Labrador tea, is not a true “tea” of the Camellia family, instead is a northern wetland plant part of the Heather family of plants, identified as either Rhododendron tomentosum or Rhododendron groenlandicum in Northern Canada, and also goes by colloquial names of Muskeg tea or wesukipukosu, meaning “bitter herbs”. The plant can grow in inhospitable locations, such as bogs, muskegs, and tundra as well as rocky alpines. When harvesting, care is taken to pick the new leaves in the spring, to allow the slow growing plant to bear new leaves every season. This selection of Labrador tea is hand picked in the Northern Saskatchewan wilderness by the locals employed by Boreal Heartland. Labrador tea is a traditional infusion of the First Nations of Canada, used as an early treatment of coughs or colds, or just enjoyed as a drink around campfires.
The aroma of dried Labrador tea is one close to dry cedar and fresh pine with notes of spice and mild Eucalyptus. The infusion colour is clear with a golden honey hue and small sediment from the underside leaf fuzz. The herb steeps with an abundance of flavour and aroma, the infusion has a thick mouth-feel like light honey with a sweet green pine needle flavour that finished with notes of white tea.
ingredients: labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
Labrador tea is known to contain ledol, which in high concentrations are considered to be toxic, causing dizziness and nausea. Much like beverages containing caffeine or other mildly toxic chemicals, frequent or abundant consumption of Labrador tea, or extended boiling times should be avoided to minimize the chance of overconsumption of ledol.