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The Origins of Our Organic Herbal Tea Blends

 

Co-owner Julie Bailey pours production manager Julie DeBord a cup of peace tea blend from Mountain Rose Herbs.

While leading women’s backpacking trips into northern California’s wilderness areas in the late 1980s, Mountain Rose Herbs’ co-owner Julie wanted to create a tea blend that would help hikers relax at the end of an active day. That’s how “Sleeping on Rocks” (now dubbed Fidnemed Nighttime Tea) was born.

“A lot of our tea blends were inspired by my personal experience,” Julie said. “Originally, I just wanted to support friends and community.”

Many of the teas still offered in our shop are Julie’s brainchild. Some, like our Peace Tea, even predate her arrival. This original blend was inherited from the recipe vaults of Rosemary Gladstar, a renowned herbalist who founded the company that later became Mountain Rose Herbs.

“In those days, there weren’t a lot of brands offering loose-leaf tea,” Julie said. “Especially where you could see and recognize the ingredients. It was fun to make the blends aromatic, visually appealing, and, most of all, tasty.”

Mountain Rose Herbs co-owner Julie Baliey walks through her home garden of herbs in Eugene, Oregon.

Co-owner Julie Bailey found inspiration for many of our tea blends while working and relaxing in nature, and many of those same recipes still grace our shelves today.

Julie formulated our 21st Century Tea around the turn-of-this century, an antidote to modern day stress and inspired by the zaniness of Y2K. Persephone’s Tea was created for her dancer friends whose bodies needed a pick-me-up from their active jobs. And Julie’s 5th Chakra Tea provided throat care for the many singers in her life.

While co-owner Julie no longer oversees our tea blending process, another Julie, our Production Manager, does. You’ll find her signature gracing the top of every Mountain Rose Herbs tea box. She also created the recipes for our line of organic spice blends. Her background in nutrition and herbal therapy has brought both ancient wisdom and personal experience to our formulations over the years.

“Infusions and decoctions are a gentle, easy way to absorb an herb’s nutrients,” Julie said.

Many years ago, while breastfeeding her son, Julie was looking to kick her coffee habit. That’s when she created our Herbal Coffee, which provides energy sans caffeine and features liver-supporting herbs that can augment any wellness regimen. While many who seek a coffee replacement simply brew chicory, Julie wanted to create something a bit more appealing to the palate. The addition of roasted dandelion root brings a welcome nuttiness, and the maca adds micronutrients and creaminess.

Production manager of Mountain Rose Herbs, Julie DeBord, sips a cup of organic herbal tea near the protected wetlands at our facilities in Eugene, Oregon.

Production Manager Julie DeBord, who provides the actual signature behind our "signature" teas, helps ensure quality and consistency in each batch.

While we’ve added new teas to our line or reformulated older blends if an ingredient proves difficult to source consistently, most of the recipes remain unaltered from their inception decades ago. However, the quantities have changed. We now blend four times the amount of each tea we did when Production Manager Julie began. Back then, she’d hand-shake each batch after the botanicals were scooped into a large bag. The hand-shaking process was quite the workout—she’d extend her arms and move her entire body in a circle as if she were hula hooping! Eventually, we invested in a tea blending machine to save Julie from the manual labor that tea-crafting used to involve, which also makes it possible to mix larger quantities to keep pace with our growing demand.

Before any tea is hand-scooped into bags, a sample is sent to our Quality Control Laboratory for a “brew test.” Julie and a few others at Mountain Rose Herbs will brew and taste each batch of tea for quality, flavor, and consistency.

We offer over 85 certified organic teas, 50 of which feature multiple ingredients blended at our Eugene, Oregon headquarters. In the same way that we never offer an inferior botanical in our online shop, we select only the cream of the crop for our handcrafted teas and know our happy customers savor the difference.

Julie said, “Drinking tea creates a ritual. I just love it.”

 

WANT TO TRY YOUR HAND AT Creating Balanced Brews?

Learn to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends!

 

You may also enjoy:

 

Pinterest link to Mountain Rose Herbs. Various herbal tea blends and tea strainers. Rose petals in a love tea blend, roots and dried herbs together in vintage spoons and bowls.

 

 

 


Topics: Inside Mountain Rose Herbs, Tea & Herbal Drinks

Raychel

Written by Raychel on May 16, 2018

Raychel Kolen, blog contributor, originally hails from the Midwest but has been calling Oregon her home for more than a decade. With her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa, Raychel enjoys storytelling in all its forms and especially relishes the opportunities to visit our farm partners in the Pacific Northwest and across the globe, shining a light on the remarkable efforts these hardworking farmers are doing to grow and nourish our beloved botanicals. When she isn’t thinking about marketing strategy or teaching workshops at the Mother Earth News Fair, Raychel can be found adventuring in the outdoors, foraging for wild mushrooms, fermenting fresh veggies in her kitchen, or hanging out with her hubby and sweet rescue dogs.


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