Mountain Tea producers of Lepushe

Albania - Miscellaneous

At an altitude of 1,250 meters in the Albanian Alps, Lepushe is the highest village in the country. After the mass emigration of its young people, its 70 remaining residents continue to produce cheese, raki (a plum distillate), sauerkraut, potatoes, and caj (an infusion of wild herbs). One distinctive dairy product is mishavin, a fermented cow-milk cheese that, along with sauerkraut, pork and raki, provides sustenance during the bitter Alpine winters. One interesting product of this community is caj malit. Literally ‘mountain tea’, it is produced with flowers collected in summer and includes two types: the original caj or ‘mountain oregano’, and caj verdhe, made with a variety of St. John’s Wort that grows only at high altitudes. Dried in the shade and consumed as an infusion throughout the year, the infusions are considered a panacea against all winter ills, especially if sweetened with wild honey.

Production area
Lepushe, Shkoder district

Contacts

Coordinator
Gjystina Grishaj
Tel. +382 695 86403
annacarboni@gmail.com