Guest contribution by by Allegra Tedesco
Inspiration for Fundraising With Tea
There are over 419 national parks across the US and this number grows every year. The massive protection project covers over 84 million acres and is kept by the National Park Service, multiple non-profits, volunteers, etc. One could say we all have an influence on our nation’s National Parks.
My journey with the National Parks began in September 2017 during a spontaneous trip to Colorado. With a pair of hiking boots I bought two days prior, I decided to take on the Rockies. Beyond this, I travelled to the Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, Glacier, and many other National Parks not (yet) featured in this tea line.
Over the years I found a lot of comparisons between the National Parks and tea; for instance, stress is often relieved while enjoying a warm cup of tea, just as it virtually disappears at the peak of a mountain. In 2019, I presented this idea to the owners of Simpson & Vail and brought two of my passions together, nature and tea.
Transforming the Terroir of Each Part to a Unique Tea Blend
Our National Park Tea Collection blends were formulated after conducting extensive research on the different flora found in each park and their respective environment and general appearance; which helped make the decision as to what flavors, herbs, teas, and fruits we would put into each blend.
In addition to specific ingredients, I had the goal of creating a blend that would mentally transport the consumer to the park (this goal is even more difficult than it sounds). I will dive into details on our two new additions to the collection.
Glacier Tea (T1106): Find wilderness and solitude in this delectable tea blend with the aroma of fruity huckleberries. The brewed cup has a full, slightly tart huckleberry taste with a smooth woodsy finish.
Glacier Tea & Joshua Tree Tea
The two new parks began the same as the others, with research on the flora and overall environment of the location. Anyone who visits a national park in person knows the feeling of “awe,” and this feeling is what we try to capture. I always pinpoint one crucial aspect before moving forward. For Glacier it was huckleberries. For Joshua Tree, of course, it was the unique Joshua trees that thrive throughout the park.
Joshua Tree Tea (T1107): This blend, inspired by the unique Joshua trees, incorporates yucca root and agave on an herbal base. When brewed, the park’s famous sunsets are mirrored in the orange cup with streaks of pink. The taste is a delightful combination of sweet agave and tart hibiscus.
The latter was easy. I added agave flavoring to a green rooibos base and included hibiscus and yucca root. This blend was simple, yet captivating – a perfect representation of Joshua Tree National Park.
When formulating Glacier, I knew huckleberries—the unofficial state fruit of Montana—had to be included. To make this blend unique, I wanted to add a “woodsy” aspect – for the vast forests throughout Glacier National Park. This was accomplished by a dash of birch bark. When combined with the huckleberry, it smoothed out the tart berry taste and added a smooth woodsy finish.
Our goal is to raise awareness for the National Parks and help people re-experience or newly experience the joy the parks provide. We also want to make sure we are doing our part in protecting the national parks and funding crucial park projects by donating 10% of sales to the featured parks’ non-profit.
For more information on donations please visit this link and click on each park to see where the proceeds will go.
Give the Gift of Adventure with Simpson & Vail’s National Park Tea Collection!
Guest Contributor, Allegra Tedesco
Allegra Tedesco is an employee of Simpson and Vail, the second oldest tea company in the U.S. It was her vision and inspiration to create the line of teas inspired by each of the national parks. In doing so she and Simpson and Vail hope to increase awareness for the national parks and share their belief that they are vitally important.
In addition to raising awareness, funds from this line of teas are contributed to each of the parks to assist with soecial projects.