Where and when did the name Ivan-tea come from? I think everything is very simple. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, our merchants from Russia, and even just enterprising trade people, exported prepared Russian tea (Ivan-tea) to many European countries, and even to England, well-known to us all. Russian tea was even delivered to the court of the English queen. And there are historical documents on this topic.
The export of tea from Russia then occupied an honorable place, and along with furs and hemp, adding a good income to the state treasury. Well, since they often heard the Russian name Ivan abroad, they soon began to call tea - tea from Ivan or Ivan-tea. But this is the simplest version, which I personally like more, because it is more suitable for explaining the origin of the name of the tea.
If we talk about collecting a leaf of fireweed or Ivan tea, then the best time is when it is already blooming. But there is one peculiarity when they assemble an elite one, so to speak. A variety of tea. This is before flowering - the May harvest. The collection period for this tea is very short - only two to three weeks (late May and early June), therefore this tea is considered the most expensive. Well, since there is so little of it, tea growers collect it only for themselves and their closest relatives or friends.
The fireweed leaf differs strongly at this time, it is soft and light, like a rag. Then the Ivan-tea leaf becomes harder. It is best to collect the tea leaves of fireweed on a sunny day and in the morning, after the dew has melted. You need to take as much as you can process it. Otherwise, the sheet will simply disappear - it will either dry out or turn sour (it will burn while it lies somewhere). Further, having brought the leaf home, it must be laid out for drying in order to expel juices and greens from it. And further. Fermentation is the same as the process that occurs in sauerkraut. I am writing this to make it easier to understand. All factories in the world, which are now located more in Southeast Asia, work according to this production process. He personally visited two tea factories and saw the whole process of making tea.
Today in our stores you can find not even dozens, but hundreds of varieties of different teas. But the question arises, does at least one of them meet the criteria for us to accept for ourselves that this drink is very good for us both in taste and for health? My own analysis of the raw materials that are being transported from abroad did not satisfy me personally. I will not describe a lot of all the horrors on this topic, but I will say one thing that after I saw everything with my own eyes, I immediately began to engage in small production of homemade tea from fireweed or Ivan tea. I wanted to make a tea myself, which would be pleasant to drink myself, and to treat friends as well. Since this all started. Here is a homemade tea production.
As in many other plants, the beneficial properties of willow tea are due to the composition of the herb. Today this plant is called the record holder for the level of vitamin C content in it - imagine that there is even 6 times more ascorbic acid in it than in one lemon. It also contains a fairly large amount of useful protein, which can be quite easily assimilated by our body. Ivan tea contains a lot of useful vitamins and elements, including manganese and copper, iron and calcium, potassium and sodium. The most curious thing is that this tea contains neither caffeine nor oxalic acid, which means that it has practically no contraindications. Unless an individual intolerance can prevent you from enjoying the taste of tea. Cooked Ivan tea can be brewed, like any tea - 200 grams of boiling water needs 2 teaspoons of a mixture of dry Ivan tea.
If you brew Ivan-tea infusion, then it will retain its taste, color and wonderful aroma for at least two days. Many housewives use the same raw materials several times. You can also bake Ivan-tea roots, eat them raw and make bread with their addition. Ivan-tea contains tannins, as well as metals - lithium, molybdenum and nickel, titanium and iron. It is very surprising, but drinking Ivan-tea at night will help you fall asleep, but drinking Ivan-tea in the morning will set you up for an active day. For this property, Ivan tea has always been highly appreciated. Previously, it was given to patients with severe headaches.
The secret of making Ivan-tea is fermentation, as a result of which some of the insoluble (non-extractable) substances of plant tissue are converted into soluble and easily digestible ones. These are the substances that give the taste, smell and color to tea. The process of making fermented Ivan tea consists of several stages. And these zhtapy are such - picking leaves, withering, rolling the leaf, fermentation, drying (I dry the finished rolled leaf in an electric oven) and a very important part for ready-made homemade tea is storage. The tea should mature for a while, about two to three months. And only then you can drink tea. In total, the shelf life of Ivan-tea is from 2 to 3 years, during this period the tea does not lose its useful properties.
