Ivan Chai grows wild in the Altai region of southern Siberia. Our producer hand collects the leaves in the summer months of July and August, while the flowers are still in bloom. Only one third of the leaves of a single plant are collected so that the plant survives for the following year. The Ivan Chai leaves are left to wilt in the shade for 4 to 6 hours. Afterwards there is the time consuming process of hand rolling to release the juices of the leaves. Attention is given to each leave so that they are kept as whole as possible. The wet leave mass is then rolled compactly in a container to starve it of oxygen, and left in the sun for a short time to kick start the fermentation process. The leave mass is then allowed to ferment in the cool drying house for 2-3 days, being checked periodically by the chief technologist. The fermentation time, as well as the material of the container used, dictates the flavour profile obtained. Once the fermentation process has been deemed complete, the leaves are allowed to naturally air dry on drying racks for about 2 days. Finished Ivan Chai can undergo a final baking step to create a whole new flavour profile. Discover Ivan Chai – a forgotten herbal infusion.