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The Love of Tea Magazine

Tea Adventures & West Coast Edition


Publisher www.theloveofteamag.com

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anada is a massive geographic country, each region distinctive with its own culture and character. British Columbia is unique as it is surrounded by the sea and the mountains. The pace is more unique that it is more relaxed than Ontario but there is a certain cultural culinary adventure in its core that is more daring-. The Vancouver Tea Festival celebrates the vast range of tea and its owners who have brought their own creative identity to each of their products. In this issue we highlight the best of the city’s treasures to include GEM chocolates, tale of two different tea cafes in Yaletown. We also include include a special visit to Canada’s tea farm on Vancouver Island located in the Cowichan Valley and had the most amazing visit with owners Victor and Margit.

I introduce you to some of my personal reviews including the first edition of White Tea from Young Mountain Tea, learn how to cup Oolong teas from Tea Ave, Red Bean street food pairings, fabulous pick me up matcha shortbread from Calli at My Matcha Life . Inspired by the Robin Collective based in London, England, a marketing firm that utilizes out of the world food experiences including Medicinal Marshmallows from London , England to inspire my version of “Lord Earl Grey Magic Marshmallows”, much more. I convinced a dear friend, Carol Mann, a famous person in her own right, anthropologist, humanitarian, journalist and art historian to share her search for the perfect cuppa from London to Paris. Thank you to those who share this journey including Pat and Jane who helped us weave the roads of the west coast to share the adventure and awe in nature. ©All rights reserved www.theloveofteamag.com Produced by


table of contents Welcome to the first tea farm in Canada. Yup! you heard us right. Talk about being a pioneer!

Page 6

Some small victories are actually big ones, as you’ll discover if you visit these two tea shops in Vancouver’s, hip, Yaletown.

A Tale of Two Teas Page 14

Everything My MATCHA Life, and why it’s worth knowing about.

Page 18

Tea in Paris: The Great British Cuppa, Marcel Proust and Me

Page 26

The Robin Colletive

Page 50

Young Mountain

Page 46

The Stop: a community action landmark in Toronto, where tea is savoured!

Page 56

Page 53

Are these the best chocolates in the world?

Page 32

The world’s greatest stolen treasure

Page 56

Teas of the forest: NAMASTHE

Page 38

The beauty of 800 year old trees in Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island .


TEA PIONEERS!

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an eclectic experience of tea + clay + nature


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ictor and Margit ’s tea paradise is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Tea farm is tea + art + nature -they are purveyors of organic loose tea, creators of artful tea blends and pioneer growers of Canadian tea. This latter point is where my excitement begins as I first got wind of this tea farm when I was studying for my certification to become a tea sommelier. Incredible, I thought. It seemed like a miracle since Camellia Sinensis plants, which make both black and green tea, grow in tropical climates, places like India and Sri Lanka. As we turned off the main street and followed a bumpy, winding road surrounded by trees, I spotted a small neatly lettered sign: tree farm. Along the curving driveway I could see what appeared to be miniature tea bushes. I could scarcely believe my eyes! Later, Victor told me that after five years they will be getting their first harvest this year. I am so excited only to be totally disappointed. There is a four year wait period with orders coming in from as far as Russia. I put my name on the wait list. The tea will be accompanied by a hand made vessel created by Margot, who is a self-taught ceramic artist . Patience is part of the tea journey. I don’t even get to have a tasting of the first harvest, but I am treated to a special time of their blended Mad Hatter Tea, notes of black with a smudge of smokiness with homemade Earl Grey Shortbread. The blended Chinese black tea is smooth as silk on my tongue and its warm tones blend with the bites of Earl Grey shortbread.

Pioneers in new West Coast tradition!


Tea Farm is nestled in a valley a former dairy farm, and according to Victor the Chinese labourers who worked the land 100 years ago planted tea trees in the area. But that is legend of the past and now there are 800 plants growing and tended since 2000. I note 8 rows of tea plants just outside the main entrance: Victor who is knowledgeable and not fearing to try new ideas stated he was trying some on higher attitudes to experiment how the terroir soil would affect the taste profiles. Victor chuckles remembering the challenges of the deer who loved nibbling on the tea leaves. Then there was a fallen Maple tree who was turned into wood chips to be used for the earth. All these nuances of life are taken in stride to anticipate the final tea product. Victor waits quietly for the next year hoping the extremes of weather with being hot and dry will stress the plants and create a more intense flavour. Victor reminds me that, “tea is one of the most labour intensive agricultural practices up there with saffron and the vanilla bean”. He is proud of this crafted art and to be part of tea pioneering in Canada and to “share with the world”. Margot shares the evolution of tea in a “contemporary way” honour- ing the “way of tea” into the 21st century. by Carol Mark

Canada's first tea farm.

My f

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Tea Treasures

Margit’s artisan tea pot


A Tale of Two Teas in Yaletown, Vancouver Will serves me a bespoke tea-Hajicha-

roasted green tea. Second steeps available for the asking. Each infusing tastes richer and deeper in flavour profile. Textures of raspberry, whit and pitashio cream pair with my tea. The sweetness & tart of the fruit fuse with the subtle rice tones on the palate.

Pairings with specialty tea or coffee range

from savories to display case of sweets.

Handmade wood-

en serving platters add a touch of warmth & simplistic backdrop for the presentation.


A Tale of Two Teas in Yaletown, Vancouver

I settle on Morning Sunshine, which is the most popular green. It is a good starter for those wanting to try green teas for the first time.

