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Inuit Tea (Helicopter Optional)

- Epicurious.com

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Inuit Tea (Helicopter Optional)
Dateline: Northern Canada

If you think green, white, and red teas are so five-minutes-ago, perhaps you're ready to move on to the Crowberry, Cloudberry, or Labrador from Northern Delights. The tea is made by the Nunavik Inuit in northern Canada, just a hop, skip, and a 26-hour drive, plus a helicopter ride, north of Montreal. Locals take part in everything from collecting the herbs to selling the tea, and all profits go to protecting and promoting the language and culture of the Nunavik.

There are five blends: chamomile-like Ground Juniper made from juniper berries, burdock root, and balm leaves; sweet-smelling, lightly minty Arctic Blend; gorgeous, crimson-colored Crowberry, which looks and tastes similar to cranberry and grows on a low-lying shrub; maple-scented Cloudberry  another shrub berry  blended with sarsaparilla root, mate leaves, chicory root, and dandelion root; and Labrador, a strong, earthy blend containing bearberry and coltsfoot leaves, which, frankly, has a smell and taste reminiscent of ganja.

Angela and Jeremy Kirkpatrick, owners of Grand Trunk Imports (www.grandtrunkimports.com) in downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts, are the tea's sole U.S. importers. The Kirkpatricks found the tea on a trip to Montreal and were enchanted. So are others: Ms. Kirkpatrick says the teas are selling well. One taste of the fruity Crowberry or the soothing Ground Juniper and it's easy to see why.

To order the teas, call or e-mail Grand Trunk (978-499-4441; jeremy@grandtrunkimports.com).

Betsy Block

updated: 11 years ago

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