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Ivan chai, Ivan tea or fireweed tea - what's the difference?

Ivan Chai is also becoming more and more popular in Germany, we have had thousands of visitors in recent years, and interest is growing steadily. But there is also confusion. Especially about the name. This blog post aims to enlighten.


Willowherb is the actual plant that the whole discussion is about.
As already mentioned in other contributions, the willowherb belongs to the evening primrose family and is divided into further subspecies such as the small-flowered willowherb, the narrow-leaved willowherb or e.g. the shaggy willowherb, but there are others.

Fireweed tea

First of all, it should be clarified which fireweed can actually be used to make tea.

As a tea, two of the subspecies come into question, the small-flowered willowherb and the narrow-leaved willowherb.

The small-flowered willowherb is usually not fermented, but simply infused in a dry form.

Narrow-leaved willowherb can also simply be dried and drunk as a tea infusion, but here's the difference. The leaves of the narrow-leaved willowherb contain a lot of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and during oxidation (when the ferments come into contact with oxygen) the fermentation process of the microorganisms is initiated. Fermentation is what makes Ivan tea so fragrant.

Ivan tea or Ivan chai?

The real "Russian tea", is pronounced "Ivan Chai" internationally. The term "Ivan Tee" is very common in German.


It's the same, both Ivan Tea and Ivan Chai can be used to paraphrase the same wonderful tea drink. It is important that it tastes and feels good to you.


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