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Cold Brew Tea

Cold Brew Tea

by on April 15th, 2014

After a long winter made irksome by some appalling January weather, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling rather relieved by the emergence of the sun. The blossoms are out, lambs are gallivanting and, as usual, I feel like a cup of tea.

Over the summer, we’ll no doubt introduce some of our favourite iced-tea recipes. But first, I’d like to introduce an alternative way to enjoy tea this season: tea that has been cold-infused.

As the name suggests, cold-brewed tea (lengpaocha冷泡茶), rather than being steeped in the normal way and then chilled (as with iced tea), is actually infused at room temperature, or in the fridge. The method produces quite different... Read more

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What is white tea?

by on April 11th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 80: Yunnan White Bi Luo Chun

This week’s Tea Club sample is Yunnan White Bi Luo Chun. It’s not a white tea, but a very delicate green tea, given the name because of its appearance. Classic Bi Luo Chun is of course not from Yunnan, but from Taihu near Suzhou in Jiangsu province, but this tea has been made using exactly the same techniques, pressing and rolling the leaves by hand in a hot wok. I think it is very fine and attractive, but it’s not a white tea. This raises the question – what is a White Tea?

The question of finding a definition takes be back... Read more

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Amba Estate

Amba Estate News

by on April 10th, 2014

We love hearing about what our suppliers are up to, especially when receiving news like Beverly Wainwright shared with us this week.  We thought you’d like to hear about the next step this marvellous Sri Lankan tea farm is taking in the fantastic treatment of their workers.

From April 1st, Amba Estate’s sponsors pledged to set aside 10% of all revenues from the farm, factory and guest-house, as a bonus to be shared among all the staff over and above their usual wages, allowances and overtime.

Beverly commented: ‘We have been making a small operating profit for the last 6 months, and with the diversification of the business into coffee, jam and... Read more

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Jen and Ali

Canton’s quest for the best flowering tea

by on April 8th, 2014

Last April, Jen and I set off on a mission to find the best flowering tea in China. After spending a week in Yunnan tracking down rare Puerh, our journey took us to Fu’an, Fujian on the South west coast of China.

Fu’an is a big tea centre in China, with farms and factories producing popular teas such as Jasmine Pearls, Bai Lin Gong Fu and of course Flowering Tea. The town is full of workshops claiming to produce the best flowering teas. We visited a few but settled on the workshop owned by Mr Li to produce flowering tea for Canton. The reason we chose Mr Li was not only... Read more

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Nigel Melican interview – Georgian Tea Industry

by on April 4th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 79: Tamaz's Tiny Tea Factory

In this week’s blog we will be hearing from Nigel Melican about his work with Tamaz in Georgia. Nigel is as busy as ever and in fact he sent me the piece below from Assam, where he has just been awarded the D.N Borbora Chair for Tea Quality and Manufacturing at the Tea Research Association of India. This is a great honour and reflects his deep experience and strong commitment to the tea industry. If you are a regular reader of my Canton blogs you might have seen him commenting on some of them.

It seems a bit strange that someone I met... Read more

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Tea Cocktails Competition Winners: Menu

by on April 2nd, 2014

Announcing! Winners of the Canton Tea Cocktail Competition
Entry standard was high and we wish we had more prizes to go round, but our judges have made their decisions!
Robin Hitchcock's 'Gravi-tea'
Dick Beck's ‘Jasmine Daiquiri’
Carla Neuss' Moroccan Sunrise
Dominic Morgan's ‘Jiao Collins’
Dan Murphy's ‘Caipirinha’
Lisa Stiff's 'Earl-y Riser'
Winner's Menu: 

Pure indulgence. Shimmering gold flakes with fresh aromas and flavours of apple and jasmine. Sake, from Hinomaru Brewery near Yokote village, is infused with apples from an orchard nearby. This sumptuous offering is presented in a frosted martini glass with a giant globe ice cube coated in rhubarb syrup and edible golden flakes.
Place gold flakes and rhubarb sirup coated ice orb in the frosted martini glass.
50 ml Rigo Mansaku, Hinomarru (apple... Read more

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Tea Bling

Tea and Health

by on March 28th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 78: Raw Puerh Mini Tuocha

This week’s tea is a raw Puerh, a tea with particular ‘cooling’ characteristics when used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. That brought to mind the subject of Tea and Health, and I have decided to focus on that this week.

Have you heard? Tea is good for you. Who cares?

I’m fed up with reading about it, seeing it on websites, and particularly impatient with people who say “green tea – that’s really healthy isn’t it?” In fact I might just (very gently) slap the next person who says that to me.

But apparently it is really good for you. Five minutes on the internet came... Read more

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Yellow Tea in China: What is Yellow Tea?

by on March 21st, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 77: Huo Shan Huang Ya

This week is about my search for Yellow Tea in China, which might be described as partially successful, in much the same way as the tea itself is partially oxidised, i.e. only slightly.

What is Yellow tea?

In contrast to the vast array of green teas, there are only three classic types of Yellow Tea in China, all produced in different regions and in different ways. In fact the making of Yellow Tea is something of a lost art, and nobody is really sure that the teas currently produced are the same as their earlier forms. In each case, the objective of those who... Read more

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Georgian Tea, Artisan Tea and Slow Food

by on March 14th, 2014

Canton Tea Club Week 76: Natela's Gold Handmade Georgian Tea

This week - tea from Georgia and Slow Food:  what’s the link?

Many people will be surprised to discover that tea is grown in Georgia. In fact it has a long history there, stretching back into the 19th Century. From what I can discover, in the early 1900s it had a reputation for high quality and won many awards at international tea fairs. The industry was transformed during the Soviet era, with huge areas planted and managed intensively as government farms. The bushes were over-picked, the soil degraded, and the quality of the tea got worse and worse. Despite this, we can... Read more

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Dick Beck with Jasmine Daiquiri

Tea Cocktails Competition Entry: Dick Beck’s Jasmine Daiquiri

by on March 7th, 2014

Dick Beck, head bartender of Babylon Restaurant at Kensington Roof Gardens, has mixed us up a sumptuous offering.

Jasmine Daiquiri

Description: a beautiful light, citrus rum base with a subtly aromatic whipped jasmine foam.

In the Thermowhip:
300ml Canton Jasmine Pearls brewed strong
Squeeze of Lemon juice
25ml Paradoxale Liqueur a l'Orange by Gabriel Boudier

In the cocktail shaker:
25ml Cachaca (Distilled sugarcane spirit from Brazil)
25ml white rum
20ml lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup

Garnished with strips of orange zest
Hard to beat on a spring day in London at Babylon Restaurant, Kensington Roof Gardens.

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