On a drizzly winter day, long long ago, a Myrtle Nut was placed into the soil of a small mountain-creek glen. The Myrtle that produced this nut was among the last trees of its kind, and this nut among the last fruits it had left to produce. Who or what gathered this nut and placed it in the soil remains a mystery, but most historians have settled on it being a forgotten food cache of a Stellar's Jay. During that first winter, by a miracle, the nut hadn’t been snuffed out by another forest critter. And later that spring as the first tender shoot emerged from the earth, nothing came along to munch the young Myrtle. Perhaps the leaves were too spicy.
The second year became the roots’ turn to explore. They burrowed deep into the alluvial soil and found a fungal partner who offered it a lifelong friendship. By the end of the year the Myrtle had shot up out of the ground, gaining 5 feet over the summer. But late that winter a bull elk chomped the Myrtle in half as the large mammal grazed a lonely path through the glen. The young Myrtle slouched, wounded and in pain. In time, under the blanket of cold, the wound began to heal over, forming a hardened scar where it had been so tender before.
Spring of the 3rd year arrived, and the Myrtle split into two separate leaders where the wound had been. Each young branch chased the light upwards in a race. Over time the two trunks split outward into infinite fractals -- burgeoning with branches, limbs, twigs, and verdant leaves. The tree swallowed all of the sun's light that fell within its vast canopy. And despite the Myrtle's competing growth, the two large segments of the tree often branched back in towards the shade of one-another. The large tree, and all its sprawl, remained balanced at the trunk.
The two branches grew to appreciate one another in ways they hadn’t before the Elk broke the tree in half. Their perspective high above allowed them to see each other in new light, appreciating the other’s individual beauty. Their branches were different, but they grew with the same purpose. The two branches grew old together watching the milky way above and the salmon spawning in the creek below. They vowed to provide shade for the salmon and to recite to one another the stories people told around the distant campfires dotting the night sky.
Each fall the tree bore fruit. It was a nut covered in a hard shell and encompassed in a thin green flesh – three layers to get it through the wet winter without rotting or being crushed. One strange year only a single fruit emerged among its many limbs. It had been a harsh year in the mountain creek glen, and presumably outside the glen as well. The Myrtle nurtured this single nut, giving it healthy green flesh and a hard inner shell. After years of chasing the sun and embracing the soil, the myrtle ripened this fruit with deft perfection. Eventually the nut would fall from the old tree and form its own roots under the shade of the two large branches. The nut was an idea.
Wild Coast Brew.
Wild Coast Brew began as one of those wild ideas that sprouts between two minds. An idea, like a seed, which when tended to, inspires vigorous growth until it becomes larger than its creators -- and maybe it was never an idea in the first place, but something that already existed and hadn't yet been discovered. Or perhaps it had been discovered but forgotten and rediscovered a million times over, like the archetypes themselves wandering inevitably into every story ever told.
Wild Coast Brew's two discoverers, Micha and Dan, conjured these archetypes and began building tea blends that matched their characteristics. They then looked to the natural world and found that those archetypes were everywhere, inexorably linked to the world humanity had so relentlessly tried to distance itself from.
But the story of how Wild Coast Brew came to be, had been sown many years prior. Micha had been a farmer and chef, spending a number of years running a farm & forest-to-table experience at their small farm in the Coast Range Mountains of Oregon. Her palate included foods and herbs, not just grown at the farm, but also found throughout the surrounding forest. Making herbal teas was naturally part of the farm & forest-to-table experience and her affinity for creative flavor combinations informed daring herbal tea ideas, using unique foraged ingredients and honoring their indigenous uses and heritage. At the farm, she was able to produce a number of herbs and flowers in their pollinator gardens, mixing and matching, experimenting with wild creativity.
She and Dan had been partners since 2008 and creativity had always been a defining characteristic of their relationship. Once they settled at Myrtle Glen Farm in 2014, farm life pulled them in different directions, each gaining expertise in novel arenas, but they remained rooted in the same ethics and at their core they nurtured the same goals. And no matter how many directions they were pulled apart, they always came back together to clean up the goat poop in the barn. Their life has been defined with laughter as the most common denominator and at the heart of every idea at Wild Coast Brew, is the playful spirit and deep seeded love that colors their relationship.
Brewed infusions with plants and herbs have been core to our identity since the birth of humanity; so too were ancient myths, derived from our surroundings and retold over countless generations. Our unique teas at Wild Coast Brew are created with those primordial stories in mind. Each artisan small batch tea blend celebrates an archetype, passed down through story and shared imagination, with an offering of befitting herbs and spices. Alchemy in a cup.
Our teas nourish every aspect of being with flavor that stimulates all our complexities. Our brews are born of wild creativity and experimentation, a close connection between self and the natural world, and a deep gratitude for our interwoven histories. Much of the ingredients that make up our tea blends are grown sustainably on our farm or are ethically foraged within our region along the Southern Oregon coast, making our teas unique in both flavor and feel. They are hand blended with care in small batches to preserve the quality of each ingredient.
Our guiding principles and values.
Wild Creativity & Experimentation. We care about blending unique ingredients that are creative, wild, and born of experimentation. All of our blends are years in the making, experimenting with different ratios, preparation methods, and a variety of herbs. We have tested these blends on willing collaborators that have helped us improve the flavors over time. We also work with artists to bring our blends to life, evoking their truest form.
Sustainability. Guiding everything done at Wild Coast Brew is a true search for the most sustainable path within an inherently unsustainable society. Sustainability is not just a buzz-word for us. We've rearranged our lives to live out our convictions, often to the protest of our ailing spines, and built a company that charts the same course. Our operations are powered by the sun. Our teas our held in plant-based compostable cellophane bags. The tubes that hold the bagged blends are made of recycled paper, and we hope the artwork makes them too beautiful to simply recycle after one use. We think packaging can not only be reused but perhaps also cherished. We, as farmers who grow much of the product found in these teas, use regenerative and closed-loop practices far beyond the bounds of an organic certification. We also uphold sustainable wildcrafting standards by only harvesting from locations that are free from contaminants, as well as harvesting a small percentage of what we find to allow for regeneration. Our ethics will not allow us to externalize poor practices onto the rest of the planet. We are all collectively paying the price for a system that has made harming the planet an acceptable way to lower costs at the store. Not us.
Collaboration, Activism, & Community. Collaboration with others is at the core of what we seek to accomplish at Wild Coast Brew. Deep listening is integral to understanding our past, present, and future. Growing and foraging with others makes possible the tea blends we bring to the market. Teaching others our gained knowledge and maintaining a child-like desire to learn from others fosters community growth. Watching the natural world struggle under humanity's thumb makes us want to fight to save what little untouched is left. Farm volunteers, friends, family, neighbors, local groups, and community organizations are all vital to what we do and care about at Wild Coast Brew.