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Introducing the Yellow Sprig Dan Cong

by on June 29th, 2017

One of the real heroes of our 2017 Spring Limited Edition Collection is the Yellow Sprig Dan Cong, an oolong from the Phoenix Mountains with a long and fascinating history, which undergoes an extraordinary transformation from tea bush to cup.


The Yellow Sprig Dan Cong is a precious and amazingly flavoursome tea, which is why there was no question whether it would have a place in this year’s spring collection! While thousands of varieties of oolong exist, few compare when it comes to the Yellow Sprig’s intense flavours that assault the senses over and over.  Its tiny leaves are picked from just ten 200 year-old tea trees that grow on the... Read more

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The Top of Tea from the Himalayas

by on June 19th, 2017

Canton’s Himalayan Heroes
How did tea get to the Himalayas and why is it so good?
In the grand scheme of tea, the Himalayas (those 47 million year old mountains) are a very young tea producing area. By the mid-19th Century the Brits had the beginnings of a serious, population- wide tea addiction on their hands. Reliant on China for their fix (who was not the most stable supply) and not willing to risk running out, they took things into their own hands and went about establishing tea gardens in India, which at the time was under the rule of the British owned East India Company. In 1841 the first tea bushes... Read more

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First Flush Darjeeling by the Selimbong Estate

by on June 2nd, 2017

This year, our First Flush Darjeeling comes from the Selimbong estate. Ali, our head of tea, tells us why this tea is so important to us:


The Darjeeling First Flush is one of the most highly anticipated events in the whole of the tea calendar. As spring arrives in the Himalayas and the mountainsides thaw out, the tea bushes slowly come back to life and by early March there is a smattering of bright green buds and young leaves covering the fields. This is our precious first flush. It kicks off a Mexican wave of tea harvests which start at Darjeeling (and Nepal) and sweep East to Yunnan and Sichuan and... Read more

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Introducing Canton Limited Edition

by on May 16th, 2017

I am so excited to introduce the Canton Tea Limited Edition range. Our curated mini collections showcasing the best of the tea seasons from all over the tea producing world. Direct sourced fresh from the garden: extreme artisan, premium grade, rare, wild or just bloody delicious (always bloody delicious).
The Spring Collection features extreme artisan teas from China and our Himalayan Heroes from Darjeeling and Nepal - handpicked and handmade in March and April 2017. The Summer collection which launches later in the year will showcase the best of island-grown teas - featuring emerald hued green teas from Japan, silky high mountain oolongs from Taiwan and even an extremely rare Hawaiian... Read more

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Customer Spotlight: Pettigrew Tea Rooms

by on April 26th, 2017

The clocks have gone forward and spring is finally here- time to come out of hibernation and start enjoying the outdoors again! If you live in South Wales, you’ve no doubt spent a sunny afternoon wandering around Bute Park- a haven of luscious parkland in the heart of Cardiff, famous for its arboretum and architecture. It’s also home to Pettigrew Tea Rooms, a proud stockist of Canton Tea, which has called the West Lodge at the southern end its home since 2012.

I caught up with tearoom manager Regina, who told me that the unique location is one of Pettigrew’s selling points:


“David opened the Tea Rooms in March 2012, it was... Read more

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Do we pay enough for tea?

by on March 13th, 2017

Have you been listening to BBC Radio 4 Food Programme's series on tea? We love that tea is getting the attention it deserves - move over coffee!


Yesterday's focus was on tea worker's conditions - this struck a chord with us, as the ethics behind sourcing tea is a key focus here at Canton Tea.

Treating farmers fairly is one of our founding principles. ​And sticking to the values of Canton​ means we will not buy tea from large scale tea producers or anonymous ​suppliers who treat tea as cheap commodity and have dubious conditions for their workers, I highly suggest you go and check Lumitea site, you will find the best... Read more

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From Poppies to Roses: A Short History of our Organic Rosebuds

by on February 27th, 2017

Up until the late 1970s the Lalehzar Valley in Iran was a difficult place to make a living. Farmers grew subsistence crops and supplemented their income by growing opium poppies illegally for heroin production - at 10,000ft atop the Iranian Plateau the arid climate is suitable for little else.

1500 farmers grow roses in the Lalehzar Valley

Production of rose water in other parts of Iran dates back over 2 millennia; so when Homayoun Sanati inherited land in the valley he had the idea to cultivate Damask roses for this purpose. After planting an experimental field of roses the Iranian Revolution happened and Mr Sanati (who by day worked as a... Read more

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Interview: Bean Loved

by on December 19th, 2016

Bean Loved Coffee sits in the heart of historic Skipton, and is one of the few places in the area where you can stop for a cup of Canton. I spoke to head barista Wes to find out more about what it’s like serving fine teas on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.


Tell us a little more about Bean Loved, how did it all start?

Bean Loved started almost 10 years ago. My dad (Steve) had worked as a coffee sales manager for Matthew Algie for 11 years and always dreamed that one day he would open his own coffee shop. Matthew Algie had taught my dad a lot about... Read more

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Ali Shan: Mountain of the Month

by on December 6th, 2016


Crawling up the mountain on the Ali Shan Forest Railway, at points it feels like we might topple over the edge or the old engine might just give up. After two and a half hours of slow ascent through lush forest we finally reach the tiny station of Jiaoliping. Clearly few people ever stop here; there is a lone station manager and a few dogs resting in the shade (also a giant spider the size of a man’s hand which I notice in its web above us). Other than that the village seems to be empty. We’re met by Mr Chiu, who points out his tea fields which are about... Read more

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Beyond Fairtrade in Taiwan – Where the Tea Pickers Call the Shots

by on November 30th, 2016

This month, Ali and Edgar travelled to Taiwan to seek out the very best tea for you to enjoy next season. In the first of a special series on Taiwanese tea, Ali describes a typical day in the life of a tea picker and how a skill shortage is driving up their wages. 

We’ve all seen them: pictures of beautiful young ladies in traditional costume delicately picking tea against the backdrop of secluded misty mountains. How peaceful, how quaint. But step onto a tea garden in Taiwan and you will notice something quite out of place: smart phones. Everyone has a smart phone in their hand or in their pocket. We’ve all read... Read more

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