moss from the green tea and a smooth palate cleanser of a finish. Put simply - a fabulous cup worthy of a tall-tale or two of its own.
A little about the base tea:
This tea is based on a Sencha style green tea from Hunan. Interestingly, both green and black teas can be produced from the same bushes. During manufacture, the freshly plucked leaves are immediately steamed and then bruised either by machine or hand. Next the leaf is pan-fired, a process that imparts a distinctive glossy look and feel, and dried. Unscented 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.
IDEAL BREWING TEMPERATURE: 85ºC/185ºF. For Food Safety reasons bring water to 100ºC/212ºF and let it cool down to 85ºC/185ºF.
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea 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).
ICED TEA BREWING METHOD (Individual Serving):
Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea or 1 tea bag 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. 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!)
ICED TEA BREWING METHOD (Pitcher): (To Make 1 Liter/Quart):
Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea or 6 tea bags 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. 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!)