Brew using boiling water and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes
Known by many names, including “Mountain Tea”, “Olympus Tea”, “Shepherd's Tea”, and even “Ironwort”, this beverage flourishes throughout Greece, and is notably popular in many Mediterranean and Balkan countries.
It boasts unique, refreshing, and herbaceous flavours, with slight citrus undertones. It is also completely caffeine-free! Mountain Tea Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea (whole) is also known for its incredible health benefits, which have been established for thousands of years.
Now, with modern science supporting these age-old claims, this beverage has been proven to improve digestive system, lower blood pressure, and may even potentially combat the early signs of Alzheimer's disease!
There are an estimated 150 different species of the Sideritis plant, including ‘Sideritis raeseri’, ‘Sideritis euboea’, ‘Sideritis montana’, and ‘Sideritis syriaca’. In Greece alone, there are at least 17 of these different species. This particular variant is known as ‘Sideritis Scardica’, and is arguably the most widely researched within modern science.
It is most famously found growing on the almighty Mount Olympus, where its name originates from. However, it can also be found in Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey, as well as a number of other central and eastern European countries. In Bulgaria, in particular, Sideritis Scardica is protected by law, with restrictions put in place to ensure only a few producers are permitted to harvest it, and fewer still to cultivate it.
History of Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea (whole)
During the Cold War, when Bulgaria was under the Soviet Union’s Communist rule, almost all knowledge of this herb was blocked, with only members of the Communist party permitted to consume it! Today, many individuals in Bulgaria also consider the Sideritis Scardica plant to be much akin to viagra (need we say more?)
Despite not deriving from the ‘Camellia Sinensis’ plant - essentially meaning it isn’t technically a ‘tea’, at all - this ancient brew has been enjoyed for over thousands of years. In Greek, “Sideritis” can be literally translated as “he who is made of or has iron”. This is likely in reference to its usage in Ancient Greece, where Sideritis Scardica was originally used to heal wounds caused by iron weapons during battle.
It was also highly regarded by the world-renowned physician, Hippocrates (460 – c. 370 BCE), who praised Sideritis Scardica’s ability to heal the body when brewed in hot water. (In other words, when consuming this tea, you are, in fact, enjoying a beverage marveled by ‘the father of modern medicine’ - what more could you possibly want?)
Type of Tea: Herbal Tea.
Ingredients: The Sideritis Scardica plant.
Brewing Instructions: The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company recommend using 1 teaspoon of the leaf. However, if you prefer a stronger cup, consider adding 1½ teaspoons. Brew using freshly boiled water, and infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.
How to Serve: For those who are not well-acquainted to our Mountain Tea Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea (whole cut), we always recommend serving as it is to fully experience this delightful brew. If however, you have an especially refined sweet tooth, you may consider the addition of honey. Alternatively, lemon can add an interesting bitter-sweet balance to the beverage.
Tasting Notes: A delicate citrus aroma wafts from the cup as you take your first sip of earthy, yet slightly sweet ‘Shepherd's Tea’. With its notably refreshing taste, coupled with subtle floral undertones, Mountain Tea Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea (whole cut) has a perfect balance of many different and altogether harmonious flavours.
Colour in Cup: Golden-yellow liquor, light in tone.
Benefits of Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea
Through centuries of consumption, Sideritis Scardica, as well as many other Sideritis varieties, has been noted for its ability to combat a number of everyday ailments.
In particular, one study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture indicated that ‘Mountain Tea’ is “as potent as Green Tea at inducing cellular antioxidant defenses and preventing oxidative stress”.
Further to this, some references in older literature suggest that regular consumption of this beverage can have beneficial effects on libido. While further research is required before any official confirmation can be made, the high content of minerals such as potassium and zinc are thought to improve sexual health!
If this wasn’t enough, Mountain Tea Sideritis Scardica Olympus Tea is also thought to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant qualities with frequent consumption.
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