Organic Vanilla Orchid (Organic Black Tea with natural flavors)
Cup Characteristics: Madagascar vanilla mingles with orchid-like grenadine and piquant Ceylon tea giving a complex, delightful cup.
Ingredients (Loose Tea): Luxury high grown Organic Ceylon black tea, Organic calendula + sunflower petals, Organic natural flavors.
Ingredients (Tea Bag Tea): Luxury high grown Organic Ceylon black tea, Organic natural flavors.
The Vanilla Orchid, (Latin: Vanilla planifolia) was at one point the world's most sought after orchids. Nowadays, much of the world's Vanilla is grown on the island of Madagascar. Legend passed around the vanilla plantations today has it that in 1841, before the island came under French rule in 1896, the old king ordered his top scientist to devise a method of pollinating the intoxicating orchid so that he might never run out. When the first round of research proved fruitless, the king had the man beheaded. A junior protege decided to continue in his superior's work and discovered the method by which the rare plant could be cultivated. As his reward, he won the hand of the king's daughter in marriage.
As for the flavor combination of this tea, we've blended the mysteriously fragrant flavor of wild vanilla and blended it with subtly tart grenadine made from pomegranates. Interestingly, although vanilla grows in Madagascar, and Pomegranates originate in Persia, it is believed that the first instance of their being blended as a flavor combination took place in Tibet. Yes, it may sound far fetched but it is believed that spice traders traversing the ancient kingdom sometime around the turn of the century met in Lhasa at the market and sat down to tea. As a sign of comraderie, one of the traders thought they should blend their respective products, vanilla and pomegranate. The result, as you'll discover when you brew this fabulous tea, was delicious. This tea is rich and astringent, with a subtle floral bouquet rounded out by the piquant character of the grenadine. Fantastic hot, it goes without saying that this one is also wonderful over ice. Enjoy!
What type of tea is used for The Fairmont, how is the tea flavored and why are natural flavors used?
Firstly... 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. 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.
To make the perfect cup of Fairmont Tea: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Use 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Orchid luxury loose tea or 1 tea bag of Vanilla Orchid 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 Vanilla Orchid luxury loose tea or 6-8 tea bags of Vanilla Orchid luxury tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Steep for 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!