Historically, tea in India was viewed as a herbal medicine, rather than as a beverage for taste. Some chai spice blends still in current use are derived from Ayurvedic medical texts. Popular spices include anise, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, peppercorn and ginger. Traditional preparation actually calls for the spices, milk and leaves to be simmered over sustained heat, rather than steeped in preheated water. In India, chai is served in little clay cups from chai carts. After enjoying your tea, the cups are shattered on the ground and allowed to compost – an earth-friendly alternative to paper or plastic cups.
We find ourselves romancing on the smell of Christmas throughout the year. A warm spicy smell that reminds us of happy times surrounded by our loved ones around a bright lit Christmas tree. Earthy spices such as cinnamon, cloves and orange peels have been associated with cozy winter afternoons and Christmas carols for a long time. May you feel blessed and happy drinking a cup of our Christmas blend.
Our Ceylon Chocolate Charm tea has a dense and soft chocolate flavour. Clean, slightly tangy finish brings you back to tea, and the balanced astringency compliments the dark chocolate nicely.
The story of chocolate begins with Columbus’ discovery of America. Cocoa beans were among the curiosities he brought back from his voyage. However, it wasn’t until the conquest of Mexico that the Spaniards learned of ‘chocolatl’, a drink made from cocoa beans that the Aztecs served Cortez and his troops. The Spaniards found the drink bitter. Luckily, the New World was also a source of cane sugar. Combining the two, and bringing the recipe to Spain, proved a booming business. The Spanish managed to keep it a secret for nearly a hundred years.
Darjeeling Sungma Muscatel is a second flush black tea from the famous Darjeeling region of India. Darjeeling tea is treasured for its rich golden liquor and distinctive muscatel (a type of grape) flavour. This tea scores high on both counts. Bright and aromatic, floral muscat grape aroma with notes of warm spice and sugary squash. Plush, tangy mouthfeel with a sweet finish and balanced astringency. This excellent summer harvest (second flush) of Darjeeling black tea comes from the highly regarded Sungma Estate. Darjeeling is a town situated along the slopes of the beautiful, towering Himalayas. The town, and the tea plantations that stretch around it, are often enveloped in mist. This unique climate, along with the region’s loamy soil, help produce one of the most unique and distinctive teas in the world. These altitudes place significant strain on the bushes, so they grow more slowly and have more time to develop flavour. The leaves are also more fragile, so they oxidize and dry up at different rates during production. That’s why Darjeeling tea always ‘looks like autumn’ – brown, gold, green. No one else in the world has tea that tastes quite like authentic Darjeeling.
Tgħanniqa is a unique Maltese tea blend with carob pods blended with a strong Ceylon black tea. Carob comes from a sweet evergreen tree that is grown heavily in the Maltese country roads and other Mediterranean countries.
Our Maltese generations of old used carob as a healthy beverage to boost their immune system, sooth sore throats and coughs on a rainy day and aid digestion.
Carobs were a staple diet with early civilizations, with archeological findings indicating that early Egyptians used carobs as a natural sweetener.
Carobs have also been called St. John’s bread or locust bean because the pods were once thought to have been the “locusts” that were eaten by John the Baptist in the Wilderness.
That story was apparently wrong, as the prophet actually ate migratory locust.
It is also hinted that early jewellers and goldsmiths in the Middle East used to weigh gold and gemstones against the seeds of the carob tree.
A Carob pod takes between 11 to 12 months to develop and ripen. By then the seeds are bursting with complex sweet and aromatic flavours that provide a hint of chocolate and earthy root herbs. Characterised by a rich, deep red colour, this special tea blend provides a delicate balance of sweet and savoury indulgence all in one steamy cup.
Our Morning Tune Blend is made up of two very popular black teas: Assam and Ceylon. Assam is the world’s largest tea-growing region, lying on either side of the Brahmaputra River, and bordering Bangladesh and Burma (Myanmar). Assam has a tropical climate, heavily influenced by the monsoons and without the normal hot and dry season found in the rest of India. In the warmest month, the temperature is around 30ºC, while in January, roughly 15ºC is the norm. The most prised Assams are the second flush teas, coming right before the monsoons, with a rich, spicy and malty flavour.
Teas harvested during and right after the rainy season tend to be softer and more floral in character.
The tiny island of Sri Lanka is the world’s third largest producer of tea, due in part to the fact that tea can be harvested year-round here. The island is blessed with perfect trade winds and striking geography, creating unique micro-climates favourable to tea production. Tea flavour is very much tied to the altitude where it grows here: low, medium or high, each with its own sought-after character. Low-grown teas are hearty, tangy and very rich in taste. High-grown teas are much lighter bodied, but are more aromatic and sweet. Mid-grown are a combination of the two, depending on exact conditions. Medium to full body with noticeable unique aromatics.
The story goes that in 1830, Charles Earl Grey, an English diplomat travelled to China, and as a reward for his act of kindness, a local man presented him with the recipe for making this distinctive tea. As inspiring as it may sound, the story is factually incorrect. Chinese have never been black tea drinkers, and so it was very unlikely that they had a tea recipe for Earl Grey to bestow on visitors. Also, Charles Earl Grey never set foot in China.
Famous for its smokey aroma and tar flavour, our Lapsang Souchong is a black tea from the Fujian province of China. The finished tea is given some extra drying over smoking pine fire, imparting a sweet, clean smoky flavour to the tea. Our Lapsang Souchong is clean and slightly cool smokiness in the aroma, like menthol. Sweet, refreshing smoky flavour, crisp and edgy. Golden-coppery colour in the cup; the mark of a Lapsang that hasn’t been smoked to a jerky. Sweet pine flavour, lightly evaporating finish. It’s amazing all the dimensions of ‘smoky’ you can experience in one, very well made cup of fine Lapsang Souchong.
These individually packed unbleached tea sacks are hand packed with artisan full leaf tea. Explore the different blends at the comfort of your home. Try something new and give out a tea sack to a friend who needs a good cup of tea to get through the day!