I love Summer.
I love the heat, the buzz of cicadas, the smell of lemon-sented Eucalpyts. I love going to the beach, and the sound of the ceiling fan overhead as I lay on my bed with a magazine. I love that cool of the early morning when you know a really hot day is coming. I love eating salad for dinner every night, and eating strawberries, raspberries and mangoes on my yoghurt for breakfast every morning.
I didn’t think it could get any better, but then I discovered something to take my love of Summer to a whole new level; flask after chilled, refreshing flask of iced Gulbarn tea.
“Gulbarn” is the common name of Melaleuca Citrolens, an Australian Indigenous shrub traditionally used by the Minyerra community, on Alawa country in the Northern Territory, for its medicinal properties. High in antioxidants, Gulbarn is used by community as a tea to treat coughs and colds, and as a bath to improve the immune system of infants and heal those who are ill.
Found growing wild in savanna-like ecosystems across the Northern Territory, Gulbarn leaves are hand-picked by Minyerri families, providing not only a sustainable source of revenue and employment for multiple generations, but also a means of passing on traditional land-management practices which encourage bio-diversity and the conservation of Indigenous flora and fauna within existing ecosystems.
And as if that wasn’t reason enough to drink this addictive brew, Gulbarn tastes absolutely amazing! The best way I can think to describe the flavour profile is somewhere between a green tea and a white tea; a taste that is all at once savoury, subtle, and distinctly its own.
If I am getting up in the cool of the morning, I tend to brew Gulbarn hot in my tea flask with slices of fresh ginger. For those languid Summer afternoons and evenings, I tend to take it chilled; either to sip from a tall glass with ice cubes and slices of oranges to quench thirst, or pour into a wine glass with a little bit of sparkly water or some sliced strawberries, for a fun, non-alcoholic alternative to accompany dinner.
Gulbarn is available online direct from the Minyerra community (https://gulbarn.com.au/) or at your local Oxfam store.
A 10g sachet is $12.00, and this provides ample tea leaves for the average tea drinker. As a general guide, I tend to use between 5-10 leaves per cup of tea, and 15-20 leaves in a tea flask or jug, depending on the size of the vessel and desired strength. I encourage you to give it a try.
Drink well. Drink often. Do good.
And enjoy Summer.