“For me, and many Albanians, this is the king and queen of all teas. I baptized it as the ‘migrant tea’ as it is often hard to find it abroad and most Albanians would often carry it in suitcases wherever they would visit home. It is the only tea that my grandmother taught me to drink, especially when I needed an extra immunity boost when feeling weak or with a cold. Used for centuries as a health remedy, it’s no wonder that its botanical name sideritis means “iron/of iron”. As a humanitarian worker having lived and worked in many countries, this was my ‘medicine’ especially in hardship stations, giving my body the power and strength I needed while my soul was reminded of the sweet mountain smell of my grandmother’s home.”
– Irena Loloci, Founder.
“CAJ MALI” FOUNDATION
Albania faces the highest rate of biodiversity loss in Europe. The List of Protected Species of Flora in Albania, adopted by the Parliament in 1997 and amended in 2007, defines the status of endangered plant species in Albania. Sideritis raeseri is part of the list and considered as endangered species (status EN A1c) due to rapid decrease in 50% in the period of 20 years (UNDP).
We are in the process of creating a foundation or advocacy group in Albania with relevant local stakeholders in order to protect the mountain tea which can be a golden opportunity for the local economy. Our aim is to provide trainings to registered harvesters on harvesting practices and advocate for cultivation in its natural habitat.