It’s tea leaf harvest-time at our Mont Echo Sea Buckthorn orchards!
As we mentioned in a previous blog, our Sea Buckthorn tea leaf harvest begins in early summer. During the end of June and over the next few weeks of early July, we’ll be out in the orchards harvesting leaves for our Mont Echo Sea Buckthorn tea. But at this time, we’ll only be collecting leaves from the male plants. Later on in the year, at the end of the summer, we’ll collect leaves from the female plants.
So why do we collect both male and female leaves for our tea, and at different times in the summer? Well, the male and female leaves have different nutritional profiles and different tastes—due to the different jobs of the male and female plants. The male plants produce pollen in early spring to fertilize the females, which then spend the summer creating fruit. Because the male plants finish their job in early spring, we can then collect their leaves for the tea in June without disrupting the already-completed fertilization process. Female leaves are only collected in late summer after their fruit has reached maturity to ensure that the female leaf collection does not affect the fruiting process.
Once we’ve harvested the leaves, we take them immediately to our custom drying room at our onsite processing facility. The leaves are then air-dried on racks for several weeks. Once the leaves are dried, the male and female leaves are mixed together in a certain ratio in order to give our tea its unique flavour and to maximize its nutritional profile.
And why drink our Mont Echo Sea Buckthorn tea? Well, first of all it’s delicious. It has a mild, earthy flavour. And second of all, it’s great for you. Sea Buckthorn leaves are full of nutrients, including flavonoids, anti-oxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, and even trace omega fatty acids, and our tea is naturally caffeine-free. The benefits of Sea Buckthorn tea are numerous—it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, can help aid in digestion, promotes good cardiovascular health, can aid in detoxification, and may even help provide liver protection.
Harvesting Sea Buckthorn tea leaves may be a time-consuming process, but well-worth it when we get to sit back and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea at the end!