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Recipes

Apricot Tea with Flowers

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Bruce MacNaughton

Delicately flavoured with the exquisite essence of ripe apricots picked at their peak and decorated with the flowers of marigold.

Infusion immediately produces the bright, sweet aromas of fresh apricots. The natural sweetness of the fruit flavouring makes this one of our best iced teas. The ancient Chinese believed that apricot fruit contained special fertility enhancing properties. Could the same be said for Apricot tea?  What we can tell you is that the apricot was first cultivated in China after fruit bearing trees were discovered growing on the temperate mountain slopes of that country. Its Latin name however, Prunus Armeniaca, owes its root to the fact that the fruit made its way westward via farmers in Armenia.

Eagerly awaited as one of the first fresh fruits of summer, apricots are noted for their intense fragrance and sweet flavour. Fresh apricots are also a great source of vitamin A. The sweet character of the fruit blends exceptionally with our high grown Ceylon tea and goes well with a dash of sugar. So brew a pot, pour two cups and enjoy!

What type of tea do we use, how do we flavour the tea and why do we use natural flavours?

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 flavourful teas that have classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character which is noted by floral bouquet and flavour notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery colour and, most importantly - perfect for use as the base tea of our flavoured teas. (We have tested teas from various other origins around the world as base stock for our flavoured 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 flavoured tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness!

Secondly... we use flavouring oils (not crystals) to give the tea drinker an "olfactory holiday" before indulging in a liquid tea treat.

Thirdly… we specify natural flavours. High quality tea tastes great and natural flavours do not mask the taste of the high-grown Ceylon tea. The typical way to making flavoured tea is to use overpowering artificial flavours, which can be used to hide lower quality tea. Natural flavours do not leave an aftertaste giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavours tend to be somewhat "soft" and the flavours slightly muted- but for many, this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavoured teas.

Hot tea brewing method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time, the stronger the tea). Add milk and sugar to taste.  

Iced tea brewing method: (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea. Not all of the tea will fit- allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving each. Sweeten and/or add lemon to taste. 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 luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)

Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.


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