What is Russian Ivan Tea and What Makes it so Unique?
Russian Ivan Tea is a tea made by fermenting the willow herb plant also known in North America as fireweed. This flowering plant is harvested from a region in Russia called Ivanovskaya Oblast. There are many stories about how this tea got its name - some say that the tea was named after Ivan the Terrible, the first czar of Russia, who allegedly liked to drink tea; others say that the tea is named after Ivan the Monk, who was the founder of the Russian Orthodox Church. Regardless of who it's named for, this tea is unique because its rich ingredients as well as great taste.
What the Research Says about the Benefits of Drinking Russian Ivan Tea
Russian Ivan Tea for centuries has traditionally been thought to have healing properties including gut and general health. It was consumed throughout the world in northern regions as it is native to the Northern Hemisphere including the boreal forest. Fireweed is very high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, magnesium, and contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
What does fireweed tea taste like?
First, let's understand how ivan chai tea is made. This purple plant is harvested in the summer when the days are longest. The harvesting season of the Fireweed or commonly known as Ivan Chai in Russia is short and takes place during the month of July and August. Leaves are separated from the flowers. The purple flowers are generally bruised bringing out dark colors. They are left to ferment for 2-3 days. This which helps develop the flavours of this powerful, nutrient filled, plant. Once the flowers are dark (generally after 2-3 days) the leaves are dried with heat or in sunlight. Once you are ready to make a cup you grab a few tablespoons as you would with black teas and add hot water. Rosebay fireweed tea has a hint of floral-fruit sweetness and often said to resemble a blackberry or crowberry.
Trying rosebay fireweed tea
Making a cup of fireweed tea is quite easy. You can add 1 - 2 tablespoon of leaves to your hot water or use our convenient Russian Ivan tea made from wild-harvested rosebay willowherb from the region of Ivanovskaya Oblast in Siberia. Available here