Organic Empress Orange Pekoe (Specialty Organic Black Tea)
Cup Characteristics: Malty and full-bodied with hints of floral flavor and a touch of oakiness. Bright golden cup. A superb tea to savor any time of the day.
Ingredients: Luxury organic black tea from India, Kenya, Tanzania, China and Sri Lanka.
Prepare yourself to be steeped in history. Specially commissioned by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, this captivating blend seeks to define all the elegance and flavor of sitting down to afternoon tea at Victoria's Fairmont Empress. This past time, a favorite since 1908, has come to hold a special place in the history of the coastal city. Over the past century, guests and dignitaries alike have taken their place below the portrait of Queen Mary in front of the great fireplaces to sip fine teas and savor delicate dishes. Tea is enjoyed in the lobby, which provides a wonderful view of the picturesque inner harbor of the city. Fittingly, this harbor is where the Thermopylae, for a time the world's fastest tea clipper, once lay at anchor. When we were approached by Fairmont, we agreed that it was only fitting to create a blend that commemorated the experience. We also felt that the idea behind the blend should be two fold. On the one hand the tea should celebrate the grandeur of the hotel. On the other, with its connection to the sea and the Thermopylae, we felt the blend should celebrate the history of tea itself.
The blend we've created draws on the finest teas we could source from the traditional growing regions of the old British Empire. To ensure the blend meet Fairmont standard, only teas produced during seasons of peak production were selected. The blend starts with a 2nd flush Assam, a region first planted in the 1830's. This tea is thick, full bodied and imparts a malty depth to the cup. Next we selected black teas from Tanzania and Kenya, where tea was first exported around 1900, to infuse the blend with a subtle floral character and rich golden color. For good measure we also included a Kenyan green tea to the mix to add extra lift to the cup. Rounding out the blend is a South Indian Nilgiri mountain tea noted for sprightly notes of fruit, a high grown Sri Lankan to open the cup, (or Ceylon as it was known during the great age of Empire) and finally a Keemun from China, the country where tea began.
The result is second to none. Off the nose the infusion hints at the malty depths to come. In the cup, a lively fresh astringency gives way to burgundy depth, round full floral notes and touches of oak, toast and light honey. The tea pairs exceedingly well with the sandwiches and pastries associated with high tea and should be enjoyed piping hot with a splash of milk to open the blend. We believe we've created a tea as memorable as an afternoon at the Fairmont Empress – not an easy feat.
To make the perfect cup of Fairmont Tea: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Use 1 teaspoon of Empress Orange Pekoe luxury loose tea or 1 tea bag of Empress Orange Pekoe luxury tea for each 10 ounce /300 ml serving required. Pour boiling water into teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes to desired strength - the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea. Although milk and a dash of sugar may help enhance the flavor of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume it 'straight-up.'
To make the perfect cup of Fairmont Iced Tea: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of Empress Orange Pekoe luxury loose tea or 6-8 tea bags of Empress Orange Pekoe luxury tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Steep 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Strain the tea into the pitcher. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!
To purchase the tea from the Fairmont Store - Click Here