When one usually thinks of Niagara, they think of the Falls, bridges, and casinos. What many people outside of the area don’t realize is that the countryside in the Niagara region is home to some of the most lush, and rich farmland in North America. In recent years the region has earned a world-wide reputation for its numerous vineyards, but the area has traditionally been known for its abundance of orchards. Take a drive along any of Niagara’s country highways and you will pass row after row of apple, pear, and peach orchards, (the finest orchards of the three in our biased opinion!). The first of these orchards were probably planted in the area sometime in the mid 1800’s by European settlers. The rich soil combined with a mild and relatively long summer make the Niagara Peach a sweet citrus treat. The peaches are generally larger than their Georgia cousins and are harvested from mid to late summer. When ripe, they have a delicate profile that hints of sweet nectar.
The tea we’ve used as a base for this blend is a green Sencha. Interestingly, green and black teas can be produced from the same plants. Green tea is produced by forgoing the fermentation process required to produce black tea. Instead the leaves are steamed as soon as they are plucked, and then bruised either by machine or by hand. The leaves are then pan-fried or basket fired - a process that gives the tea its distinctive glossy look and feel. Although Sencha is generally produced in Japan, we’ve used a Chinese variety from Hunan province. Our master taster felt that this Chinese variety had a subtleness of character perfectly suited to blending with peach. Like all Sencha teas, this particular variety has a dark green, needle shaped leaf and produces a pale green to yellow, very bright, smooth cup with a sweetish, honey like finish. You’ll also notice that we’ve added delicate white Jasmine petals to this blend - an addition that enhances the citrus character of peach. Brew a pot today; drink it hot or over ice and experience summertime in Niagara.
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