Tea lovers in the United States will have their first chance to try New Zealand’s only tea, Zealong, beginning on June 28, 2010, when Chicago Tea Garden makes it available to its retail and wholesale customers.
Zealong began in 1996 when its owners planted imported Taiwanese seedlings on their New Zealand farm. Only 130 of the original 1500 imports survived the strict 10-month quarantine period, and from these hearty plants, over 1,000,000 tea bushes now grow on Zealong’s 120 acre farm.
For Chicago Tea Garden’s co-owners, Tony Gebely and Erin Murphy, being the first American company to sell this exclusive tea is an exciting, but not unexpected, development. The company specializes in sourcing unique, unusual teas from around the world, including several from the collection of noted tea authority, David Lee Hoffman.
Co-owner Gebely remarked: “Just as the wine industry has expanded into many new areas around the world, the same is happening with tea. New regions for tea-growing, such as New Zealand, bring new flavors to tea lovers, and we are proud to be a part of this growing trend.”
Zealong is a fresh, floral oolong with tremendous staying power: Drinkers can expect to get 8 steeps from each pot of tea brewed. Zealong is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or sprays, and is picked and processed on a farm and tea processing facility certified as meeting the ISO22000 food safety management standard. The result is a tea that is not only delicious, but that is unmatched for purity.
Zealong Oolong will be available for sale on Chicago Tea Garden’s website beginning June 28, 2010. The Chicago Tea Garden also welcomes wholesale inquiries from retailers. Zealong comes in 3 different styles, Pure, Aromatic, and Dark.