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The Tea that began it all: Pouchong

by on August 29th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 100: Jennifer Introduces Pouchong

Why did we start a specialist tea company eight years ago in the teeth of competition from giant corporations and packaging-led pretenders? When the profound disinterest of the food service sector meant loose leaf, green tea stood for hassle and health nuts. So why did we do it?

 

Er, that’ll be the Pouchong – the enigmatic green/oolong tea from Taiwan that led us into this world.

 

Taipei 1988: ‘It’s just green tea’ said Professor Lin, as the large dark green leaves lurked, unfurling in my cup. I knew I was tasting something special. At once sweet and dry, mineral and floral, rich and light, complex... Read more

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Nirmal Kumar Saha: Arya Estate

by on August 26th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 99: Arya Ruby Darjeeling

A few weeks ago Nirmal Kumar Saha from the Arya Estate came to visit us in Bristol. Nirmal, who has been working in tea for nearly 50 years, travels the world selling Arya tea.  He answered some of our questions about the history of the estate and his own experiences.

1.    How did you come to be involved with the Tea Industry ?
Just after completion of my school and prior to joining University for graduation, at the age of just 16, I got an opportunity to work for a renowned Tea Company under KANORIA TEA GROUP. Now I am in my 49th year of Tea association.

2.    How... Read more

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Cold Brew Lemongrass

by on August 15th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 98: Edgar introduces Lemongrass

I had planned this article a few weeks back when the weather was a little warmer so I apologise if it’s raining when you read this. I’ve been trying to drink a little less caffeine recently which is pretty hard when working at Canton HQ, and have been experimenting with cold brewing, especially using some our great herbal teas and blends.

 

Cold brewing is a trend in the coffee world but it is also a great method to brew tea. Cold brew tea is not the same as iced tea, there is no added sugar, fruit or other frilly bits; it is just purely... Read more

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Kate introduces Silver Needle

by on August 8th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 97: Silver Needle

If you have been in the Tea Club since the early days (I know there are a few of you) – you might be getting two flashbacks here. The first is that this tea featured in the very early weeks of the club – so please forgive us for wanting to share this true classic of a Chinese white tea with as many tea-lovers as possible.

 

The second blast from the past is…well, me.  In early 2012 we started working on the club – something that Edgar had always wanted to do. But he left me in charge. “This is your baby” he would say,... Read more

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2006 Lao Ban Zhang wrapped

Lao Ban Zhang- The King of Puerh

by on August 1st, 2014

Recently we added a 2006 Autumn Lao Ban Zhang Puerh to the website, at £180 this is one of the most expensive teas we have ever sold and the price might come as a shock to those who are unfamiliar to the Puerh market. So why is this particular tea so expensive?

The Puerh market in general is experiencing a prolonged boom, prices are doubling year on year and there is no sign of this slowing down. As well as being drunk, Puerh is also collected, collectors will often store their teas for years whilst the value increases and then sell them on at great profit. Lao Ban Zhang teas are THE most... Read more

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Phil introduces Mi Lan Dan Cong

by on August 1st, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 96: Mi Lan Dan Cong

Each of us at Canton gets to choose a favourite during the summer, and this week it’s my turn. The tea I have chosen isn’t the rarest, or the most unusual, and in fact it’s one of the most popular teas that the company sells. I have picked it because it brings back some vivid memories of visiting the farmers, and because it is one of the few examples of true artisan tea making I have experienced. And it tastes fantastic – I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like it.

Artisan? Or Not?

It’s not hard to find ‘artisan teas’ these days.... Read more

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Canton buyer Ali with Pouchong

Canton Tea Club is changing

by on July 25th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 95: Bai Lin Gong Fu

Our original plan for the Canton Tea Club was to send out 100 teas from all over the world and then decide where we would take it next. The weeks have passed amazingly quickly and on August 29th we will reach tea number 100. We have some interesting plans for the next stage of tea club, which we will share during August.

In the meantime, we thought it would be good to allow members of the Canton team to a select a tea that they particularly like, and to explain why. It’s also a chance to find out how each of us came to... Read more

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Zealong – Oolong Teas from New Zealand

by on July 18th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 94: Zealong Pure Oolong

Jane Pettigrew introduces this unusual tea from New Zealand and explains the origins of Zealong tea.

I first met the Zealong team in 2010 when I visited the Japanese Green Tea Festival in Shizuoka, Japan.  Amongst the milling hundreds of tea lovers at this three-yearly event, I came across Vincent Chen, the determined and tenacious tea farmer behind this impressive new brand of oolong teas grown near Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island.  I was so fascinated and impressed by the teas he was making that I pestered him for his story.  Four years and many emails later, I visited the Zealong plantation, tasted more... Read more

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Sugar-Poison

Would you like some sugar with that?

by on July 11th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 93: Keemun Special Gift Tea

The mere suggestion of drinking tea with sugar is anathema to most tea connoisseurs. The strength of the disapproval makes me think of those cartoons by H.M. Bateman, noted for his "The Man Who..." series of cartoons. These featured comically exaggerated reactions to minor and usually upper-class social gaffes, such as "The Man Who Lit His Cigar Before the Royal Toast".  And yes, I am the man who ……. puts sugar in his First Flush Darjeeling!!!

H M bateman - The Discovery of a Dandelion at Wimbledon

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it appeals to the mischievous part of me that... Read more

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Pressed puerh cakes

What is Puerh?

by on July 8th, 2014

Sometimes, tea aficionados can forget that certain tea terms mean nothing to the uninitiated. As recently as last July I was equally in the dark. Yet now, after a year of working at Canton, my PG Tips guzzling friends give me blank looks when I talk about the ‘mouthfeel’, the ‘growing terroir’, or the ‘hui gan’.

But the one that most baffles the dedicated drinkers of what my dad calls ‘normali-tea’ is puerh. These mystical compacted cakes, wrapped in thin paper, fermented and matured like wine – to what purpose? As someone who only heard the term myself a year ago, I thought I’d provide a little introduction to puerh for... Read more

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