In the photo - this is my small, so to speak, tea factory for the production of tea at home. What is a meat grinder for? I will answer. The Ivan-tea leaf is needed before being put into fermentation - it needs to be “broken”, that is, to break the structure of the leaf so that it begins to actively ferment. Fermentation is an important part of tea, where it can produce green, medium or black tea. It all depends on how much you want to keep the prepared raw materials on time. Most often it is from 24 hours to 48 hours. But someone wants to extend the fermentation period even more, so that the tea is extremely black and has a dense color. And then (above in the text) I have already said everything. My post turned out to be a great one, because I wanted to tell a lot about this amazing plant - Ivan tea, Russian tea, Koporsky tea (Cyprus) and the beneficial properties of my homemade tea.
Collection and production of your homemade tea. Or the topic of how I collect Ivan tea leaves in nature in the forest. Here you need to understand that this is a rather complicated process, starting with the fact that you have to go to the forest. Then know where exactly to collect the best leaf of Ivan-tea (narrow-leaved fireweed). This tea is also called Koporsky or Russian, where it was collected and made in large quantities several centuries ago. The finished tea was sold and changed in many European countries. Even the Queen of England bought a lot of tea until the East Indian Tea Campaign appeared. At the end of the 19th century, the popularity of Ivan-tea became so great that it began to undermine the financial power of this company. The British could not survive this calmly and fanned a scandal, accusing the Russian merchants of allegedly mixing other Indian or Chinese tea into the tea. Gradually, this undermined the reputation of Russian merchants and sales of Ivan tea were greatly reduced. After the revolution (armed coup) in 1917, the purchase of tea in Russia stopped altogether. Most of the producers went bankrupt, and the production of the traditional Russian, Koporsk Ivan-tea (Fireweed) was curtailed. Chinese and Indian teas have completely captured the Russian, European and world markets. Ivan tea, as a drink, has become a national Russian feature for Europeans and nothing more. But today the production of Ivan-tea is reviving again, which is bought even by the Chinese. And all because of what? The Chinese already know that this Russian tea does not contain caffeine, and it contains 9 times more vitamin C than lemon. Such a story, my friends...
What is this herb Ivan-tea (or fireweed), as many say - a medicinal herb that gives heroic strength to everyone who drinks a healing drink. Ivan tea grows more in open fields, forest edges, wastelands and fires, grass height from 0.5 to 1.5 m and even up to 2 meters sometimes grows. The stems of Ivan-tea are straight and rounded, strewn with narrow leaves from top and bottom. Above, the inflorescence is from red to lilac. You can see Ivan-tea from afar, in summer it resembles a lilac-red ocean, which covers so much space that it seems that these are real waves rushing not across the field in the wind, but in the open sea. Well, and who else remembers such a lesson as Botany (was at school in the USSR), then Ivan-tea still has many names, in addition to those that I have already listed - Plakun, Skrypnik, Downy, Willow-grass, Bogoroditsina-grass, Hoop-grass, Fire-grass. And, interestingly, all these names are perfect for Ivan-tea, our Russian tea. I harvest a lot of Ivan-tea every summer season so that there will be enough tea until the next season, that is, next year. I have my own wisdom, and measurements in this matter. As an example, one portion of Ivan-tea leaf collected, and this is a special shoulder bag, is equal to 700-750 grams in the finished form of homemade tea, this is a full, tightly driven 3-liter jar. We all drink this tea in our family, we also distribute it to all relatives, friends and acquaintances.
And one more very interesting fact about Koporye. Before the Second World War, a research center was opened there, where the healing and miraculous properties of Ivan tea or narrow-leaved fireweed were studied at the highest scientific level. L.P. himself Beria controlled this production and it was under him that Ivan tea was supplied to the Red Army soldiers and, what is especially interesting, tea was supplied to all hospitals to improve the health of patients. When the Second World War came, the soldiers of the Wehrmacht immediately received an order to destroy all laboratories, production facilities and even plow all the fields near Koporye with tanks. Hitler himself believed that Ivan tea gave heroic strength to Russian soldiers. That's all - I finish my post, but I will still write about Ivan-tea, since I have been collecting its leaf every year for more than ten years.
-camera Sony 16.2.
(Translated via Google translator from Russian)
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Photo taken - Sony 16.2 - 3x Zoom, Vario-Tessar lens.