The heritage of this tea, however, is just as deep as any Chinese or Indian tea – extending all the way back to the 12th Century where it was widely popular in Russia and across the World.
The difference in climate, humidity, and the mineral density of the soil are what make this Ivan Chai tea very unique and sets it apart from all other teas I’ve tried.
Plus, there’s a catch – this isn’t tea as we know it (it doesn’t come from the camellia sinensis plant), it comes from a plant commonly called ‘fireweed’ – which gives it a completely different nutrient structure and flavour, with one distinct advantage also of being naturally caffeine-free.
That’s enough of the history and origin of the tea, let’s drink . . .
On boiling the water and steeping the leaves, it’s clear that this isn’t a traditional Black Tea – it has very clear floral/sweet aroma.
Upon tasting, it lacks the same level of ‘maltiness’ as a traditional black tea but delivers citrus notes and hints of honey in abundance. I can really see why this Ivan Chai tea was so popular in the 12th Century, and why it is making a strong comeback in recent times.
The tea is still fermented and oxidised so still maintains some similarities to traditional black tea from the camellia sinensis, but without the caffeine and with extra nutrients, plus a sweeter, more floral flavour.
Here’s what Chaivan have to say about this blend:
With its delicious flavour and unique health properties, we think this is a delicious alternative to traditional black tea.