Ecuador: Sifted Tea's single-source origin story with
purpose and a heart!
I was born at home in the Andes mountains of Canar, Ecuador at 14,000ft in 1988. First off, mad props to my mama - that lady is brave!!
Second, you should know that I don't fit a mold - I'm not what you'd expect when you meet an Ecuadorian, I'm also well aware that my appearances put me into a not-so-unique category - I hate to say I look "all american" so let's put it a different way.
I was a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Norwegian-American living in Ecuador.
So, I guess based on my birth certificate this is the order in which I present to you;
I'm a full-blooded Norwegian (3rd generation)
I'm also an American
I definitely consider myself blessed to have a multi-cultural upbringing & experiences of living abroad and learning things that other kids my age weren't. Our house is still full of Norwegian table songs, Spanish & Norwegian phrases, and the blending of all these lovely cultural norms when my family and I came back to the States in the late 90's.
Now. Sifted Tea. What in the world?! How did that come about?
Was it my first-hand experience, pointing at the cacao trees on the side of the road saying "I'll make chocolate with those someday"? I wish!! I wish I was that brilliant at such a young age, seeing potential to import products and support the local economy of Ecuador. Better late than never, I guess, right? Now in my 30's, my husband and I stumbled upon the idea for Sifted Tea and it just so happened that the best, highest quality source we could find for the tea was... drum roll please.... ECUADOR, of course.
It has been a few years since I've been back to Ecuador, but in memories and photos you can find our family driving from high elevations in the Andes Mountains down to Guayaquil and Playas, the beach towns and vacation destination for our family. On the way down the winding roads (on which you'll get sick for sure), you drive through the Cloud Forest of Ecuador.
My main memory on that drive was the rotten stink of banana farms - bananas that ripened too fast to be harvested, just reeking of strong sugars. But I also remember seeing these weird pods growing on trees and wondering what they were. Cacao, I know now!
What a fun story to come full circle and be part of my adult life - I get to bring YOU a piece of Ecuador, a part of my story, a part of my journey (even if it smells like banana farms & chocolate).
Where does it go from there?
The farm that we partner with is Camino Verde, a small Cloud Forest farm that grows Ecuador-based national cacao beans instead of imported varieties. One of the small-batch chocolate makers who uses Camino Verde, quoted below;
"I was searching for a cocoa farmer who was using integrated science to yield more accurate fermentations. Vicente's fermentation style mimics that of wine makers--fermentations based on microbiology, not day lengths. Using both enzymes and inoculants, in a microbial cocktail, Vicente is able to control the fermentation process and push specific flavor precursors forward in the beans. This results in cocoa beans that are highly consistent from lot to lot in flavor."
Gino of Meridian Cacao in Portland, OR
At Camino Verde they produce cacao that is sun-dried on raised drying tables. The tasting notes are Fudgy, Almond, Floral -- trust us, it translates to the Cacao Tea Infusion!! Sifted Tea promises consistent flavor.
The beans contain a Butter Fat Content of 49-52%cacao butter rating. What does this mean? It means the soft, flaky husks of Sifted Tea have a super high fat content - packing your tea full of antioxidants and magnesium!!
Lucky for us we have a bean-to-bar business partner who we love dearly - check out Wild Kauai Chocolate next time you're in Hawaii! Debbie Williamson is Wonder Woman wearing a chocolate covered apron. She makes all the chocolate in her woman-owned-and-operated storefront on the beautiful island of Kauai. She encouraged us, supported us, and essentially launched us into this crazy world of Sifted Cacao Tea! With her support we've been able to source only the BEST quality beans and husks from Cloud Forest cacao projects in Ecuador. Her roasting is impeccable, her technique is beautiful (and I'll admit very difficult to master!), and she will never let your product be less than perfect. She's so committed to it that our husks for Sifted are carefully separated with some equipment she had to make herself - in an effort to remain true to organic, sustainable, allergen-free. That's commitment, and it's why we are able to provide you with the quality and selective sourcing that we do!
How's that for an introduction to our Origin Story??
Now, drink up! Indulge, Awake, Uplift.
Enjoy 20% Off, on me, for caring enough to read our story. Enter Code ORIGIN20 at checkout.