The tea of Aubrac
The Aubrac tea is a regional tradition.
A soothing and regenerating drink, the Aubrac tea has 100% natural virtues.
Little known outside the plateau of Aubrac, the tea nevertheless helps to keep the tradition of cultivating this large-flowered calament, a hardy perennial plant with oval leaves, which finds the perfect conditions of growth in the wilderness of the region.
Harvested from July to September by producers located in the Aubrac Regional Nature Park, at a minimum altitude of 950 m, the Aubrac tea is above all a small plant which, "growing spontaneously in the undergrowth of the Aubrac beech forests", appreciates the harsh but energising climate of the plateau, the shade and the coolness of the trees.
Touch its leaves and the scent of Aubrac tea is released!
With floral notes composed of mixed scents of lemon balm or mint remaining on the hands that touch it.
Note: "Aubrac tea does not contain any theine".
"A plant with digestive virtues traditionally consumed as an herbal tea, the slight bitterness of Aubrac tea and its characteristic amber colour have given it its name: Thé d'Aubrac.
Harvested by hand, thinned out by hand, the plant is dried in the natural air of the Aubrac and then processed by the producers' association.
Making Aubrac tea known again is an idea that was born during the "A Taste of Aubrac" meetings
organised in Chaudes-Aigues by Camille Le Mao, project manager at the Saint Chély d'Apcher agricultural college in Lozère
and Cécile Ducoulombier, Senior Lecturer in Agronomy at Ensaia and farmer on the Aubrac plateau.
The large-flowered calament, consumed dry "as an infusion, often used as a remedy for stomach aches", has had its own association, La Grange au Thé, for several years now, which brings together some twenty producers from the region in Nasbinals.
Infusions, but also cosmetics and food products made with Aubrac tea have a special place in this barn of a different kind.
An overview? Liquid Aubrac Tea hand soap, Fraîcheur d'Aubrac scented cream, Souffle d'Aubrac massage balm, but also for gourmets, confit of Aubrac Tea flowers and leaves, dried fruit and Aubrac Tea cookies, Aubrac Tea syrup.
Good to know: In France, the large-flowered calament can be found in the Alps, the Pyrenees and in Corsica.
Many thanks to Cécile Ducoulombier, president of La grange au thé, for her collaboration with this article and the documentation and visuals she provided.