National Park Teas - Zion
"One hardly knows just how to think of it. Never before has such a naked mountain of rock entered into our minds! Without a shred of disguise its transcendent form rises preeminent. There is almost nothing to compare to it…this Great Temple, [has the beauty] of eternity" - Frederick S. Dellenbaugh on introducing Zion Canyon to the nation.
Zion was originally inhabited by Paiute Indians who were believed to call the land Mukuntuweap roughly meaning "straight canyon". This was the name that explorer John Wesley Powell used when he visited the canyon in the 1870s. However, in the early 1850s, Mormon pioneers began to settle into the area and named the canyon Zion, a biblical term meaning "a place of refuge." Unfortunately for the settlers and homesteaders, in and around the future national park, survival was a struggle. Detrimental floods, little arable land, and poor soil made agriculture almost impossible and many settlements abandoned the area. Zion was ultimately made desirable to the public by Frederick Dellenbaugh, an artist and adventurer, who painted Zion Canyon and other beautiful sceneries from Utah. Government officials saw the increase in interest and created Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909. The naming strongly insulted the local residents and Mormon settlers of the area as they saw Zion canyon as a part of the Mormon heritage. Horace Albright, the director of the newly created National Park Service, took it into his hands to rename the location to Zion National Monument and it calmed the outrage. A rise in tourism due to newly placed railway stations caused Congress to enlarge and create Zion National Park in 1919. In 1929, the same year Simpson & Vail was incorporated, the park's official nonprofit, Zion National History Association, now Zion National Park Forever Project, was developed in order to support education, research, and to help support the park for future generations.
While there are a variety of plants and herbs growing in Zion, there are not a lot of edible ones which made creating this blend challenging. The base "tea" for this blend was easy as I chose the herb Rooibos (red) to represent the red rock found everywhere in Zion. The pine trees at the park, which almost look out of place squeezing through the rocks to grow, inspired the addition of sage, an herb with a similar taste profile to pine, to the blend. Lavender flowers, an herb that thrives in sunny, hot desert (arid), rocky landscapes, were added for their woody, earthy and floral taste. To complete the blend, I added an elderberry flavor that brought the perfect amount of tart, sweet fruit taste to round out the herbal flavors. This simple yet savory blend brews to a deep red colored cup that has a tantalizing aroma and a creamy fruit and floral taste.
Ingredients: Rooibos, elderberry flavor, sage, lavender, and horsetail.
Brew tea at 212º - steep for 5 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 Zion Tea sales goes to Zion National Park Forever Project, the official non-profit of the park.