Silky Road (Organic)
$21.00 – $167.24
Country of Origin (Green Tea): China
Altitude: 1200 – 1770 m above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox (Traditional leafy)
Cup Characteristics: Sweet flavory vanilla gives this green tea a depth and character. The aroma almost shouts ‘Welcome Home’
Infusion: Bright green and slightly mottled.
Ingredients: China Green tea, Vanilla Pods.
Description: Vanilla is one powerful commodity. The small black pods have helped build civilizations, create one of the largest brands known to humankind and nearly bankrupt a country – a lot for the little pod of the Vanilla orchid!
When the Spanish Conquistadors first stumbled up it in the “New World” vanilla was already responsible for a huge portion of the Aztec economy.
The Aztecs grew the pod, known as tlilxóchitl or “black flower,” in large forest plantations. Thanks to advanced trading networks that stretched throughout the Latin American continent, the Aztecs profited greatly from their crop, which helped to pay for their many breath-taking monuments. The Spaniards, catching a whiff of the sweet scent and the profits to be made, carted the tlilxóchitl back with them to Spain changing its name to vainilla, or little pod. It was the Spanish who first blended vanilla into a beverage, mixing it with drinking chocolate.
While South America remained the largest vanilla producer until at least the 19th century, Europeans began to plant vanilla farms throughout southern Europe and ultimately Madagascar, a small island nation off the South East coast of Africa. Ok, we’ll return to Madagascar in a moment.
So, the Spanish added it to drinking chocolate, but it would be an American who would use vanilla to create a beverage that would take the world by storm. The beverage? You may have heard of it…Coca Cola?
The original 1885 recipe relied on Vanilla for an exotic touch and we all know what happened from there, Coca Cola became a global phenomenon the likes of which the world had never seen. For the worlds vanilla producers these were exciting times! And here‟s where we return to Madagascar and the third part of our Vanilla history lesson, in which a nation is nearly bankrupted by the black pods. In 1985, New Coke was introduced to the marketplace. Instead of pure vanilla extract, the new beverage contained vanillin, a synthetic substitute. Immediately Madagascar‟s sales of fresh vanilla halved and the economy all but collapsed.
Thankfully for the people of Madagascar, New Coke was a failure and the company was forced to reintroduce the Classic formula that used real, honest to goodness vanilla in its formula. The people of Madagascar breathed a sigh of relief – and began diversifying their income stream.
Well, here at Neat Jane’s Tea House, we’re happy to have a hand in this diversification by creating a wonderful green tea that relies on vanilla for its incredible flavor. We’ve flavored premium, high grown sencha from China with pure vanilla pods to create a cup that is light liquoring and intensely refreshing with astringent notes of orchid and honey. A wonderful cup – and, much better for you than carbonated and soft drinks! (3 cups is reported to have the vitamin C content of an orange!)
Hot tea brewing method: Traditional method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly – about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 82°C.
Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment – do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended.
Once the water level is low – add more water, and so on and so on – until the flavor of the tea is exhausted.
Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Modern Method: Bring fresh cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 200-260 ml 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).
Adding milk or sugar is not recommended.
Note: Traditionally, the recommendation has been that green tea be brewed at 82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities.
Therefore you need to boil water to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher) (to make 1 liter): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using fresh 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 premium quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of premium quality and nothing to worry about!)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea into a teapot for each serving required. Using fresh cold water, boil and pour 170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Add hot tea to a 375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea. 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 premium quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of premium quality and nothing to worry about!)
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