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Indian Black Tea
Assam tea is the biggest, brightest, richest and most astringent tea made. It is the backbone to breakfast style teas of nearly all brand and quality although it is also used in many blends for body and top notes. Assam is less floral and has more bread or biscuit-like flavor than other origins, and is often described as malty or coppery.
The Assam region is located in Northeast India, bordering Myanmar and China. At near sea level, this region produces teas that are full flavored, rich, and chewy with distinct characteristics of caramel and malt. The best teas from this region are plucked and processed in June and July, a harvest also known as the 2nd Flush.
Bergamot is a citrus fruit the color of a lime and the size of a large orange. Picked when ripe, the thick peel is removed and pressed like an olive to extract its essential oils. It has a distinctive flavor and aroma with notes of lavender, lemon and spice.
Reggio Calabria Province
Harvested in early winter, our bergamot comes from the Ionian Coast of the Reggio Calabria Province. The terroir gives the bergamot fruit grown here more nuance and a variety of aromatics that we are looking for.
Sri Lankan Black Tea
The Dimbula region is directly opposite the Uva region in Sri Lanka. Dimbulas are often called “Westerns” in the tea trade. They have a reddish amber color in the cup, with a medium to full body, slightly fruity flavor and mineral notes. Ceylon Dimbulas are often used in medium bodied blends, Earl Grey formulas and other flavored teas. The best Dimbula teas are produced from December to February.
The Central Province, true to its name, is located in the heart of Sri Lanka. It is said that in its capital city of Kandy, the tooth of the Buddha resides in a temple, which alone makes this place worth visiting. Here at Smith, just as holy, are the many breathtaking high elevation tea gardens that make a significant contribution to the total output of high grade Sri Lankan teas, which we look to buy between the months of December to February.
Sri Lankan Black Tea
Situated 1100 meters above sea level on the island of Sri Lanka, the Uva region produces teas of distinctly different character from their Ceylonese siblings. Uvas are astringent, intensely floral and slightly sharp in flavor with a golden cup color. They add “bite” and freshness to blends.
Uva Province is located in the soutestern part of Sri Lanka and is the second least populated portion of the island. It makes up for this with an abundance of exceptional tea gardens and wonderfule scenic overviews, like Lipton's Seat, where one can have a fresh cup of tea from the Dambethenna Estate and a front row seat to harvesting in the surrounding tea fields. We buy our teas during the peak harvest moths of June through September.