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To celebrate the launch of our new collaboration, Jekka tells us why this Lemongrass is so special.

Jekka’s Herbs: Sri Lankan Lemongrass herbal tea

by on May 17th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 33: Introducing Jekka's Herbs at Canton Tea Co, Sri Lankan Lemongrass

Multiple RHS Gold medallist, writer, broadcaster and herb guru, Jekka McVicar has joined Canton Tea in a venture to bring her passion and dedication to finding the best herbal infusions in the world. We are delighted to launch our new collection of herbal teas, now available on our website, packed in elegant tins with illustrations by Hannah McVicar. 

Jekka was blown away by this Lemongrass that comes from the same estate as our Amba Estate Ceylon. Herbal tea isn't usually on the Tea Club agenda - but this one is too good to miss. Jekka tells us... Read more

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Jane Pettigrew introduces the first of three Nepalese teas.

Jane Pettigrew introduces Nepal Black Himalaya Gold tea

by on May 10th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 32: Nepal Black Himalaya Gold

The first of three teas from Nepal to feature in the club is a robust black tea with similar characteristics to a Second Flush Darjeeling. We could be forgiven for assuming that Nepal has been producing tea for thousands of years, but this is not the case. Jane Pettigrew tells us more...

Given Nepal’s location to the west of the tea-growing mountains of Darjeeling and Sikkim, and the fact that it enjoys the same natural gifts – regular rainfall to water the slopes, Himalayan sunshine to warm the soil, swirling mist to protect the tea bushes from the exposed altitudes – as those... Read more

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Fresh new season green tea from Yunnan

New Season Spring Green Tea

by on May 3rd, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 31: Spring 2013 Long Mei green tea

In this week's box is a very exciting thing indeed: the first Chinese new season green tea. We explain a bit more about why new season green tea is so exciting for us avid tea-drinkers, and provide a brief calendar so you know when to expect each tea. 

Why do we get so excited about spring green tea? Every year at about this time one or two lucky Cantoners will visit China to experience the spring picking season and taste the teas that we will stock for the next year, while the rest of the team in the UK spend the... Read more

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We welcome back Julien Gardin to introduce this famous Taiwanese oolong

Julien Gardin introduces Dong Ding Oolong

by on April 26th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 30: Dong Ding oolong

We are delighted to welcome back Julien Gardin as this week's guest blogger. As head waiter of a world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, Julien is passionate about high quality food and drink, especially oolong tea. So when we decided to feature this famous Taiwanese oolong in the club, we knew who to call on for the blog. 

Julien: Dong Ding oolong tea is grown around Dong Ding Mountain, a branch range of Phoenix Mountain in Nantou.

Legend has it that due to rainy weather and slippery paths, tea farmers had to tighten the tiptoes (frozen tiptoes) so as to climb the hilltop to pick tea leaves.

Its origin... Read more

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View the stunning photos of LaKyrsiew and its tea.

LaKyrsiew organic tea garden

by on April 19th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 29: LaKyrsiew

Set high up in the misty, forest-covered hills of Meghalaya, on the banks of lake Umiam, LaKyrsiew organic tea garden is an idyllic spot, not to mention a perfect environment for growing tea.

Situated at 3,300-4,500 ft above sea-level, the hills of Meghalaya were first investigated for tea-growing when the original East India Company despatched its own 'tea agents' to the sub-continent in the early 19th century to identify where tea could be effectively grown.

The area on the banks of lake Umiam, with its high altitude, abundant rainfall and previously uncultivated soil, was declared ideal for tea-production. However, it transpired that this area was too remote to... Read more

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Jane Pettigrew introduces a traditional black tea from Georgia

Jane Pettigrew introduces Georgian Tea

by on April 12th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 28: Georgian Tea

We welcome back our friend, tea expert Jane Pettigrew, to introduce our first Georgian Tea. 

Jane: Georgian Old Gentleman black tea is made by hand by Luri, the Old Gentleman after whom the tea is named. Luri lives in Nasakirali in the fertile Caucasus mountains in the northern part of Georgia which divide the country from its Russian neighbour. There was a time, before the break up of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, when Georgia was part of Russia’s empire and this northerly mountain region provided most of the tea that filled Russian samovars.

The first Georgian tea was planted in the 1890s when the... Read more

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In our third week of Yunnan tea, Kate discovers that the history of tea in Yunnan is inseparable from the history of tea itself

The History of Tea

by on March 28th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 26

This week I set out to write a piece about the history of tea in Yunnan, only to realise that, because Yunnan is generally regarded as the birthplace of tea, we will by default have to go back to the very origins of the drink we all love so much.

Would you believe me if I told you that tea has been consumed for almost 5,000 years? Sounds implausible, but 2737 BC is the date most often used to mark the birth of the drink we know today. Unfortunately for us though, Instagram hadn’t been invented then, so the events surrounding the very beginnings of tea are... Read more

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We find out why Yunnan is a hotspot for both tea enthusiasts and botanists.

Yunnan’s Biodiversity

by on March 22nd, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 25

Whilst Canton's Ali and Jen prepare for their imminent trip to China (and the rest of us bubble with jealousy), we have been lucky enough to coerce Michael Evans, head gardener at the renowned Packwood House, to tell us why Yunnan is a hotspot for tea lovers and botanists alike. Oh, and Michael just happens to be Ali's father...

Michael: Learning that your daughter is travelling to Yunnan can bring on strong feelings of envy to a gardener. Especially one who has spent years salivating over plants such as Rhododendron sinogrande - possibly the most splendid of all rhododendrons, its giant leaves and gnarled branches forming a forest from... Read more

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For 13 centuries the Tea Horse Road connected Yunnan with Tibet, ferrying tea and horses between the two countries.

Introduction to Yunnan and the Tea Horse Road

by on March 15th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 24

In the seventh century, during the Chinese Tang Dynasty, the elite of Tibet discovered tea. Beginning as an aristocratic delicacy, it quickly became a daily necessity, but it had to be imported, first from southern Yunnan, with a secondary route from Ya'an in Sichuan. In exchange, the Chinese needed war horses and the sturdy Tibetan horses were ideal. This resulted in a two-way trade route around 4,000kms long which became known as the Cha Ma Dao, the Tea Horse Road.

For 13 centuries, the Tea and Horse Caravan Road was a network of rugged paths linking China with Tibet, Southeast Asia and India through Yunnan. These caravans... Read more

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Can you really trace Dan Cong tea back to one single bush?

What does ‘Dan Cong’ really mean?

by on March 8th, 2013

Canton Tea Club Week 23

We’ve already tasted two traditional Dan Cong oolongs in the club (Xing Ren, week 3 and Mi Lan, Week 10), and we’ve explained why we love it. But, we’ve not yet touched on a very interesting area of debate in the tea community: what does “Dan Cong” actually mean?

Let’s start by saying that there is not really a completely literal English translation of the Chinese ‘Dan Cong’. It is mostly translated as ‘Single Bush’ or ‘Single Trunk’, but it’s not really this that is the problem – it’s the way Dan Cong is produced that is the contested issue. Does ‘Single Bush’ really mean that you... Read more

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