- Monk's Blend Background
- Black Tea Preparation
Monk's Blend is a medium bodied and flavorful tea with piquant Ceylon character and a bright coppery infusion.
Blended with natural flavor oils of vanilla and grenadine, calendula and sunflower petals, Monk's Blend has a smooth and unique heavenly flavor. It is certainly a 'mysterious' blend despite being a delicious mixture of grenadine and vanilla. Perhaps first created by Tibetan monks – infused with universal life energy, this tea is a perfect all day treat; sweet and toasty with a touch of dryness and a subtle bouquet.
Ingredients: Artisan black tea, Calendula, Sunflower petals, Natural flavors of vanilla and grenadine.
Origin: Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula or Uva districts
Originally, it is believed that this blend was developed by monks to support their life's desires, especially the work that they did all by hand. Tea is an item that these monks considered good for the soul. Franciscan monks used to drink this tea to keep them awake during long periods of meditation. It is fair to say that this is an ancient and harmonious blend, as it is also used by Buddhist and Taoist monks.
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.
Secondly... we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat. Thirdly… 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.
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl.(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2--4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
When measuring it is best to weigh your tea. (I use a small pocket scale. We have a few or you can get good inexpensive scales at Old Will Knotts) Measuring volume with a teaspoon or tablespoon is not accurate because whole leaf teas take up much more space than broken, graded teas.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.