Saba & Debbie greet you with the free tasting of the

day- Emerald Green Chai. Did I say it is all ORGANIC! Always cheerful & helpful with suggestions on mood and health.

Simple zen displays put me in the tea mood


Up Close with Calli O’Brian, CEO & Carol Mark

There are five key steps to producing matcha. The first is shade growing, where the tea fields are typically covered with bamboo and rice matting for 2-4 weeks before harvesting. Shade covering boosts chlorophyll and the amino acid l-theanine (l-theanine makes matcha taste smoother). The second step is hand-picking the leaves. Hand picking obviously adds to the labor

I grew to love matcha (didn’t take long!). I loved it for its health benefits and how it made me feel, and for the fact it took off 5 of those last 10 lbs I’d been trying to lose and in just 30 days~ Running wasn’t making any difference but drinking matcha daily did, this was 10 yrs ago. Since then I’ve been promoting and educating people about the magic of matcha but doing it for another company. In the summer of 2014 the business structure at that company changed while at the same time my aging mother, who lived across the way from me, was really in her last few months of life, so I decided to focus on my time with my mom and wasn’t sure what I was going to do exactly. I finally decided that I could not just throw away all that I had learned and launched My Matcha LifeTM in March of 2015. -Its Your Matcha Life gives the ownership of healthy life to the consumer. Do you feel each of us has the power to change to a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely. although it’s not always easy. I suggest making small changes one at a time rather than all at once. For example coffee drinkers who want to drink less coffee but still feel they’ll need a pick me up; they can change to drinking one cup of coffee in the morning and then have a matcha the next time they feel low energy. We’ve found many people have switched to matcha and never looked back. One cup of matcha a day can make a healthy difference in our lives on so many levels. -Can you share the process of producing matcha and the importance of honouring traditional manufacturing processes? It is very important to adhere to the traditional methods of processing matcha, mostly because by doing so you retain all the amazing nutrients that we drink it for. Less traditional, more mechanized methods reduce the nutrients and create an unpleasant taste.

costs but it ensures only the best leaves are selected. Then the leaves are lightly steamed to prevent oxidation, it is a green tea after all. Before the leaves are ground they are de-veined and de-stemmed, and then finally they are slowly stone ground in granite stone grinders. Better quality matcha will take an hour of stone grinding to produce a one ounce tin of matcha powder. If not stone ground, lesser quality matchas are pulverized in a machine where they are heated to high degrees and them beaten into a powder, not quite as gentle and reverent as the 16th Century Zen Buddhist monks intended! -What are the effects of matcha both psychologically and on a physiological level- you mentioned the calming effects for meditation but how does it


-Matcha has been overused and not designated like the word “champagne” designated for particular method and geographic location. Do you feel this type of designation should be given to matcha to help the industry and clarify to the consumer. I had considered bringing the top matcha manufacturers together and coordinating a ‘Japan Certified’ matcha certification to address this particular issue, however there’s no simple solution. There are many regions in Japan that produce excellent matcha, there are large manufacturers that produce high grade matcha and low grade matcha, receiving the leaves from a few different regions and then blending them together. On the other hand there are extremely small farms that produce only one crop a year using only one cultivar variety, so their supply is very limited. At this time it is still about educating people that matcha comes in different grades and within each grade there are many levels of quality. For now it’s buyer be cautious, read the label for ingredients and country of origin. The best matcha no matter which grade, still comes from Japan. A good quality 100% ceremonial grade matcha, ie, one that tastes smooth and has a high amount of L-theanine in it, should cost about a $1 USD an ounce. -I note on health benefits your ceremonial matcha was tested- why did you do this? All our matcha is tested and for two reasons. We always get the certificate of analysis (CofA) on every batch so we can ensure the safety of heavy metals and bacteria levels etc. We also test for radiation. So here’s the scoop on radiation in matcha; Canada accepts imports of agricultural products that contain no more than 800 becquerel (units of radioactivity), the US allows 1,000 becquerels, and Japan only allows a maximum of 200 becquerel to be exported, or so the Japanese government says. I am sure they have integrity on this point, but I drink my matcha twice a day, all my friends and family do as well, and we want to know absolutely for sure it’s safe. So just in case something is missed we send our matcha to a North American laboratory for independent testing.


work in the 21st century? The effects from drinking matcha are individual but in general terms drinking one cup of matcha is like drinking 10 cups of green tea in terms of health benefits. All the great things you hear about green tea can be attributed to matcha. One of my favorite nutrients in matcha is the l-theanine amino acid which studies have shown to increase alpha wave production providing a calm relaxed yet alert feeling, improve cognitive performance, and help us cope with stress. It also has free radical fighting antioxidants the most popular of which is EGCG catechin, and of course a nice boost of energy from a small amount of caffeine. So yes the monks loved matcha for its healing, calming focusing effects but also for its energizing effects, all of which are relevant today. - I love your recipes- does heating the matcha impact on any lost health benefits ? For sure it does which is why we recommend using a culinary matcha like our Foodies Matcha, if you are going to cook out some of the nutrients there is no sense paying a premium price. -What is your favourite way to drink matcha? My favorite way to drink matcha is with water only at about 75C or 175 F, or iced cold, however I have been known to partake in a Matcha Martini or two!


