We hope things are good with you and that you’re enjoying personal health and wellness as the COVID era continues on for now at least.
We’ve recently been in touch with some of our overseas tea growers about the start of their busiest and most important season of the year; they’re getting excited as are we for what the season will yield. There are still some ongoing issues with international shipping but we’re well supplied for the most part right now and hope to see improvement in the transportation sector in the near future.
A little closer to home, we have some news about new teas, a spring sale and such. Grab a cup of your favorite tea and join us for just a few minutes as we greet you this month.
Updated Recipe: Earl Bouquet
We’re happy to introduce an updated version of our custom blend, Earl Bouquet. Our new recipe includes a new source for lavender blossoms, revised ingredient proportions and the addition of beautiful blue cornflowers.
From a taste perspective, Earl Bouquet starts with the classic flavor of Earl Grey and gently softens the “edginess” of the Bergamot citrus oil with the addition of wild organic lavender blossoms. While the addition of colorful blue cornflowers does not affect taste, we think it helps create a more aesthetically stunning presentation while slightly enhancing the color of the final brew.
Feel free to request a Free Sample (3-4 servings) using the "Order Comments" field located on the checkout page during your next order.
New Source: Gyokuro
In our continuing effort to shorten the bridge between our customers and tea growers, we’re happy to announce our new engagement with a small farm for the sourcing of our organic Gyokuro. This exquisite green tea is grown in the rich and fertile soils of Shibushi on the eastern side of Kagoshima in the far south of Japan. Kagoshima has become the second largest tea growing region in Japan following Shizuoka.
Kagoshima has gained notoriety over the past several years as it has become known for producing more and more premium grade teas such as our new Gyokuro. And, unlike other Japanese prefectures, Kagoshima is benefiting from interest in tea farming by younger farmers. This new generation of tea farmers seems to have a strong interest in organic farming, a desire to introduce new farming methods and revitalize the region while creating a greater sense of community. We certainly appreciate these trends!
Our new Gyokuro is made using the Yabukita cultivar of the tea plant (Camelia Sinensis). In keeping with the traditional and labor-intensive method of producing Gyokuro, the plants are shaded in the final weeks prior to harvest. Shading adds a certain level of short-term stress to the plant that ultimately creates desirable outcomes in taste, color and nutrition. The resulting tea is less bitter while a high level of L-theanine amino acid content is preserved. Shading also increases chlorophyll generating a beautiful deep green leaf color lending to its common nickname as “Precious Jade Dew.”
Organic Gyokuro Under Shades in Kagoshima
Once picked, the leaves are de-enzymed (to prevent oxidation and maintain greenness) with a short steaming period of about 40 seconds; this is referred to as Asamushi style. This contrasts to longer steaming methods called Chumushi (about 60 seconds of steam) and Fukamushi (80-200 seconds) which each yield very different flavors, consistencies and intensities from the leaf. The Asamushi style steaming process used to make this Gyokuro preserves leaf integrity while producing a delicate brew with low tannins. It is often viewed as having a more refined, less “grassy” taste than sencha or other more intense green teas. It is precious, indeed!
Once steamed and shaped (rolled), the tea leaves of our new Gyokuro are dried using a very classic style drawer or shelf system under moderate heat for a period of about 45-50 minutes; larger tea factories tend to utilize far more mechanized systems during this and other stages of tea making.
We look forward to the opportunity to visit with the wonderful folks behind the making of this tea as travel restrictions ease up in the future. Fingers crossed.
With all of that said, we’re happy to bring on this new Gyokuro and hope that you enjoy being one step closer to the production of this fabulous tea.
A Spring In Your Step & Tea in Your Cup
Luna Rossa Herbal Blend
In the spirit of spring and blooming flowers, we’ve just added a couple of botanical blends to our Sale Page with prices good through April 15, 2021. Happy Spring Sipping!
If you're a fan of elegant pure leaf black teas, you'll be excited by our next limited edition tea offering. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for the exact release date happening in the next week or so. We'll also share a bit of the rich and rather unique history of this delightful tea in our May newsletter. Stay tuned!
That's about it for updates at the moment. We wish you a lovely spring season filled with love and hope and blossoming trees and flowers to brighten your day.