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Heirloom Organic™ Traditional Scented Tea
C. Sinensis Zhu Ye Zhong
Southeast Asia's old world blend

Bergamot Black | aka Earl Grey

Varietal

The oils from the rind of Southeast Asia's sour orange (citrus aurantium) mother varietal to Bergamot, blended with leaves from the heirloom Zhu Ye (Oak Leaf) tea bush.

Profile

Robust, rich Crimson black tea with fragrant citral notes

Process

Sustainably harvested leaves > withered indoors > lightly rolled > fully oxidized > re-rolled > re-withered > scented > fully dried

Attributes

Higher caffeine, increases vitality and awareness, increases metabolism*, reduces high cholesterol, Certified organic, sustainably harvested, single origin, garden direct.

Preparation

1 Tbs per 8 oz, 212° F, 3-5 min. For iced tea, steep tea strongly, allow to cool, pour over ice

Region

Qi'Men county, Anhui. Virgin Forest, dense fog. 1,700 ft elev. 29° N, 117° E

Garden

Qi"Men Virgin Forest Preserve

ORDER

3 oz | $14.95

16 oz | $34.85

sample | $3.75

15 Tea Bags | $12.95

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Southeast Asia's citrus black tea blend & the creation of 'Earl Grey'

Bittterorange2aThere are many stories created around the bitter orange and black tea blend that is now known Earl Grey in the West. Some say it was a gift from a mandarin to a English diplomat (The Earl of Grey, 1764-1845), for one of his men saving the Mandarin's son from drowning who brought it back to the British Isles. Others refute this theory and say is was created in Europe using the oil of Italian Seville oranges. The truth is, bitter orange is native to South East Asia and has been used to blend with tea since ancient times. It spread to Persia and the Mediterranean along the southern silk road along with tea. More than likely a Englishman did receive this blend as a gift at some point in China and brought it back with them or a fanciful story was created by aBitterorange1 marketing tea tradesman who acquired some. The hybrid varietal of this Asian orange, later known as the Bergamot orange, was not planted in Calabria, Italy until around 1750.

Bitter orange, Citrus aurantium subsp. amara, is native to south east asia and its relative, C. aurantium var. daidai, is native to Tibet & China, both were selected to blend with tea, typically using just the peels and flowers.

Citrus aurantium subsp. amara has long been used as grafting stock for citrus trees (which could explain the birth of the Bergamot Orange). Bitter orange is now also used in marmalades, and liqueurs such as Grand Marnier, Curaçao and triple sec. This orange is cultivated for the essential oil as well, pressed from the fruit for neroli oil and the distilled flowers are used to make orange flower water. In the hills of South East Asia there is also a recipe of hollowed out citrus peels that are stuffed with teas leaves then stored to age and blend before being drunk. The native South East Asian bitter orange used in this blend is the ancestor of Bergamot orange.

C. aurantium var. daidai; the name daidai, meaning several generations, originates from the fruit staying on the tree for several years if not picked. The color of the fruit returns to green in the spring and has become a symbol of longevity used in some traditional Asian New Years offerings. Its medicinal use is as an expectorant and a digestive tonic. The flesh of the fruit is very bitter and not usually eaten directly.

Bergamot Black

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