My Matcha Life Shortbread Cookies Ingredients 1 lb unsalted organic butter (room temperature) 1 cup confectioners or coconut sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons Foodie’s Matcha 4 cups all-purpose flour Directions 1. Cream butter in bowl of electric standing mixer using paddle attachment; add confectioners sugar and salt 2. Sift together tea and flour, add to butter mixture; mix until just incorporated 3. Roll dough to 1/3-inch thick between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; transfer to baking sheet, chill until firm, at least 30 mins. 4. Heat oven to 300 degrees 5. Remove top piece of plastic and cut into desired shapes; re-roll excess dough as necessary; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet 6. Bake for 16 minutes; rotate pan and bake for another 16 minutes or until cookies feel firm when scratched with a fingernail; take care not to let the edges brown; matcha shortbread cookies should maintain their green color 7. Cool, serve and enjoy Makes 9 dozen small cookies. About 1 hour 30 minutes prep. NOTE; I followed the recipe and CAUTION WATCH CAREFULLY BEFORE BROWNING! I checked every 5 mins to ensure this did not happen. My first batch was abit on the brown side. Delicous & a wonderful shortbread for a pick me up! Thank you Calli for providing a pick me up break mid-day.


The simple answer is that there’s no “best” way. But there

What’s the Best Way to Taste Oolong Tea? by Heidi Chen Here at Tea Ave we love oolong so much that we started a company devoted to selling only Taiwanese oolong tea. One of the questions we hear most has to do with the tasting experience. People want to know: What’s the best way to taste oolong?

are a few simple principles, outlined below, that will allow you to get the very best out of this incredible tea. You’ve probably heard some suggestions or tips, but you’re eager to find out what’s really, truly the best way to do it. Right? Maybe you feel like you can’t relate to what you’ve heard about oolong, or that you can’t crack the tea-tasting code. If so, keep reading When I first got into tea, I spent a lot of time observing the masters and trying to learn the best way of doing everything: using the best teaware, seeking out the highest quality of tea, and the ideal water quantity and temperature. What I wish someone had told me was this: It’s okay to experiment. Be different. Develop your own way of doing things. Whatever happens – whatever works best for you – that’s your best way. That said, you’ll need to put some effort into finding out what’s best for you. Chances are, the methods you’ve heard about over the years all do work quite well – for some people. But if they’re not suited to your preferences, it doesn’t matter. But that’s the beauty of tea: The possibilities are endless, and there really is something for everyone. While we think everyone must establish their own rituals and identify the best way to taste their teas, there are a few guiding principles you can use to get the most out of your oolong tea. No matter what teaware you use and how you brew your tea, there are three elements to keep in mind: aroma, layers, and aftertaste. Read on to find out more about each.


Aroma

Layers

Here there are four things to focus on when you’re evaluating aroma: dry tea leaves, wet tea leaves, the cup, and the tea (water). For each tasting, start with (1) a shallow smell to capture the hints and notes, followed by (2) a deep smell, with a deep inhale, in order to fully experience the aroma. Then (3) taste the tea.

Some may call it complexity; we prefer the term layers. How come? Because complexity suggests that more is better. It’s true sometimes, yes, but not always the case. With tea, it’s important to focus on how the layer is expressed – and how all of the layers evolve with more infusions. In the last section we talked about smelling the tea. Now let’s talk about actually drinking it. Take a small sip. Swirl it around; keep the tea in your mouth and breathe in and out slowly a few times. Swallow the tea.

Write down the fragrances and notes that you captured at each step, and try your best to describe what you picked up. Be patient: Over time, you should be able to identify more and more nuances in the tea’s aroma. After you identify the notes you’ve picked up in each step, observe and compare how they evolve. Do they smell similar, or can you identify hints of different aromas? A good tea evolves in a consistent way, meaning that you should be able to pick up stronger – if not more – notes from dry tea leaves to wet tea leaves, wet tea leaves to tea (water). Most importantly, smell the aroma in the cup to see how “patient” the tea is. Another good way to identify a good tea from a bad one is to compare the aroma with the tea that you drink: Do the notes blend and balance? A good tea should have a harmonious taste and aroma. The aroma of the tea leaves should be amplified in the water, creating a full-bodied aroma. If you can sense that the aroma and the tea are inconsistent, it may mean that there are additives present in the tea. The aroma cup is the perfect tool for this exercise.

Now, focus on your breath and attempt to speak (yes, with a mouthful of tea – we give you permission). This method allows you to fully surround the tea and its aromas with your mouth and nose, which allows you to experience the layers. Repeat this for every sip. Take copious notes. With a good tea, you should be able to pick up at least two distinct layers. The more you dive in, the more layers you’ll able to identify.


Aftertaste A truly high-quality tea lingers, as does its aroma. Try to take a break after a couple of cups of tea. Wait a few minutes. Does the aroma still linger in your mouth? With a good tea, you should be able to sense the aroma when you’re breathing and talking – and even a sweet hint of it in your saliva. Typically, better tea lasts for a longer period of time. Pay close attention to mouthfeel: If there’s any discomfort or numbness, this may be a sign of additives that are often present in a low-quality tea. Keep Experimenting Remember: Everyone’s different. Instead of giving yourself a hard time over the notes you may not be able to taste or smell (yet!), focus on enjoying yourself as you develop your own tea rituals. Pay close attention to your tea. Taste it, don’t drink it. Linger over it. Keep trying. Trust us – you’ve got what it takes. Use the tips we’ve outlined above, and you’ll be a master of oolong tasting in no time at all.


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rtists come from all walks of life- Glenn Knowles the owner and chocolatier of GEM Chocolates is one of those rare people who found their creative calling. It is interesting to find out Glenn took a turn in journey of life from the financial world. He literally took the plunge into chocolate and never looked back!

