My favourite selection of Sri Lankan Ceylon and Indian Assam teas, personally selected based on the favourite seasonal flavours from the high-grown mountains and the lower grown estates give a malty body. I’ve added the traditional spices of India comprising of cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, ginger and cloves that are one with any classic Chai and a touch of deep-rooted safflower petals. Hand-picked Australian Mountain pepper leaf gives this blend a personal touch.
I first discovered this Australian native growing on my property in Gippsland, Victoria. A neighbour literally said, “See that plant over there, it is an Australian native mountain pepper and it grows wild under the Blackwood trees all over the place here.” Mountain pepper gives berries each year during March and April which is great to dry up and add to your pepper grinder. For my blend of Chai, I picked the distinctive but gentler leaf, adding a subtle herbal flavour.
Mountain pepper plants feature in indigenous traditional uses, both in cooking and medicinally. When it comes to growing native foods, the most knowledgeable people I know are Gil and Meredith at Grow Lightly, in Korumburra. They are so passionate, have a food forest with dozens of species and are now creating fruit and veggie boxes of local produce, with a view to setting up a space at Coal Creek.