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Sibberi Birch Water
Launched in March 2015 by Clara Vaisse, Mehdi Meghzifene and Paul-Adrien Cormerais, London based Sibberi Water is part of the latest drinks craze of ‘superwater’ to hit the UK, offering water made by trees that remains completely untouched. Aspiring to keep the taste just as nature intended, no flavours or sugars are ever added. Birch water has long been favoured by Nordic and Baltic countries, enjoyed across China and Russia, with the Vikings also known to enjoy its natural flavours.
In the run up to winter, trees hold onto vitamins and nutrients to prepare themselves for the next period of growth, so when it finally hits, with roots packed full of goodness, trees begin their dormant period. The warmth of spring causes the roots to draw spring water from the ground up into the trunk. These stored nutrients are collected and distributed amongst the dormant branches. The sap is naturally filtered and enhanced by the tree. This spring elixir brings the tree out of their winter dormant status.
Starting when the snow melts, the sap only flows for a limited period of time, stopping when the first leaves bloom. When that moment comes, local farmers are ready and prepared to ‘tap’ the sap, as it’s both delicious as well as carrying several health benefits. The farmers only takes a small amount of sap, 1 pc, to be exact, as not to disturb the trees in their revitalising cycle. Such a small amount has never been shown to harm the tree or affect its growth, so long as the hole is plugged shortly after to avoid infection.
In order to access the sap, a small hole is made and the sap dribbles out through a tap. In order to prevent it from spoiling, the sap is collected on a daily basis over the course of the first three weeks of the year. However, only trees older than 30 years can be tapped. All kinds of trees can be tapped, meaning the possibilities are endless, but not all are healthy, and not all taste good. A benefit of birch water is that it can be tapped locally, as the trees grow wild all over the world.
A small incision is made in the tree to 'tap' the birch water
But what health benefits does Sibberi Water contain?
Packed with electrolytes believed to boost hydration, Birch water contains xylitol, a natural and calorie-free sweetener, with just 5 calories per 100ml. It’s also packed with medicinal properties, used for eliminating toxins including uric acid, which causes gout. Birch water has also been linked with reducing cellulite and treating liver disease. Speaking to The Telegraph, co-founder Clara Vaisse cited “People want less sugar in their diet, so it’s a good alternative with the same all natural hydration benefits.”
In the first six months of their business, Sibberi’s founders found themselves in high demand from high end retailers including Selfridges and other independent outlets, selling £250,000worth of their unsweetened natural birch water. Ever the philanthropists, Vaisse hopes the ever growing trend of birch water will help in the fight against deforestation, claiming “Currently the only monetary value in a wild forest is the wood, you need to chop it down to find the value. But as soon as you start tapping the trees, you make the woodland commercially viable.”
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