A great artist uses his intuitive side in creating work and that is why children create the most magnificent pieces as they have not yet learned to be restricted by rules. Glenn uses his senses and allows himself to explore his creations are one of a kind and taking the chocolate world by storm-judging by his chocolate awards. Why chocolate? It pairs with tea! by Carol Mark

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hocolate is viewed as a luxury that can be appreciated by everyone. Do you find that your audience will treat themselves to this personal luxury and how often?

For many Europeans, chocolate is part of everyday nutrition…something that I would agree with since a bit of chocolate everyday has been been clinically proven to beneficial for your health. For many of my customers, a bit of chocolate everyday normal and they buy chocolate bars, bark or even our ganache-filled chocolates for daily consumption. For many of our other regular customers, they come in each week and buy a supply. There’s no telling how long that supply might last: minutes, hours, or a few days. It’s not uncommon on any given day that someone stops in to treat themselves to a chocolate. It’s always a joy to see the look on their faces as they bite into their choice and exclaim how wonderful it is and how it’s just want they wanted.

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ow did you find out chocolate is your passion?

I don’t know if I chose chocolate or if it chose me…call it happenstance. It was not intentional as I had registered for a pastry & bread program at culinary school and while awaiting for the program to begin, I enrolled in Ecole Chocolat’s online course. Let’s just say that within three weeks of starting the course and beginning to see the results of well-tempered chocolates, I realized that I wanted to go into the chocolate business instead of pursuing pastry & bread.

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hen you create how do you find those creative moments - is it on paper or taste or inspired by a song, theme….

When creating chocolates, I always find that it comes from scent and taste first and foremost. When working with a theme, then letting one’s imagination wander and freely thinking can deliver some fun results.


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notice your chocolates are full of imagination and special combinations. How do you create a new flavour and what is your process? Do you have taste testings prior to displaying and selling it?

Our goal is to excite and create a chocolate experience to be remembered for our customers. I draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources: tea shops, spice stores, marinade bottles, my garden, a candy, pastry, customer suggestions and more. Being open to experimenting with a scent or flavour, or combining it with something else is the best approach. If it is a fresh fruit, then I will reduce the juice to a thick puree and then gradually add it to cream to make a ganache. For herbs, chilis or other spices, I would infuse them in cream until the flavour comes through in a bold way. Since chocolate carries its own strong flavour, adding something bold will deliver the complexity of fused flavours or the multiple flavour points in your palate. When pairing with the chocolate,a general rule flows spices with dark chocolate, nuts with milk chocolate, sweet fruits or teas with white chocolate, though we often deviate from this. A good way is dab a bit of puree or spice into melted chocolate and assess if the flavour complements the chocolate, the flavour remains distinctive, does it add a new layer of flavour or is it overwhelmed by the chocolate. These are some simple steps we follow to reach our ultimate goal of a new flavour. Once we have tasted our ganache, we know if it is a winner‌and ready for sale.

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hen introducing a new chocolate, we consider how the flavour fits with the shape of the chocolate as well as the design/decoration‌it all needs to work together. We want our customers to see something visually speaks to them, before they even get to the point of tasting our creation.


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For this year’s Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, we chose to follow a movie theme. With the January release of Sherlock Holmes, tea seemed to be a natural choice and Earl Grey is a crowd favourite. I chose an Earl Grey Creme tea from our local tea proprietor at Bayswater Tea Company, which delivers a lovely fragrant bergamot flavour. London Fog lattes have become such a popular drink that shifting these flavours in hot chocolate would make those tea lovers rejoice…and they did. So far it’s proven to be our biggest seller, even ahead of our Darth Vader extra dark hot chocolate.

Now that’s a difficult question: only one? For me, it would have to be a piece of Marañón’s Pure Nacional Fortunato No. 4 chocolate. We make a bar using this rare chocolate, the world’s rarest as not only is there very little supply of this cacao, but the cacao pods have white cacao beans along with the purple beans, introducing a natural nutty flavour to the floral flavour of the purple beans. This chocolate’s texture is extremely luxuriously and the taste lingers long after you eating it. A piece of chocolate heaven is what this chocolate delivers.

see that you have the Sherlock Holmes London Fog Earl Grey Cream Hot Chocolate with a chocolate pipe - what an amazing pairing - can you share your idea of how this was created especially the flavour pairings and how you make those decisions?

When thinking of Sherlock Holmes, one often imagines him with his pipe, so making a little chocolate pipe made for a perfect design touch to sit atop the drink. And our customers have loved it: not only the idea, but also the playfulness of having a chocolate pipe on their drink.

AWARDS

2015: Gold, Silver & Bronze, Canadian National Chocolate Competition 2015: Silver & Bronze, Top Caramel Awards, International Chocolate Salon 2015: Bronze, Top Chocolate Bar Awards, International Chocolate Salon 2015: Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America 2014: Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America 2013: 3 Golds & 1 Silver, Top Chocolate Bar Awards, International Chocolate Salon

2013: Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America 2012: Silver, Canadian National Chocolate Competition 2012: Gold & Bronze, Chocolate Salon Caramel Competition 2011: Gold, Silver & Bronze: Chicago Luxury Chocolate Salon

be?

f you had a wish for a chocolate on the last day of earth - what would it

Glenn Knowles glenn@gemchocolates.ca Gem Chocolates 2029 West 41st Avenue Vancouver, BC V6M 1Y7 604.263.9878 Mon-Sat 11-7 / Sun 12-5


