National Park Teas - Great Smoky Mountains
"After living near the Smokies for three years, this park and the community hold a special place in my heart. The Smoky Mountains is the most visited park in the US with numbers such as 11.4 million visits in 2018. There is a multitude of reasons for these large numbers. On my last visit to the Smokies I met a woman and her family on vacation. She told me she vacationed in the Smokies every year since the 1970s and hikes a different trail every year! The variety of hiking trails is only one of the reasons people keep coming back. Delicious blackberries grow abundantly here and it's almost impossible to leave the Smokies without blackberry flavored goodies: Blackberry jam, blackberry donuts, and (the best) blackberry moonshine. Naturally when designing a blend for this park we started with a prominent blackberry flavor then added a subtle smoky taste which represents the haze that lays across the mountains.”
This National Park is unique because, unlike out west where the government owned the land, the proposed land for the Smokies was already occupied by European settlers (farmers, loggers, and other businesses). After a trip to several national parks in the west, Anne Davis decided that the Great Smoky Mountains would be a perfect home for a national park. She set out to take part in establishing this park in order to halt the progress of loggers, who were beginning to diminish resources and wildlife from the area. She was elected to the state legislature with this goal in mind and became instrumental in proposing the legislation that provided funds for the purchase of the Little River Lumber Company land that became the kernel for what would grow into the national park. Her efforts were one of many that dated back to the late 1890's in the struggle to establish a western style national park in the east.
In 1929, the same year that Simpson & Vail was incorporated, the National Park Service set out to purchase private land within the proposed park boundaries. While many people sold their holdings others, like the Walker family, were more resistant. John and Margaret Jane Walker lived in a small 3 room, two story cabin with their eleven children. After John Walker died, he left the home to his six unmarried daughters. The sisters refused to leave their home and it wasn't until 1940, that they agreed to sell their family residence with the stipulation of being allowed to live out their lives on the property. As visitors began to flood the Smokies, the Walker sisters still lived their humble, mountain lifestyle. They were welcoming to tourists for a little over 30 years after the park's founding until, in 1966, the last sister passed away. The Walker's homestead still stands and is a visual reminder of the mountain lifestyle that once existed in the Park.
Ingredients: Black teas, lapsang souchong tea, blackberries, blackberry leaf, marigold petals and blackberry flavor
Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
4 Ounces of loose tea makes approximately 50 cups of tea.
Simpson & Vail donates 10% of all tea sales in this line to help preserve our beautiful National Parks. The percentage from The Great Smoky Mountains Tea sales go to Friends of the Smokies, an official non-profit of the park. The primary purpose of Friends of the Smokies is to preserve and protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects.