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Organic Wild Rooibos

Wild Teas and Wild Herbs from Remote Regions

by on August 28th, 2015

We love wild grown teas, from the amazing stories of tea pickers trekking up steep mountains to abandoned tea farms left to grow untamed for decades, to learning how traditional practices of wild harvesting and foraging still support entire communities. Wild grown teas and herbal tisanes are thrilling to discover and drink.

 

Many wild teas and herbal tisanes have developed completely naturally, and entirely uncultivated. Other ‘wild’ teas are not completely wild – they come from once-established tea farms which have been long abandoned, sometimes for many decades. A farm may have been abandoned by an owner who decided to desert its remote location to find work in a city, or... Read more

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Getting to know Tea Master Michihiko Nishimura

by on July 30th, 2015

Getting to know Tea Master Michihiko Nishimura, a blender at Dobashien, the most famous and prestigious tea shop in Tokyo. He has blended our new Dobashien Gyokuro.

 

"Although I am a blender, I have actually never taken the "kanteishi" exam. The kanteishi is run by the kanteishi association, an organization that organizes evaluation (tasting) competitions and those who are in the upper ranks of each competition go on to train more and be certified. You don't need this certification to be a judge in industry tea competitions in Japan. The organization also certifies Japanese tea instructors and Japanese tea advisors to help with the promotion of Japanese tea.

 

The more traditional term used is "chashi"... Read more

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Rider's Revival Moor Beer jasmine green tea infused pale ale

Tea-infused pale ale: Moor Beer Interview

by on July 2nd, 2015

Bristol brewery Moor Beer Co have created a beer for our customer in common, café/bar/bicycle workshop Look Mum No Hands (LMNH). The beer is in celebration of the Tour de France, and for this Moor wanted to add an extra dimension to their popular Revival pale ale. After a tasting session, they decided to infuse it with Canton's Jasmine Pearls, resulting in Rider's Revival.

 

We spoke to Justin at Moor about the process of creating this tea-infused beer.

 

Moor Beer's Justin and Canton's Edgar enjoying Rider's Revival

 

 Where did the idea originate to produce a tea-infused beer?

 

We’ve been working with LMNH a long time and were discussing brewing a beer with them... Read more

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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

 

GREENPEACE REPORT ON PESTICIDES

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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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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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.

 

Ali

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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Red Envelopes

Chinese New Year Traditions

by on February 18th, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year! 2015 is the Year of the Goat. 
People born in the year of the goat (also known as the year of the sheep) are considered to have calm and gentle personalities, with delicate thoughts, a great level of creativity, and a strong sense of justice. They are blessed with particularly good health, and their lucky colours are green, red and purple.
Here are some Chinese New Year customs and traditions in photos.
 

 
Lanterns
It is common to hang numerous colourful lanterns at Chinese New Year. They decorate streets, marketplaces, houses and landmarks.


 
Fireworks
Fireworks are set off both to celebrate the New Year, and to drive away evil. The first person to... Read more

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