I received my teachings from Rowan Hamilton a Medical Herbalists from the UK and teacher at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine & Bastyr University. Don Ollsin, traditional shamanic herbalist taught by Elder Ellen White of Vancouver Island and First Nations friends from Lil’Wat and Squamish Nation. I opened a collective space with apothecary in Mt.Currie in 2000 with Shelby Reid, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and The Healing Cuisine chef Joanne Gerard. Massage Therapist Michelle Fulford cooked best bannocks, soups and organic Buddha bowls while Misha Cossette managed the shop with me. At this same time my family was living in Vietnam for years and we began working together to source teas, teapots and build relationships to

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Our roots in foraging by Isabelle Ranger Herbalist at Namasthé Tea Co.

t is Feb. 1st ,Imbolc an ancient Celtic fire festival signaling spring is near. A time in many cultures to purify inside and out while all around in the northern hemisphere every tradition celebrates renewal, awakening & cleansing. The trees are budding in the Sea to Sky area as the spring saps run in the trees like Birch, Maple, Douglas Fir, our cue to begin our seasonal foraging. Trees are swiftly followed by Stinging Nettles, Elderflower and many herbals as nature awakens from her winter slumber. We Teacraft these Thérroir™ botanicals in our custom blend Teas. Medicinal mushrooms also find their way into our cups with Reishi, Polypores, Turkey Tails and Chaga that connect, boost and balance nature as well as our hectic lives.


I received my teachings from Rowan Hamilton a Medical Herbalists from the UK and teacher at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine & Bastyr University. Don Ollsin, traditional shamanic herbalist taught by Elder Ellen White of Vancouver Island and First Nations friends from Lil’Wat and Squamish Nation. I opened a collective space with apothecary in Mt.Currie in 2000 with Shelby Reid, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and The Healing Cuisine chef Joanne Gerard. Massage Therapist Michelle Fulford cooked best bannocks, soups and organic Buddha bowls while Misha Cossette managed the shop with me. At this same time my family was living in Vietnam for years and we began working together to source teas, teapots and build relationships to supply the apothecary. supply the apothecary. This is how Namasthé came to be, as a desire to serve the finest loose leaf teas with wellness and local focus to the region and beyond pure and simply. We also wanted to make loose leaf easier for foodservice so we pioneered a new custom

teapouch machinery in Canada, that could nestle whole spices, tea leafs or herbals. When my parents moved back to Canada they helped me transition from Herbal Emporium,even working in the shop with me as I was pregnant with my second child. We launched Namasthé Tea Co. together as a family business in June 2006 and had our products ready Dec. 2007. We still operate as a family and have also added Izumi to our growing team of TeaCrafters. As we grow, we want to organize a living wage and benefits system for Namasthé Foragers. There are inherent risks and seasonal variables to climbing the mountains and ravines on the wet coast, much education on sustainability, safety in identification as well as large wildlife (Black Bear, Grizzly and Cougars), top notch quality standards, brews and open the Teapothecary. I rediscovered my roots in ceremonies: powerful sweat lodges with Sundancers,


Songs, Sacred pipe ceremonies and First Nation foragers for years. I also rediscovered my own mysterious adopted origins of Scottish & Innu Métis roots during this time. The natural herbal knack came from my lineage as both Grand Mothers were nurses and my mother an avid gardener. In exploring my heritage I also discovered a beautiful ancient Canadian Tea culture of the Innu of Labrador (formerly Montagnais ). I was conceived in Goosebay, Labrador but had no idea of how the story would come full circle back to Whistler. The Innu were the last nomadic hunter/gatherers in North America up until the 1950’s following the Caribou. Everyone had to help when moving so the women crafted toy dolls that were filled with highly prized Tea. Each doll contained around 2lbs. of highly sought after tea they traded with early European settlers and stuffed for times of need. They were made in traditional Innu dress, very detailed from smoked buckskin, wool hair, floral fabric even down to innussin (moccasin). In times of need a doll would be opened, first for the Elders and to keep hunters fueled. Dolls are still made traditionally today, as a labor of love and to pass down this rich heritage as they take a long time to craft. Labrador tea is also a traditional beverage sipped from Europe where it was added to Gruit ales before hop beers, as a pioneer beverage when tea was scarce and daily by First Nations for its many health benefits. We forage Labrador Tea and craft it into several blends along with many traditional botanicals of both European and Native tradition as well as our human global heritage in Ayurvedic, TCM. A rich path full circle to my mixed roots, just as any good herbal blend should be.

We spend ¾ of the year foraging in the mornings around Whistler and Teacraft for many chefs, cafés and bistros around Canada and online for the global Tea Lovers. We are honored to share our heritage, craft and Thérroir of the region with avid tea explorers. We are excited to open our first Teapothecary this Feb27 th , again in a collective space in Whistler. Our community Tbar will feature foraged botanical brews, healing medicinal tisanes and premium organic teas from Thérroir™ selected from small family farms around the world. Off the beaten Path Teacrafters since 2006. Pure and Simply.

www.namasthe.ca @namastheteaco @teapothecary 1-877-807-0880


Up in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, there’s a new tea region taking shape. Kumaon, perched on the border between India and Nepal, is set to add another chapter to the rich story of Indian tea.

The supply chain problem that the British faced is one that Kumaon people know all too well. The region is defined by its extreme isolation, which makes livelihood opportunities scarce. The region’s youth migrate to cities in search of work, and the process is slowly hollowing out the villages. Although Kumaon communities are gifted farmers, without markets for their goods, they live in near-subsistence conditions.

INTRODUCING KUMAON, INDIA’S NEWEST TEA REGION Although its name is not a familiar one, Kumaon has a long history of tea growth. The British first introduced tea into the Kumaon slopes back to 1835. At the time, the East India Company, a company of British merchants with a monopoly on all trade with the East, was experimenting with tea cultivation across India. Kumaon was one of the area’s with the first experimental plots. The tea grew well, and the first Indian-grown tea ever to be drunk in Europe came from Kumaon. So you could say Kumaon is both India’s newest and oldest tea region. While the plant thrived British had another probof the mountains. It was and complicated to setup the tea from Kumaon to growers were racing to figEast India Company anthe Kingdom and Sikkim, the ocean. This shifted the and the Kumaon projects tea plant, however, continwithout human intervention.

in its adopted soils, the lem – getting the tea out simply too expensive supply chains to move the ports. While local ure out a solution, the nexed Darjeeling from a region much closer to focus to eastern India, were abandoned. The ued to grow in the wild

To address this situation, the government setup a tea cultivation program in the 1990s. From day one, the focus has been on creating jobs for farmers. The program covers all the costs for farmers to convert land to tea cultivation, then pays the farmers’ a living wage during the initial years when the plants are reaching maturity. When the tea plants are fully productive and farmers could rely on them for a steady income, the government buys the unprocessed green leaf at 5-10x the rates paid to tea farmer’s in other Indian tea regions.


Kumaon White- Champawat Estate Cupping Review This is the champagne of teas consisting of two leaves and a bud. I loved what Raj was creating with the tea farmers-a honest ethical partnership not just words written on a package. White teas are the most expensive as it is picked first season, limited quantities as well being handpicked, it is labour intensive. They are the highest in anti-oxidants. As I opened the package, the sweet fragrance permenated my nostrils. It reminded me of the clean environment and mountain air that borders Nepal and India on the Himalayan mountain sides.

The Kumaon model offers an alternative to the colonial one that is prevalent throughout most of India. Premised on a farmer-first mentality, Kumaon is creating a new name for Indian teas that marry quality with ethics. Raj Vable Founder, Young Mountain Tea Young Mountain Tea offers guided trips of Indian tea regions. We are putting together our first Kumaon trip for October 2016, and are limiting the trip to five participants. Dates are being finalized now, and for more information contact Raj at raj@youngmountaintea.com

I enjoyed in the sweet notes of melon and grassy notes throughout the day as I resteeped more than 3X and with each steep the sweetness was nore intense. A beautiful tea visually, and in the mouth to be enjoyed!


Snapshots of the Vancouver Tea Festival Del Tamborini Co-founder & Executive Director, Vancouver Tea Festival del@vancouverteafestival. ca Theresa- social media coordinator


Sights and Sounds of the West Coast

Empire Cookies-Granville Market

Pacific Institute of Culinary arts

Temple Arch-Chinatown

Our friendsPat & Jane Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island

Best Buns-Seinfield can’t be wrong on this one!

B.C, Ferry

SStreet food-red bean moon cakes

Tea Shop Granville Market


When we first started our business, Robin and I used all of our creative friends and contacts for projects - we still have a small-ish team that expands with each projects, taking on more creative contractors as we require. It’s like having an extended family where each person has a unique creative background. This allows us to have a major variety of talent at our fingertips and accomplish the most weird and wacky projects we take on. Our creative process is really quite simple, we sit and collaborate - much like having a family dinner where we can just brainstorm ideas and have a laugh together.

The fact that they are just light hearted fun - most of our followers love that our work includes involvement, something you can take away each time, whether it’s a tangible item or a new skill set or even the memory of doing something that’s never been done before. Most of what we do is inspired by what we loved as children, and of course making the bizarre possible!

! a e t h t i w s w o l mal

h s r a M

Everything we do is challenging- from actual production to work-

ing with brands and getting them to believe in the idea. Obviously every idea poses it’s own set of problems but we love the challenge.

BY the

Marshmallows are versatile and they’re fluffy and fun! We started at a time when marshmallows weren’t trendy or even available as a luxury edible so creating our range of flavours and pop-up Medicinal Marshmallow pharmacies was (and still is) very entertaining. Marshmallows also have a great history as a confectionery item, and they are super delicious!

We do try to do lots of research and development for each concept but sometimes lead times can be quite restrictive so we do find that on occasion we have to take the plunge and keep our fingers crossed that it works.

e e r t a n i t h g i f d o o f w o b n i a r a e v a h ! y o a t d e e v o n l O . d ' k o o We H m l i f e h t m o r f e n e c s e house like th


Lord Earl Grey Magic Marshmallows -3 packages unflavoured gelatin -1/2 cup + 1/2 cup cold water -1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar -1 cup light corn syrup (sold as white corn syrup) -1/4 tsp salt -food grade oil of Bergamot -non stick spray or vegetable oil Dusting: -1/4 c icing sugar -1/4 c cornstarch -1tbsp Earl Grey tea crushed

Using the mixer mixer bowl use 1/2 cup of cold water and sprinkle gelatin and set aside. In a saucepan add the 1/2 c water, sugar, corn syrup, salt over medium heat with candy thermometer until it reaches 240 degrees F. Approx 10 to 15 mins. Watch carefully. Handle carefully as this is hot sugar syrup and will BURN! When ready have mixer on low with whisk and pour sugar mixer over side of bowl while whipping on low. This allows mixture to cool. Increase speed to high for 15 mins. Last minute add a few drops of bergamot. I tasted and adjusted. Be prepared for an explosion of smells unlike anything. Prepared pan 14 X 9 inches spread thinly with vegetable oil (neutral- do not use olive oil unless you want an olive oil taste) and use dusting ingredients, leftovers put aside. Use a spatula oiled and spread in pan. Top with dusting. Let sit 12 + hours. Use pizza cutter for cutting & dust further. Makes approximately 50 large marshmallows. Store 3 weeks in airtight container. Confession- I couldn’t help having a sneak taste- makes one rethink marshmallows!!! Created & Tested by Carol Mark


Memoirs of an disgruntled English tea-drinker Part I The Great British Cuppa, Marcel Proust and Me, Carol Mann

S

ince I left London in 1980 to move to Paris, I have been on the quest for perfect tea. A quest comparable to Proust’s famous desire to find the exact taste of the madeleine biscuit, which he dunked in a herbal infusion, designed to bring back fondest childhood memories. Whereas Proust’s standards were those of his well-bread Tante Léonie, mine were far more prosaic, modelled on those of any Brit of my generation (and those of the preceding half-century), horrendous to cognoscenti who follow this website. or those unfamiliar with traditional Britain, the Perfect Cuppa was and perhaps still is in many parts of the not-so-posh country, a bitter, tobacco-coloured beverage originating from our ex-colonies, namely the Raj, graced with a dollop of cold milk, and a teaspoon or two of white sugar in which you dunk a Digestive biscuit or if and no-one is

F

looking, some Scottish shortbread. A far cry from Proust raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory . n the London I grew up in, no amount of tea could elicit such a wondrous effect which had to be sought elsewhere, in the less-than-legal department, but there again nobody expected anything of the kind from the plebeian cuppa which could be consumed whatever the temperature outside, or the circumstances. If it was cold, you “warmed up” up with a “nice cup of tea”. Should it be sweltering (a rare occasion in those days), a cup of tea was deemed ‘refreshing’. Hangovers, heartaches, appendicitis were put right with a cup of tea, indeed the all-purpose solution to every known ailment, physical or spiritual, faced by the average Briton. igarette in one hand, cuppa in the other, we gulped down our tea listening to the Beatles, waiting for pubs to open. The glory and relief of those long-gone cuppas have never been equalled in my existence since, its mystery never quite solved. Everybody knew that Queen had hers made with Malvern water bottles of which she carried about her royal person when travelling, just like Boris Yeltsin never leaving Russia without gallons of vodka. We settled for tap water, boiled to death. it is only later that I realized the incomparable taste was due precisely to the tap water. The chemicals they pour in the Gallic version make all the difference and no amount of fancy Evian will ever compensate for the gritty, grimy London fluid. here were no alternatives. In offices or university canteens, a robust canteen lady (AKA ‘tea lady’) would pour this exquisite beverage out of a gigantic tureen continually kept warm, therefore getting darker and more opaque as the hours went by. The same was available in the much lamented

I I

C T

1 Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past. Volume 1: Swann’s Way: Within a Budding Grove. translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin. New York: Vintage. pp. 48-51.


‘transport cafés’ that dotted the poorer streets of London, especially near train stations. These much-hallowed places would serve fried bacon sandwiches and other such delicacies in between marble-cold slabs of Mother’s Pride with chips and baked beans for the more adventurous. Salad or anything raw having seen daylight was deemed rabbit food, unfit for human consumption. Any of the above, by today’s standards would probably be deemed highly carcinogenic, but there again in my day, nobody cared. As long as the whole thing was washed down by a generous mug filled to the brim with milky tea, the world was put to right. o I moved to Paris, in the autumn of 1980, little did I know that much of my life would henceforth be spent in the quest, if not of the Cuppa of my youth, but an ideal tea, the desktop companion to my career as a writer and other tribulations...

Tea Treasures The Teacup Attic

S

(to be continued)

Carol Mann lives in Paris & is still in search of that perfect cuppa! Carol Mann is a journalist, anthroplogist, humanitarian, art historian & PhD Women In Conflict War Zones. http://womeninwar.org/wordpress/

Paragon Cobalt Blue Teacup and Saucer Set, English Bone China Tea Cup Set, Elegant Tea Party, Cabinet Collector’s Cup, ca. 1952-1960


A Hotbed of community activism, food & Tea!

the plan. In the meantime, friendships were forged, talents shared, and experiences garnered. This tea group garnered the the attention of Tea Sommelier Carol Mark. One wintry afternoon, the women were graced with tasting and experiencing unusual teas and new ways of sharing the rituals. Little cups so tiny that the tea could only be sipped three or four times had the women enthralled. Another was a bitter tea that came from remote places in China and cost the amount of a day at the spa. Carol Mark’s enthusiasm and sincerity in sharing her knowledge of tea and the group took to creating an enterprise of collecting, drying then packaging the various leaves for the shoppers of the Wychood Farmer’s Market.

T

ea. The little word with universal meaning. It evokes an afternoon of relaxation, an understanding of friendship, warmth, ritual and connectedness to the earth. In Toronto, an inspired organization grew out of the need to feed people. This organization, The Stop Community Food Centre, evolved from a food bank to a drop-in with healthy meals, community cooking programs as well as educational and support programs including using public parkland to seed and cultivate edible food. However, it was through tea that a diverse group of women came together. The Womyn’s Programme of the Stop Community Food Centre created an activity using the age-old knowledge of planting various edible plants, nurturing them in the Wychwood Barns Greenhouse, then plucking, picking and drying the plants. The idea being that packaging these teas (lavender, stevia, mint, nettle, costmary, sage, lemon balm and many other varieties) would be sold at the Wychwood Barns Saturday morning Farmer’s Market. That was

I had never heard of a Tea Sommelier before this afternoon. When I realized it meant being a steward, I had a whole new understanding of the unwritten language of tea. Carol shared her journey of encountering this part of her life’s journey and I wanted more. I felt that being in a group of dedicated people would teach me a deeper understanding of community building. Tea, The Stop and looking at the world’s future in a positive, empowering way is a course no money can buy. For over 30 years, The Stop Community Food Centre has been at the forefront of dignified, innovative programs that provide access to healthy food; build skills, health, hope, and community; and confront the underlying issues that lead to poverty and hunger. Our wide range of programs include drop-in meals, a food bank, community kitchens and gardens, perinatal and family support, civic engagement, and children and youth education.

Honey Novick is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher/poet. She is a proud and active member of The Stop Community Food Centre. As a member of the Ontario Poetry Society, she will edit the Literary Gourmet as a way of further expressing her gratitude for the men and women who care about the world we live in and are doing something miraculous to help. Honey says, “I think The Stop is a little miracle that offers hope”. For further reading: thestop.org www.honeynovick.com tops.org


The Crime of the Millenium

GREATEST ROBBERY OF ALL TIME!

by Alan McKee, Historical novelist

Value so enormous, it cannot be calculated Thief hired by English East India Company!

I

t is all true! Robert bers of the English Fortune, curator of East India Compathe famous Chelsea ny to go to China to steal the most Physic Garden was recruited by mem- valuable posses-

sion of the Chinese nation: the plants and know-how to produce tea. continued...

Fortune was a seeker of the exotic, an explorer and a student of plants. He knew China from firsthand experience of a previous visit there. In 1848, he was approached by members of The English East India Companywho asked Fortune to carry out the theft of tea plants. Two wars, the two so-called Opium wars had already been fought because of the thirst for tea in Britain. The British had tried to use opium, which they grew in India, to reduce the huge trade imbalance,

with only partial success. The Chinese, were a people who guarded the secrets of tea production very jealously. Now, the British were going to try another strategy, one that would give them present and future control over their excessive tea spending. This strategy had the added benefit of allowing Great Britain to grow as much tea as they could drink. And, they would not have to owe any

country anything for their pleasure. And while tea plants would not do well in the British Isles, they would do beautifully in the moist, moderately cool higher altitudes of India. In total, Fortune stayed in China for about two and a half years, from 1848 to 1851. Similar to other European travellers of the period, such as Walter Medhurst, Fortune disguised himself as a Chinese


merchant during several, but not all, of his journeys beyond the newly established treaty port areas. Not only was Fortune’s purchase of tea plants forbidden by the Chinese government of the time, but his travels were also beyond the allowable day’s journey from the European treaty ports. Fortune travelled to some areas of China that had seldom been visited by Europeans, including remote areas of Fujian, Guangdong, and Jiangsu provinces.

Fortune employed many different means to transport tea plants, seedlings, and other botanical discoveries, but he is most well known for his use of Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward’s portable Wardian cases to sustain the plants. Using these small greenhouses, Fortune introduced 20,000 tea plants and seedlings to the Darjeeling region of India. He also brought with him a group of trained Chinese tea workers who would facilitate the produc-

tion of tea leaves. With the exception of a few plants which survived in established Indian gardens, most of the Chinese tea plants Fortune introduced to India perished. The technology and knowledge that was brought over from China, however, may have been instrumental in the later flourishing of the Indian tea industry. Now, tea is a multi-million dollar industry on the Indian subcontinent.

o

Alan McKee www.hudsonhousemysteries.com

Today, you can visit the fascinating Physic Garden in Chelsea where Robert Fortune worked chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

Catharanthus roseus. Native to Madagascar this relative of the garden plant Vinca major, Vicia faba Located in the is not only beautiful neurology bed. This plant but useful, too. Extracts aids in controlling the from it are used in the symptoms of Parkinson’s treatment of childhood Disease. leukaemia.

The Garden’s warm microclimate means that many tender plants can flourish including a number of rare and endangered species. From pomegranates to gingkos, mulberries to eucalyptus, there are over 100 different types of tree in the Garden, many of which are rare in Britain. The glasshouses hold a collection of tropical and sub-tropical species.


The love of Tea My Matcha Life ceremonial matcha makes fabulous alternative to the traditional shortbread. Given its rich taste on the palate it paired with tea farm’s Dog consisting of black Assam, cardamon, vanilla bean that dances on your tastebuds long after. A splash of milk optional. Shown here with one of the hand formed ceramic cups created by Margit at tea farm. Monkey Tea from teafarm paired compmented well with the red bean cake. Monkey tea is based on the Chinese zodiac -green tea, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, orange peel, cardamon, fennel. I had 3 steeps. Fragrance reflective of the spices used. Taste profile is of a soothing green with a kickback of spices with lingering notes. I was surprised that the spice notes did not overtake the delicateness of the green notes.

I bought a number of bags organic in origin but in unique blending combinations creating an extraordinary taste profile.

RARE O 5 ‘s Black tea from Qiao Ban Village,Zhejiang, China harvested from semi-wild bushes 70-80 years old from a 78 tea grower . Excellent on its own with its burgandy notes with lingering peach undertones. Can be resteeped. Paired with GEM chocolates-mint, cherry ganache, pitashio, dark truffle with caramel is a taste explosion!


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The Love of Tea Mag ed 2  

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