Orange Spice tea is a blend of full bodied black teas from India, Sri Lanka and China, with the finest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and sweet California orange peel and orange oil. The result is a very aromatic tea that has the flavor of zesty orange and spicy cinnamon.
Cinnamon, native to Sri Lanka, is the dried bark of a tree of the Laurel family. It is one of the first spices ever sought after, with references to its use in the Bible and in ancient Egypt. The Portuguese colonized Sri Lanka for its wild cinnamon until driven out by the Dutch in 1636, who began cultivation of cinnamon. The Dutch monopoly of the cinnamon trade ended in 1796 when the English East India Company took control of the cinnamon trade.
Cinnamon trees were later introduced to Indonesia, India and the Seychelles, however cinnamon from Sri Lanka is regarded as the best quality. The evergreen cinnamon tree grows to over 30 feet in the wild, but is kept shorter under cultivation. Cinnamon trees thrive in tropical maritime climates at low altitudes. The bark is harvested or peeled from the trees and made into quills by hand rolling and drying in the sun. The quills can be ground or processed into oil for cooking purposes. The sweet, somewhat woody aroma is fragrant and strong, and the flavor is very distinctive and warming.
The sweet orange is the most popular of all citrus fruits. It originated in China where it received its botanical name "Citrus Sinensis". During the first century the orange was spread to Japan, India and the Near East. The Romans were also interested in this fruit, and the Arabs introduced the orange to Spain. Orange cultivation ended in Europe with the fall of the Roman empire and reappeared later in Italy in the 15th century.
Columbus brought seeds of orange, lemon and lime on his voyages to the New World. The Caribbean climate proved ideal for these citrus fruits. And during the early 16th century, settlers first planted oranges in Florida, which was to become the state's flourishing citrus industry. In the early 1700s, missionaries planted oranges in California, which now rivals Florida in citrus production.
There are four main varieties of oranges. The bitter orange or the Seville, is grown mainly in Spain and is predominately used for marmalades. Another variety, the blood orange, is less acidic than other oranges and cultivated primarily in Mediterranean countries. Navel and Valencia oranges are grown predominately in the U.S. and Brazil. Navel oranges are an early variety with good flavor, while Valencias are a later crop and are the sweetest and most flavorful orange.
Stash sources its orange peel and orange oil from the best California Valencia oranges. This superior quality orange oil costs more than $50 per pound, compared with less costly orange oil at $1 per pound or less.Stash orange peels are produced right from their juice production line to retain the original citrus oil of the fresh fruit, resulting in a richer, stronger flavor.
Hint: Try our Orange Spice tea iced for a fruity, very refreshing drink.
The Stash Tea Company is a privately-held company headquartered in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. Founded in 1972, Stash Tea originally operated out of an old Portland Victorian style house, supplying loose herbal teas and bulk herbs to natural food stores. Starting in 1975, the company broadened its focus to include bagged teas and then began to sell a full line of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to fine restaurants and through a mail order catalog to consumers.
Today, Stash Tea is one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States. The company derives its name from an entertaining aspect of tea folklore. In earlier centuries, tea was a valuable commodity traditionally transported by clipper ship. The ship's captain often was presented with some of the finest teas for his personal use. This supply was his "stash," stowed carefully as his "private reserve". Today, the term is still used to denote anything put away carefully because of its preciousness.