Origin of our clove
The archipelago of Zanzibar in Tanzania, sometimes known as the Spice Islands, was once the world’s largest producer of cloves. It is still an important industry for farmers on the island of Pemba, during the harvesting of the flower buds which when dried are used as a spice in cooking, to flavor drinks like mulled wine and in medicine. Therefore most of our organic cloves are sourced from spice island of Zanzibar.
Clove trees are first harvested when the tree is 6-8 years old. The timing of harvest of the clove buds is critical. The buds should be harvested before the purple or crimson flowers start to develop. The correct time of harvest is when the outer green leaves (the calyx) of the flower bud change from olive green to yellow pink and before the petals fall to expose the stamens. Clusters of flower buds are handpicked from the branches. It is important that the branches are not removed or damaged, as this will reduce the yield of future crop.
After harvest the buds are detached from the stalks by holding a cluster in one hand, pressing it against the palm of the other hand and slowly twisting so that the buds fall off. The hands of the processor and the room in which the buds are separated must be very clean to prevent contamination of the cloves. The stems and buds are separated and dried separately. The stems can be used for oil distillation.