At Tea People, we're always looking for ways to go beyond the cup. A few weekends ago, we literally went outside the cup, and joined Juniper Ridge at Camp Navarro in the Redwoods of California.
The weekend was dedicated to the Winter Harvesting of Redwood. Guided by, Hall Newbegin, the CEO, we hiked through the forest, learning how to identify the nature around While removing invasive species on the mountain, harvesting other plants, and foraging for other herbs (and mushrooms), we were simultaneously gathering ingredients that we later distilled into a Winter Redwood fragrance for Juniper Ridge.
Juniper Ridge products are 100% wildcrafted and produced using old perfume making techniques including distillation, tincturing, infusion and enfleurage. A hundred years ago, all perfumes were made this way. Today, they're the only ones who handle every step of the process themselves, from beginning to end. These formulas vary from year to year and harvest to harvest, based on rainfall, temperature, exact harvesting location, and season. They formulate Wilderness Perfume by distilling and extracting fragrance from wildflowers, plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings that we harvest on the trail.
We got to play a role in this amazing process, from start to finish. Rolling around in the wet earth, smelling the fir trees, meandering around with our guide books; we discovered how many amazing ingredients we're surrounded by. It got us thinking about how we could borrow these techniques and create some new blends for Tea People.
Some of the things that we foraged besides Redwood included: Douglas Fir, Yerba Buena, Lemon Verbena, and tables worth of wild mushrooms. That night, we started adding some of what we harvested to what we were already steeping. Our Chamomile Mint was elevated with the smooth citrus notes of the Lemon Verbena and got an extra minty rush with the flowers of wild Yerba Buena. Everyone filled their mugs while we started a fire, some even used it as a base for hot toddies. We also started pruning all of the leaves off of branches of Douglas Fir and added them to the nutty pan roasted leaves of our Hojicha. The fusion of the two created the perfect outdoor hot steep that tasted particularly festive for this time of year too.
Next time you're out in the wild, steep some of your favorite Tea People loose leaf with herbs that you forage. Let us know what kind of new blends you can create with the nature around you and keep an eye out for future tea collaborations!