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Tea leaves Darjeeling Potong

Two remarkable Darjeeling tea gardens

by on June 16th, 2015

Our new Canton Darjeeling is a blend of Second Flush Darjeelings from Potong and Seeyok, two of our favourite gardens.


While many tea connoisseurs enjoy a good First Flush, some of them prefer the more robust flavour of Second Flush Darjeeling. The dryness and astringency of Darjeeling First Flush teas completely changes during the Second Flush as the bushes stabilise and release more of their characteristic flavour. Second Flush teas are much more rounded, with an amber liquor and a complex mix of flavours. The classic ‘muscatel’ description of Second Flush refers to a very specific floral aroma and sweet flavour found in Muscat grapes. It appears fleetingly in tea, but... Read more

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Canton Tea and Pesticides

by on May 28th, 2015

How Canton Tea is guaranteed to be safe



In August 2014, Greenpeace published a damning report on the level of pesticides found in tea exported from China and India by big, well known brands. What they found was shocking – many of the teas contained hazardous banned chemicals and dangerous toxins. They found that ‘over half of the samples contained pesticides that are ‘unapproved’ for use in tea cultivation or which were present in excess of the recommended limits’. They even found DDT, which has been banned from agriculture in India since 1989.


The use of illegal and high levels of pesticides puts the tea workers at risk: ‘it... Read more

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Husna-Tara Prakash: Glenburn Estate

by on April 13th, 2015

Owner of the Glenburn Estate Husna-Tara Prakash, where our two newest Darjeelings come from, tells us about the Prakash family and their tea estates.


How did I get into tea……that’s a long story…..Although I was born and brought up in the UK, I spent 8 years in school in India, returning to the UK for 6th form, a gap year and a few university degrees.  I met Anshuman Prakash during my gap year, and 6 years later moved to Calcutta when we go married.  I knew many tea planters' children in my boarding school in India, but little did I know I would end up marrying into a tea planting family. ... Read more

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Glenburn Estate Darjeeling

by on April 13th, 2015

 The Glenburn Estate


Glenburn is a prestigious Darjeeling Estate nestled in the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga. Originally founded by a Scottish company in 1859, it now belongs to one of India's pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes (who also happen to own the Khonghea Estate in Assam). Glenburn Estate is 758 hectares in total, 285 of which is dedicated to tea; the rest is covered by forests, rivers, 8 villages, 3 schools and 1 hospitals. Like most estates in Darjeeling, Glenburn grows large volumes of China varietal black orthodox teas. However, in recent years they have started making speciality teas such as whites, greens and oolongs and also started to... Read more

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Kate in Sri Lanka Part 3

by on April 8th, 2015

Sri Lanka is famous for tea, the country’s former title, Ceylon, gave its name to the island’s most famous crop. But it is little known that before tea, Sri Lanka was primarily famous for cinnamon and coffee, not tea. From 1825 to around 1867, the country experienced a ‘coffee rush’ – deforesting enormous areas in the mountains to plant the crop – and nothing else. This created a monoculture of coffee plants, and in 1869 pretty much all the coffee crop was destroyed by a coffee leaf disease, nicknamed “Devastating Emily”. By this time, tea had been growing in the country for about 45 years – and was ready to... Read more

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Kate in Sri Lanka Part 2

by on April 8th, 2015


Beverly and Neil came to Amba four years ago. When Beverly arrived, there were no tea processing facilities or procedures. The estate simply grew the leaves and sold them to nearby factories for processing. For the first nine months, Beverly mainly lived alone, sometimes with the Amba partners, in Amba’s turn-of-the-century bungalow and made tea by hand….her own hand, and nothing else. In the bungalow’s covered courtyard she withered and rolled the leaves, using an old-fashioned wicker-seated bed to dry out the leaves, waking at 3am sometimes to get the wither just right. Eighty hour weeks were her norm, working in the fields learning how to pluck and spending three... Read more

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Sri Lanka Train

Kate in Sri Lanka Part 1

by on April 8th, 2015

Arriving in Colombo after travelling without sleep for over 24 hours, you won´t be surprised to hear that I was pretty desperate for a cup of tea. I was delighted, then, to find that the little sim-card bundle I was given at the airport contained a sample of “Single Garden Premium Tea”. A teabag – but at that moment anything would have sufficed. Or so I thought.


“I´ll make it for you” said the receptionist at the hostel we stumbled into 2 hours later, melting from the heat. He could see me sleepily bumbling around the kitchen trying to find the kettle, and not having much luck. Then he did something... Read more

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The story behind our new award-winning Khongea Assam Gold

by on March 25th, 2015

Why did we choose it?


Tea buyer Ali explains:

“In the last few months we have begun to expand and improve our offering of Indian teas and are building relationships with some really fantastic gardens in Assam and Darjeeling. After tasting Khongea’s teas it was apparent that these were some special Assams, and we knew we just had to have the Khongea Assam Gold! Khongea is a fantastic estate producing some really interesting teas; we are already planning on buying lots more this year.”


Sudhir Prakash, Chairman of Khongea and the Glenburn Estate in Darjeeling, states:

"If Darjeeling tea is referred to as the Champagne of tea, then a good quality Assam garden such... Read more

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Jacket and tea bushes Square

Memories of Yunnan

by on March 11th, 2015

In 2013, Jen, Ali and Phil (and a documentary film maker!) went on a three week sourcing expedition to Yunnan – the home of Puerh tea. Here they recount some of their memories.



Our trip to Yunnan to source Puerh was the first tea buying trip I ever went on, and my first experience of China – talk about being thrown in at the deep end. Yunnan is a vast province covering 152,000 square miles: that’s nearly 60,000 square miles bigger than the UK. Located in the far south-west corner of China it boarders with tropical Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. The whole province is blanketed in nosebleed-inducing high mountains (literally! I... Read more

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Suggestions for Mother’s Day

by on March 11th, 2015

Surprise your mother with lunch, dinner or Afternoon Tea at somewhere special that happily serves Canton Tea. Advance booking is recommended.


CARRI (Business Development)

Old Parsonage Hotel (Oxford)

A traditional afternoon tea in the heart of Oxford. Home-made scones, jam & clotted cream, freshly prepared sandwiches and cakes, roaring fires, plenty of atmosphere and lashings of Canton Tea.


Old Parsonage Hotel


JAMES (Finance Director)

Hotel Café Royal (London)

The Oscar Wilde Lounge at Café Royal is a gorgeous, opulent room where Oscar and his coterie met daily. Also described as ‘decadent and quintessentially English’ it’s a perfect destination for Afternoon Tea, where the well thought out menu delivers first savoury delicacies such as wild boar,... Read more

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