Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Round-About Tea Connection

One day last summer while visiting son Douglas and his wife Shelly, I was offered a glass of iced tea. It was so good and so different, I asked Shelly what kind of tea it was and where she got it. She didn't remember where she got it, but said it was white plum - at least that is the way I remembered it. I also thought I would remember the brand name. It wasn't as common as Lipton, Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings or Twinings, but it was one I had heard of and was sure I would remember when I saw it. I began looking in the tea section in every store that sold tea. No luck.
Then I got smart and googled 'white plum tea' and came up with Salada Asian Plum White Tea. Having the right brand and name didn't help me locate it in any stores so I finally ordered it from Amazon. I have not tried it hot, but it does make a lovely, delicate, iced tea.
You are thinking, end of story. Right? Then you don't know how my mind works when it comes to making connections.

Story continued.....
 On our trip east this fall we stayed the third night in Little Falls, NY. This picture is of the old aqueduct across the Mohawk River on the way into town. Shortly after crossing the river I saw a large, derelict, brick building. Painted on the side in barely legible letters was Salada. I wondered if the building had once been connected to the Salada Tea Company?

Then there was this rusty old water tower. Okay, so once upon a time Salada Tea must have been processed in this town.
Finally, if I needed any more clues, there was a display of old Salada Tea boxes in a case in the hotel we stayed in.
I might have asked the desk clerk about it if she had been more welcoming when we checked in.

After we had been home from our trip awhile I wanted to learn what the Salada Tea Company history was. I discovered that not only was it located in Little Falls, it still is. As a division of Redco Foods, Inc. the company is located on Hansen Island in Little Falls, NY.
The company was founded by Peter Larkin in Montreal in 1892. It became one of the leading teas in Canada and Northeastern United States. In 1917 it established its headquarters and blending and packaging plant in Boston.

These are the large bronze doors on the former Salada Company headquarters in Boston. The panels depict the history of the Ceylon tea trade.
Larkin chose the name Salada for his company from a former tea garden in India which no longer existed. He called his tea "Golden Teapot Blend - Pure Ceylon Tea" but everyone referred to it by the company name so he changed the name of his tea products to 'Salada'.

In the 1960's, the Salada Tea Company began printing taglines on their tea bag tags. Some of them were quotes by famous people like e.e. cummings' "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Others were thought up to provide a laugh: "Artists that jog usually become great panters."

When I looked up Redco Foods to read more about them, I discovered they also manufacture and distribute Red Rose Tea. I had seen Red Rose Tea, but had never tried it. When I looked at their website and found their Creme Caramel listed as a new Simply Indulgent Tea in their Specialty Black Teas, well......

.....naturally I had to order some. And as long as I was placing an order......

I could go on and on about tea, but as my 2-year-old great-grandson, Sawyer, said on a Facebook video this morning, "I'm done".

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