Strawberry Green Fields January 15 2016

Long Island has long been famous for its strawberries for as long as people have lived there. Books tell of people going on picnics and hikes to pick wild strawberries as far back as the 1850's. Records also show Native Americans who inhabited Long Island centuries ago were also fond of the fruit. After the Civil War, farming on Long Island developed rapidly, seeing strawberries being cultivated commercially for the first time. It certainly didn't hurt that the farms were within a day's journey from New York City. The popularity of the fresh fruit grew quickly, and as suburbs and cars grew in prominence, roadside fruit stands began to pop up. A drive into the country will take you past many such stands and pick-your-own berry patches that the region has become famous for. Company mythology has our master taster stopping at one of these stands for some berries and immediately calling his office to declare his discovery - a real "Eureka!" moment.  He decided to blend the strawberry with a very fresh tasting Sencha style of green tea manufactured in Hunan, China. Why green tea for the blend? Well, green tea is produced by foregoing the fermentation  process required to produce black tea. Instead, the leaves are steamed as soon as plucked, then bruised by machine or by hand. The leaves are then pan-fried or basket-fried - a process which gives the tea its distinctive glossy look and feel. It's this manufacturing process that also gives us green teas, and this Sencha in particular, their light sweetish flavour - a perfect match to the fresh flavour of the Long Island strawber;ry. Smell the green tea, real strawberry and papaya pieces, (added to enhance the profile of strawberry), and imagine yourself cruising in the countryside.