Tea fads come and go, and one possible fad we’ve noticed lately is the popularity of hibiscus tea, or tea made with an infusion of part of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa flower. What’s behind the sudden surge in interest?
A quick Google search uncovered several articles online about hibiscus tea and its supposed healing properties, boasting everything from helping lower blood pressure to providing a good source of Vitamin C. And while you can find many different kinds of tasty varieties out there, one of them is our very own Alpine Berry herbal tea.
Since we’re interested in making the most nuanced, rich cuppa’ whole leaf tea you can get in a sachet, we haven’t invested in studies telling us whether a cup of Alpine Berry has medicinal properties because it includes hibiscus. But we can tell you that it tastes darn good! The tart cranberry flavor of the hibiscus is evened out with blackberry leaves and orange peel, for a tangy yet fruity flavor profile that’s just right for lovers of herbal tea.
Drinks made with hibiscus are popular all over the world. In most taquerias in Mexico you can get an “agua de flor de jamaica,” (jamaica is Spanish for hibiscus,) and we’re sure you’ve heard of (or drank) Red Zinger herbal tea from Celestial Seasonings. There’s hibiscus in there.
Our CEO and founder, Richard Rosenfeld, isn’t much of an herbal tea drinker, but Alpine Berry was the very first herbal tea he decided to make. “I felt we needed an herbal tea in our range of tea, and I wanted to do something different than what was out there,” Richard says. “In working with an herbal blender, we developed a flavor profile that’s super fruity and robust. I thought it was a great flavor.”
When you steep it, Alpine Berry develops a beautiful jewel-toned shade of red. On a dreary winter day, it’s the sort of color and flavor that warms you from the inside out, and in the summer it’s a refreshing pop of color and tartness that's perfect for pouring over ice.
But since it’s winter right now (at least, it is where we live in the mountains of Colorado), it’s a good time to point out that Alpine Berry is the favorite tea of the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol. Richard really enjoys hiking up Highlands with his skis, and always slogs up with a few boxes of Alpine Berry in his pack for the hard working men and women of the ski patrol. “They want to stay hydrated,” he says. This makes perfect sense to me.
Something else that makes sense – we’ve aligned sales of our Alpine Berry with a nonprofit that’s very near and dear to Richard’s heart: the National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS. This summer we announced that we’re giving 1 percent of annual sales of Alpine Berry to a scholarship fund at NOLS, an organization that was founded in 1965 by a mountaineer. NOLS takes students from age 14 and up into the wilderness to learn outdoor skills and leadership. Richard was a NOLS instructor for five years, and considers it one of the most rewarding times in his life.
So, when you enjoy a cuppa’ Alpine Berry, whether or not you’re drawn to it by the promise of that rich and fruit-forward hibiscus taste, you’ll enjoy something that never goes out of style — appreciation and respect for the great outdoors.