The schizandra berry has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. It is often referred to as "five flavor berry" due to it being simultaneously sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and pungent in flavor. This combination in conjunction with juniper notes make this one of the most intriguing beverage ingredients that I have ever come across. It combines many of the flavors that I like in other beverages, such as the bitterness of Campari and the tartness of kombucha.
Our schizandra berries were wild harvested in Jilin, China, located in northeastern China near South Korea. The cold weather climate combined with a special kiln drying process produce extremely clean flavors and complex aromas.
My favorite way to steep schizandra is a to make a cold tea. In a 1 quart jar or container, steep 20-25 grams in a small amount of freshly boiled water for 5 minutes. Then add enough cool water to bring the total volume to one quart of liquid. Steep for 16-24 hours, and strain into another container. It is an extremely refreshing, and caffeine-free. And as a bonus, it has a beautiful pink color.