26 October 2009

Guaranteed absolutely pure

I love the smell of coffee. In fact, I used to work in a coffeehouse because the smell was so comforting to me. However, I have a confession to make, I cannot stand the taste of coffee. I cannot get up and get going by having a morning cup of joe. On the other hand, I can face the day with a steaming cup of hot tea. This brewing of plant parts and boiling water dates back thousands of years, and is one of the central themes found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Asia.

The vehicles used by adventurers for Expedition Everest are refurbished tea trains running along the Anandapur Rail Service. Used today by Himalayan Escapes to tour the Forbidden Mountain once belonged to the Royal Anandapur Tea Company, as did many of the buildings now used by the expedition company. Signs of the Royal Anandapur Tea Company’s one time occupancy can be found throughout the attraction’s queue, from their logo on the walls to the ample amounts of tea plants found surrounding the area.

Legend says that the Royal Anandapur Tea Company was forced out of business due to mysterious circumstances surrounding their shipping route near the Forbidden Mountain, a place guarded by the enigmatic yeti. Their trains and storehouses were left abandoned until Himalayan Escapes moved in. Yet, even though we are told that the Royal Anandapur Tea Company has vanished, they are still offering their flavorful teas to the public.

Further up the road is a small stand offering teas and other beverages under the name of the Royal Anandapur Tea Company, complete with a sign announcing that they are the tea suppliers. There is one difference between the two, however, their slogans. Listed below the company’s name in the abandoned buildings, the slogan states “Guaranteed Absolutely Pure,” while the bamboo enshrouded stand’s sign claims to be “Exporters of Specialty Teas.”Whether or not they are one in the same, the stand offers some truly remarkable hot teas, as well as several chilled beverages. I have not made my way through the entire selection of teas, yet, but having sampled approximately half of the teas available, I can recommend them all, especially the Honeybush Organic Superior, Dragonwell Lung Ching, and Masala Chai. Hot tea may not seem like a first choice on a steamy Florida day, but while the brews themselves are hot, they have a relaxing and cooling effect on the body.

The inspired exporters of the Royal Anandapur Tea Company not only list all of their teas, they also include descriptions of the types of teas offered, as well as tips for brewing the perfect cup. Take a look at the varietals available, and plan to sit a spell with one the next time you venture into Anandapur or to calm your nerves after an exciting encounter with the Forbidden Mountain’s guardian.
Keemun OP
Slender black leaves which are tightly curled. This is a full-bodied China black tea with a flowery bouquet.

From the Mikir Hills, an extension of the Great Himalyan Range, in Umrangshu. The blackish tea leaves, with golden tips, brew to a bright copper liquor with a sweet musty smell and a bold malty taste.

Ti Kwan Yin Oolong
A semi-oxidized China Oolong. A fresh orchid flavor with a clean finish.

Green Dragon Oolong
A Formosa Oolong. This tea stands out with its unique aroma, taste and dark green appearance.

Dragonwell Lung Ching
China's best known green tea. An emerald liquor, light and delicious.

China Green Jasmine
Classic scented green tea from Fouzou Province with jasmine flowers.

Sencha Saga
A delicately herbaceous Japan Green. "One of the world's most extraordinary teas."

Silver Needle
One of China's best white teas. Brews at a pale yellow/reddish liquor and has a delicately sweet flavor.

Rooibos Organic Superior
Delicious mild light amber cup. Contains all the nutrients as regular tea, but grows naturally with no caffeine. Known as a "miracle tea" in South Africa, where this herb is grown.

Honeybush Organic Superior
Contains all the same properties as Rooibos, but is naturally sweeter.

Rooibos Vanilla
A perfect blend of our 'miracle tea' and Madagascar vanilla.

Masala Chai
A combination of red spices and dried fruits with our bold Indian tea.


Scott said...

I enjoyed this entry! I'm exactly like you with coffee. It smells great, but I don't really much like the taste unless I put enough sugar/sweetener and creamer (preferably flavored) in it until it tastes more akin to hot chocolate (or whatever flavor) than it does coffee. But the smell always reminds me of bookstores! And that's a very good thing! (My wife's the tea drinker...) The story about Royal Anandapaur Tea Company is interesting; I hadn't heard it before!

will said...

it would be even better if they made them iced!

AJ Wolfe said...

I was so excited when this tea spot opened up. Makes for a perfect AK morning to ride EE, then head over for a cup of tea as the park is "waking up."

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Scott - Bookstores are always a good thing! As for the Royal Anandapur Tea Company, it is one of those devil is in the details sort of things.

will - Definitely, especially on a hot summer afternoon. At least they offer some chilled beverages though.

A - Couldn't agree with you more. A cup of tea when the mist/fog is still hanging around the parks and the animals are still hanging out in the shadows, it's the perfect time to watch it all unfold, say along the Maharajah Jungel Trek, with a hot cup of tea!