GREEN TEA has certainly made its mark as a beverage that offers significant wellness benefits. And, if the Green tea happens to be WILD then it’s even better! If you are intrigued by the use of the term ‘wild’ then you’ll be fascinated by what we are going to share with you next.
Most of us love our morning cuppa and we know that the tea leaves probably come from a picturesque tea plantation, with row upon row of neatly trimmed Camellia sinensis shrubs. However, when we say wild tea we are talking about tea that grows on trees in the forests of Northeast India. They are the same variety, Camellia sinensis, as the tea cultivated on plantations but these have been growing in the wild without any human intervention.
The wild tea trees grow to be tall, thirty feet or so, and have an impressive girth. Their root systems are well developed and grow deep into the soil because of which they are able to take up more nutrients and minerals from the forest soil. In the undisturbed forest eco-system, the wild tea trees grow in unison with the flora & fauna and participate actively in the ecological processes. These trees are highly absorbent therefore the taste of the leaves is impacted by the environment around the tree. Considering that these trees grow in the pure environs of the mountainous forests nurtured only by nature and free from harmful chemicals in pesticides & fertilizers, they are beyond organic.
The wild teas, on account of growing in a bio-diverse unpolluted forest eco-system, are more complex in flavour and richer in antioxidants. They are foraged from the forests by native tea-pickers who have to hike for quite a distance in the mountainous terrain to get to the tea trees. The foraged wild tea leaves are then handcrafted using indigenous techniques that help retain more of the flavour & nutrients in the tea leaves.
The foraged wild tea leaves are first allowed to wither. In this process, the leaves are laid out for some time on a bamboo tray to help lose moisture. The oxidation process also starts during withering, thus, for wild green tea processing, withering is only done for a short period of time. The wild green tea leaves retain more of their colour and tenderness than other tea leaves.
The withered leaves are either steamed or fried to arrest the oxidation process. Frying imparts a toasty notes to the leaves. After frying, the tea leaves are hand rolled to give them shape and then sun-dried. Sometimes ovens may be used for drying the leaves.
Once dried, the leaves are then sorted by hand to remove any foreign particles or stems. And, at this stage, they are finally ready for use.
Preparing Wild Green Tea Blends
While the wild green tea in itself is a powerhouse of antioxidants and carries a host of wellness benefits - aids in detox, good for digestion, lowers cholesterol, supports heart health, packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties - it is also blended with other potent ingredients to enhance both flavour and benefits. There are some potent herbs & spices which may be difficult to consume by themselves, but when blended with wild tea they bring all their goodness to the brew.
The citrusy flavoured lemongrass
One potent herb that our tea artisans use in wild tea blends is wild lemongrass.
Lemongrass is an aromatic herb native to tropical and sub-tropical climates and is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is commonly used in Asian food, most often in Thai cuisine. In addition to its lovely lemony flavour & aroma, lemongrass has some amazing properties. Lemongrass essential oil is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and uplift the mood. It has also been used as a folk remedy to promote sleep, relieve pain, and boost immunity. It has antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory properties and some studies suggest that it may help fight cancer, promote healthy digestion, and enable weight loss. And, the fact that it is harvested from the wild adds to its potency!
The delightful blend!
An aromatic and flavourful blend that has been handcrafted by our tea artisans is Wild Green Tea with Wild Lemongrass & Black Pepper. The citrusy aroma and flavour of lemongrass with the hint of spiciness from the black pepper introduces an exciting depth to the subtle flavours of the wild green tea.
This is an exciting & antioxidant rich beverage that is super easy to brew! It comes in easy to use tea pyramids so all you need to do is dip a tea pyramid in hot water and let it steep for a minute. The wild green tea leaves & wild lemongrass slowly release their flavours in this aromatic brew that is delicious and healthy to boot!