Buckwheat Tea at Arogya

The story of Dark Buckwheat Tea is one of intrigue and romance, as it originates from the unpolluted high mountains of southwestern China, home to the fascinating Yi people, whose hearty livelihood is steeped in simplicity and pristine health. The Yi ‘s long relationship with the many varietals of Buckwheat has spanned for thousands of years, as they have incorporated the buckwheat plant into their daily life of farming, eating, trading…and drinking it’s impressively savory brew, which recently has been proven to be a nutritional powerhouse.

The Buckwheat plant (which is completely gluten-free and bears no relation to what the rest of the world knows as wheat) contains various vitamin, antioxidant, and phytochemical properties that have been shown to improve circulation, detoxify the body, stabilize blood sugar, burn fat, strengthen capillary walls, and counteract inflammation. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the cardiovascular systems of the Yi people responded favorably to their regular buckwheat consumption, as it proved to play a role in the prevention and treatment of both hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The Yi people from the mountains of Daliangshan are renowned for their robust strength and impeccable health, which they attribute to the power of buckwheat tea.

Wei interviewing buckwheat farmers in China in April, 2013

Wei interviewing buckwheat farmers in China in April, 2013

In fact, when a group of doctors ventured out to the Daliangshan mountain region in 1984, they found that diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol were virtually nonexistent in the indigenous Yi culture. Shortly thereafter, research was conducted by a team of scientists, doctors, and Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists, who discovered that many of these health attributes were connected to the Hei Ku Qiao Mai which they consumed on a regular basis. This “High Mountain Black Bitter Buckwheat Tea” was unveiled as a new “superfood”. While there are many species of buckwheat grown throughout the world, the nutritional profile of this specific varietal has proven to be the most potent, while the unique processing of the hull lends it to being very easily absorbed and assimilated by the human body.

This buckwheat is quite different from the standard “buckwheat” one would ordinarily find at most health food stores, which is usually cooked as a “grain” or made into soba noodles. Black Bitter Buckwheat grows at an altitude of over 8000ft, in mineral-rich soils and clean air, amidst a pure ecosystem removed from the onslaught of today’s environmental toxins. The drastic temperature fluctuations of the days and nights allow the nutrients to concentrate at high levels within its seeds. The growing and harvesting of this buckwheat uses no toxic pesticides or herbicides, but maintains its integrity through the art of traditional farming methods, all in harmony with the land and the elements.

Once the buckwheat is selected, it is separated from the husk before the hull is shaved and milled into little “pellets”. It is this hull which contains the highest nutrient profile, exhibiting both an alkaline quality and a caffeine-free embryo ready to burst into an exquisite brew. While some may associate good medicine with a bitter and unappetizing taste, the palette of this bitter buckwheat is actually profoundly unique and indescribably delicious. In fact, the bitter qualities of the plant are wonderfully balanced by a subtle sweetness that combines to produce a flavor that some describe as “croissant-like”, “bread-ish”, “snacky”, and “deeply smooth, but light”…

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Our dark buckwheat tea.

It’s very easy to brew our Arogya Dark Buckwheat tea. Just pour boiling hot water over a teaspoon of the buckwheat pellets in a 10 oz cup and steep for 3 minutes. The weight of the buckwheat will keep it down in the bottom of the cup while it is being consumed, so there is no need to even use any strainer. Once it has cooled down, it can be enjoyed and re-brewed for several consecutive brews. This is the quintessential easy-to-brew concoction that is perfect for the office, car, movie theatre, or camping trip, as there is no mess. It is the perfect antidote to the stresses of the modern life, as it provides a hearty caffeine-free tonic elixir that tastes like a meal in itself, and affords an opportunity to imbibe the essence of the DaLiangShan Mountains, a place of untrammeled beauty shining forth in all its splendor…to be enjoyed in the simplicity of the here and now, wherever one finds Oneself to Be.