Tea Giving: Day 5 (Black Currant)

pearl_BlackCurrant

Outlaw berry saves entire country.

Did you know that in the early 1900’s black currants were banned in the U.S? Evidently the shrub created white pine blister rust which is a fungus that moves quickly going back and forth between black currant and white pine. This fungus or rust could in some cases kill the entire pine tree. The U.S. considered this fruit a threat to the logging industry so it was banned. Once they realized that blister rust could come from other plants (like gooseberries) they eventually lifted the Federal ban on black currants in some states in the 1960s but its still very rare to find them growing here. Currently they are allowed to grow in New York, Connecticut, Oregon, and Vermont. Yet, the majority of Americans can only enjoy processed or dried berries.

Can you imagine if the ban stuck and were’t able to enjoy black currant tea?  What a dark, dark world that would be.

Lucky for us, black currants abound and when dried, they are the most glorious fruit to blend with black tea. It’s a classic offering at afternoon teas across the U.K. and even here in the U.S. This blend holds a special place in my tea infused heart as it was the first caffeinated flavored tea I ever tried as a teenager. Its often one I will often choose on a gloomy day in DC. It’s also makes one of the finest iced teas. We sell a lot of this at our local markets and whenever black currant is on the menu… we know its going to be a busy day.

Black currant has some nice wellness benefits, like being high in vitamin E and C. In fact, it beats all other citrus fruits combined for levels of vitamin C. If it wasn’t for this little berry, more lives might have been lost during WWII because currants were the only food source for Vitamin C due to limited transport of fruits to the island. Could this be in part why so many British people love black currant tea?

If you haven’t tasted this classic: Black Currant – here’s your chance to try this previously outlawed fruit and boost your vitamin C levels with 25% OFF today. Just use CODE: TEAGIVING5 at checkout.

Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Tea Giving: Day 5 (Black Currant)