No. 22 - Kenyan Blue Sapphire Tea
While the most famous sapphire in the world is the massive, 422.99 carat Logan Sapphire housed in the National Museum of History in Washington D.C., it certainly isn’t the oldest. In some remote corners of Africa legend gives that distinction to the stone set in the Ephod, or sacred garment, of the ancient Israelite tribe of Issachar. This stone is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the sapir, believed by some to be the root word of the English word sapphire (although this is disputed by linguists). As the old tales tell it, this stone went missing from the tribe during the flight from Egypt, perhaps during the parting of the Red Sea. It was then smuggled out of Egypt and carried from one town to the next, traversing jungles and deserts until finally finding a resting place somewhere in the lush hills of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Unfortunately for local treasure hunters, the exact whereabouts of the ancient stone, rumored to rival the Logan in terms of beauty, has never been found. Some say it is protected by leopards, others say by bolts of lightning that strike the ground whenever anyone comes near. Either way, the great Sapphire has never surfaced.
A visit to the Rift Valley would have you believing the lightening theory. Because of the unique weather conditions, the region is peppered by strikes on a regular basis. In fact, the name of one of Kenya’s most important tea growing regions, Tinderet, translates into English as The Place of Lightening. Tinderet also happens to be home to some of the finest teas in Africa. (Coincidence?) In homage to the legend of the ancient stone, we offer a tea worthy of carrying the Sapphire moniker. This orthodox production TGFOP is a shimmering example of the quality teas being produced on Kenya’s top estates. The liquor is bright and clean tending amber. The cup, second to none, exhibits a round, lightly malted body with sweet touches of astringency and bakey notes of jammy toast. As a means of representing the deep blue color of the Sapphire, we’ve added cornflower petals to the perfectly graded leaf for visual appeal and an added neutral, mellow, character.
What makes this tea even more superb is the fact that it was grown and produced under certification of the ETP, (Ethical Tea Partnership) and Fair Trade. (More on these organizations below.) Brew a pot and dream of the hidden riches of the past.
|Shelf Life||10 Years|
|Packed||United States of America|
|Ingredients||Black tea, Cornflower petals|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Amount)||Not Available|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Temp)||Not Available|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Amount)||Not Available|
|Chinese Gongfu Method (Time)||Not Available|
|Western Method (Water Amount)||8.45 fl oz / 250 ml|
|Western Method (Water Temp)||212 F / 100 C|
|Western Method (Amount)||1 Teaspoon|
|Western Method (Time)||3-7 Mins (to taste)|