Rosebay willowherb (FireWeed) or Ivan Chai. Ivan Chai is a delicious & caffeine free tea that is made from fermented rosebay willowherb.
This year for the first time I made this tea by myself. The first package of Ivan Chai I got from the family friends 2 years ago. Since that, I don’t have green tea or black tea at home.
If you are interested in making The Ivan Chai from Rosebay WillowHerb leaves recipe below. There are dozens of recipes to prepare Ivan Chai. This is how I did.
Ivan is a traditional Russian name, while “Chai” means tea, a word of Indian origin. There was a time when Ivan Chai was the second-most exported Russian item.
1. Gathering the plants: The plant should be harvested approximately 30 – 50 cm from the ground, where the leaves are regular, before blooming.
2. Removing the leaves/start fermentation: Pick the leaves off by hand. Rub each leave in between palms to release the juice for fermentation. Press all rubbed leaves tightly in the glass jar. Cover with wet cloth.
3. Drying: After leaves have changed the color (4 hours – 2 days). Remove cloth and leaves should now be spread on a sheet and dried at a temperature no higher than 60 degrees Celsius for few hours or more. The finished tea should be really dry, but not so dry as to crumble into powder.