In blending our Earl Grey we only use high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva. These three high-grown districts produce flavorful teas that have classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character which is noted by floral bouquet and flavor notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery color and, most importantly - perfect for use as the base tea of our flavored teas. (We have tested teas from various other origins around the world as base stock for our flavored teas, but none of these teas made the grade.) 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 flavored tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness.
Next, we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat. We specify natural flavors. High quality tea tastes good and natural flavors do not mask the natural taste of the high grown Ceylon tea. (The norm for many making flavored tea is to use overpowering artificial flavors, which can be used to hide lower quality tea). Natural flavors do not leave an aftertaste giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavors tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavors slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavored teas.
The use of Lavender was first recorded in ancient Phoenician inscriptions dating back to 1000 BC. The ancient Romans were also very fond of the herb and used it as a fragrant bath scent in their public bathhouses. Modern botanical science indicates that there are at least 28 known species of Lavender - some of these are wild and some are commercially cultivated - the plant grows everywhere from parts of Africa to China. The version that we offer here is a wonderfully fresh smelling organic variety that comes from Eastern Tibet. No one is certain exactly how long the people of Tibet have harvested Lavender. Archaeology indicates that at least as far back as a thousand years Tibetans were using the plant for its physically restorative, and spiritually uplifting qualities. Ancient scrolls indicate that Buddhist monks believed Lavender had a strong "grandmother energy;" they believed its scent contained elements of comfort, compassion, and the wisdom of a long lifetime of experience. The monks also believed that Lavender had the ability to promote a sense of personal peace and stability, and freedom from mental and emotional stress. The herb still plays a large part in the meditative ceremonies of certain temples and shrines in Tibet - the Dalai Lama himself counts Lavender as one of his favorite herbs. For the Tibetans, Lavender has many other uses as well. The flowers are often prepared as a tea or distilled into an oil and used to treat ailments ranging from headaches and muscle cramps to dizzy spells.